This is a subject that has been on my mind for some time now. I meant to come in here and write a post, but kept putting it off. I would like to say it is because I am too busy or something, and while that may be true, I am not sure I can honestly say that is the reason. Also I may have talked about this subject before. This post represents my current perspectives on it.
In our modern society, with the possible exceptions within certain cultures, suicide is looked on as something abhorrent. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to support others in their choice of life termination. If you were to Google for a painless way to kill yourself, for some plant or something you could take so it wouldn’t hurt so much, you will find next to nothing.
That’s the other side of this whole thing. We want those who would choose to kill themselves to suffer. The Christian religion teaches that such people will go to hell. If someone came up to any medical professional and stated they wanted to kill themselves, and they wanted help, they would be locked away for an “overnight observation.” We simply can not fathom that anyone would want to do this. We can not accept it either.
If someone we know has killed themselves, we would be hard pressed not to feel affronted, hurt or offended by their actions. I have seen this issue from many different angles. From a friend who had a friend commit suicide, and how he (at that time he was a he) would not tolerate my then thoughts of killing myself. Giving me a guilt trip of how he had already gone through this. Then later I had someone I once called a friend kill herself.
Yes, initially I hurt. Why didn’t she talk to me about it? How could she, she was so happy with this young man she met online – he took her around the world. Then anger at her for doing such a stupid thing. But unlike my former male, former friend, I have come to accept what she did. I have come to see that it is indeed her choice, her right. I still wish I could have done something to help, so she wouldn’t have had to come to such a decision.
But now, if I had a friend come to me and say they were going to kill themselves, I know I would support them. Of course I would try to help them change their mind. I would do all I could without risking our friendship to get them to be absolutely certain about what they wanted to do. But if, after I had done all I could as their friend to help them reconsider their chosen course of action, they were still set in their course, I would assist them, help them, support them all I could.
Because you can’t honestly be a true friend to someone if you can’t respect their choices, if there is any limit in how far you will go for them. In this sense I have not been a true friend to my formerly-male friend. I was, and still am, unable to support them in their choice of gender change. So I speak only of ideals here, how I would prefer to be. The reality may be much different. We are all works in progress.
I have come to see that suicide is not a sin. It is not bad or wrong. If indeed we have reincarnated to these lives we now lead, and have chosen the initial circumstances and situations of our entry into this world, and if indeed this life is really a classroom where souls come to learn lessons they assign themselves, then suicide is just skipping class. Maybe we were not able to handle the lessons we were learning. I could no more judge a person for killing themselves than I would criticize a child for not going to school.
We expend far too much effort trying to control each other in a pointless, stupid attempt to find happiness in external circumstances. “If only she would do this…” “If only he would do that…” “If only they would do this…” “If only I could have that…” then I would be happy, then the world would be a better place, etc. Ridiculous! The world is perfect as it is, and each person is perfect as they are! There are no mistakes here, and no right or wrong, bad or good from all viewpoints outside the physical.
Still there is a problem with self-termination that I think it may be some help pointing out. Suicide is a very strong focus on what is not wanted. Think about that for a minute. Why do people kill themselves, or each other for that matter? Because there is something they don’t want. I know this to be true because the friend who killed herself did so because there was something she was experiencing she did not want to experience any longer. Her beliefs, her faith and religion, led her to believe that what she was experiencing was somehow evil, and this, so I was told, was why she killed herself. She has become one more victim, one of the millions since the start of recorded human history, to religious indoctrination.
It was the opposite for me. I did not kill myself, though I considered it many times, out of fear of going to hell. I had the same faith as my friend who killed herself. I don’t know how her fear of hell became less strong than her fear of what she was experiencing. I can only imagine the internal stresses that were likely going on inside her. It is one more reason why I want nothing to do with any religion. The last thing I need in my life are any beliefs that bring me fear, do not support me and try to control my behavior.
