When a friend told me suicide was not the answer, I looked at her like she didn’t understand the question. How would I have taken away the pain? How? How? How? I couldn’t handle it! Did she really think that I wanted to fucking die? No, I didn’t, but I needed that feeling to stop ????!
Death is a difficult topic to discuss with another person. As humans we are so obsessed with immortality and survival that our fears regarding the end of life are projected onto others. This aversion to the idea of suicide can also stem from our religious upbringing as well as our deep seated insecurity. It’s not till we face anguish in our own lives that we have empathy towards others that prefer dying rather than soaking in physical or psychological agony.
Many of us have wished for death, or at least thought about it, whether we were being literal or figurative. Like when your parents didn’t let you go to that party with all the cool kids, “UGH! I wish I was never born!” When you’re unemployed and homeless and you don’t even know where your next meal is coming from, “Please god, remove me from this earth.” When you’re terminally ill, suffering from unbearable pain, while you’re laying helpless in a hospital bed, “Can’t they just pull the plug?” When your girlfriend is subjecting you to watch an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, “I wish I could overdose on the drugs Lamar Odom took!”
I have had my share of suicidal thoughts in the past. There was a period of about five years in my early-20s that I consider to be the worst years of my existence. I was in a wash cycle that was full of feces. Horrible shit was happening to me in what felt like a never ending sequence. I got in trouble with the law for a dumb adolescent mistake (more on this at a later date), I had massive debt, I was in an unhealthy relationship, and I almost got deported back to Pakistan (read more: part 1, part 2, part 3).
Throughout this period I was listening to, what my ex-girlfriend at the time called, death music. Songs with great lyrics like, “And I am aware now of how