If my behavior were meant to be controlled, I would have been born with a remote! My parents could just press the Off button to send me to bed, and the On button to wake me up again. The Volume buttons to increase or decrease my volume. Change the channel if they didn’t like a particular behavior. Yes, I know this sounds silly but it demonstrates a solid point. We are born without a remote precisely because we are not meant to be controlled. We are human beings, not robots!
This is a classroom in the truest sense. There is nobody trying to steer us in any particular direction. We choose our own courses of action. We learn in the process of doing so. This is why we came here in the first place. Even the act of suicide teaches the non-physical aspect of us a lesson.
I don’t think suicide is a necessary course of action for anyone to pursue. Maybe some come into this world to experience it. But the majority of those considering suicide are too strongly focused on things they do not want, eventually driving them to do it. If they could focus as strongly on the opposite of whatever is driving them, maybe they could manifest whatever it is they want into the experience of their lives.
I know that for me I can no longer entertain the thought of suicide, even though I could certainly justify it, because when I am in that particular mindset I am unable to operate properly in the world. What I mean by that is that as long as I am thinking about suicide, I remain in a very dark and negative frame of mind. So it becomes very hard for me to be motivated. To care. I can’t smile or laugh. I can’t experience any happiness of joy. Most importantly of all I can not think about the things I want. The thoughts of suicide are just too big, they take up too much space. You can only be of one mind or the other, and that’s the main issue here.
Sure, it may make things easier, or at least it may seem like it would. And yes, whatever pain we are feeling would cease. But if life really is a classroom, and if our souls are really here in physical form to learn certain lessons, we are just going to keep coming back to the same issue, life after life, until we learn what we need to learn from it. It’s like restarting a race in a video game over and over again. How many times can you restart the race, playing the same section of tack, over and over, until you either quit the game or just let it go and allow yourself to proceed?
I know that may seem just as confining as any religious beliefs attempting to control your behavior. But there is no fear lurking in the background here. You focus on what you want instead of what you don’t want, because you enjoy life and the process of living more while you are focused on the things you want. If you withdraw and focus on what you do not want, living becomes very painful and unbearable. Why cause ourselves unnecessary pain? Aren’t we in enough pain already, to even be here, talking about this?
You are not alone. More than you realize. You are connected to every other being on this planet, this planet herself and even the entire universe. You are connected to the brightest stars in the sky and the darkest black holes. The energy of worlds is running through your physical body.
You are far more powerful than you realize. When you begin to think about the things you want with as much energy, focus, drive and passion as you are now focusing on what you don’t want and your ultimate response of suicide, you will, figuratively and literally, be able to move mountains. There is no limit to your power and the things you can do other than what you have set, or allow others to set for you.
So take all this energy you now have directed towards killing yourself, and put it on freeing yourself instead. Refuse to settle for anything less than the life you want to live, and then go out and live it. This is the very same process that I am learning, even now as I write this. May things be far easier for you!
You are also not alone in feeling alone. Feeling like you do not fit. That there is no place in this world for you. The simple truth is that if you shouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be. The very fact that you are here means that you belong here and there is a place in this world for you.
Maybe you can’t get there in your mind yet. That’s OK. Just know that I know how you feel. I truly do – I am not just saying that. A few days ago I felt it so keenly. I feel like an alien. I see couples walking together, I watch people operating in the world, and I just don’t understand. I feel like there is some training I missed somewhere. I feel like everyone else knows how to be in the world except me. For me, everything feels so much harder, almost unnatural. I struggle. I want to say hi to other people, I want to make guy and gal friends. I want to have a girlfriend. But I am stymied by the whole process.
When I went to Sakura-Con, where people more like me were wandering around in the hundreds, I still felt completely alone, alien, like I did not fit in. I still feel even now that if I was normal, if I was like everyone else, I would have at the very least made some friends and possibly even gotten laid. Anime loves, video game lovers, geeks – these are the people to whom I most relate. And yet I still felt somehow different, separate – like I didn’t fit in, and my experiences at the Con reflected these feelings.
So I am not just another person talking out of my ass while I have a beautiful woman hanging off my arm, a couple of children, a nice house and all the other things we associate with someone who belongs, who fits into the world. No, I am writing this alone, living in an RV with my parents, soon to graduate next year, having made far too few friends during my year at college, and not having any idea what the hell I am going to do after I graduate and where the hell I am going to go. And I am far, far too old to be having these feelings. Everyone else my age, almost without exception, has a family and a place where they belong… A house, a home.
So when I say I understand, you damn well better believe I do! More than you can ever possibly know. And when I say that the way out is through, not quitting, not throwing up the white flag, you better damn well believe it is! I can speak with authority because I speak from my own experience. I have tried living with thoughts of suicide. I have tried keeping thoughts of killing myself in the back of my mind, on the back burner as it were, a possible escape hatch to get me the hell outta here if things didn’t work out. Neither were conductive to my success or any feeling of good.
I at least want to enjoy my life, as much as I can considering my circumstances and situation, and I want to succeed more than fail. I have found the only way I can do that is to drop any thought of killing myself, with no intention of picking it up again. I have not managed to completely release it yet. It is very hard, the sucker holds on very strongly when you are in the shit.
But my energy and focus is now more directed towards what I want to be, do and have. I am releasing myself self-imposed limitations, and things are starting to show up. Little things. But something is better than nothing. I’ll take some progress over none! Only time will tell if pushing through is worth it. Right now I fiercely believe, and will teach, that it is. But I won’t know for sure until I punch through the blackness and come out on the other side.
I will get through this! One of the nice things about it is that while I value life, I like to think that it will be easier to lay mine down if absolutely necessary, ad if no other course of action is available. I like to think I would not be panicking in some sort of situation where I could be killed. I no longer hate my life, but I am certainly not going to be unhappy to be freed from it, especially if I can accomplish anything meaningful in the act of doing so! Truly meaningful, not what the world defines as meaningful. This sort of detachment from any strong desire to live might be useful someday. I take small comfort in that.
For now I just do what I have to do. One step in front of the next. I focus as much as I can on the things I want. I take time to enjoy myself as much as I can. I deny myself few pleasures. And I remember to give thanks for every meal, every good thing that happens. I can even find the beauty in a cold, foggy and rainy fall day like this one. I look out and see how some of the trees appear to be on fire with all their bright autumn colors. I find I can appreciate beauty, whether it is some music I am listening to, some words I am reading or something I see. It keeps me going, keeps my feelings of alienation and loneliness in the background, like so much white noise. If I ever learn a better way of dealing with it, I will do that, and share it here.
No platitudes here in closing. Just simple Spock-logic: If you are thinking about what you do not want, you can not think about what you do want.
So practice thinking about what you do want. Let go of your thoughts of suicide. Try to shift all that energy and focus into what you do want. Refuse to take any less, accept no substitutes! Crusade for what you want and go after that with as much as single-minded purpose as you may have had up to this point towards killing yourself. Just give it a try. See if you can’t take life by the balls, make it squeal and give you what you want.
If you have tried everything, exhausted every option, and you still just want to end it and get the hell out of here, well, please accept this virtual hug from me first, then proceed with my blessing and full support.
You are not a failure – you did not fail, and you have nothing to feel ashamed or guilty about. If your loved ones can’t accept your chosen course of action that’s on them. You have let others push you around long enough. if your loved ones can not support you in this, then their love is conditional, which means it is not absolute or true.
Bear no grudges! Forgive them, love them, release as much as you can as you leave. Take as little from this world as possible. Know that you are loved (you are, in fact, love) and someday, when you face these challenges again, you will make it through them. I believe in you, no matter what.
For all of us that choose to remain, keep on fighting! Believe you will get through this (we will all get through this) know it, claim it as truth.
Now turn up those speakers!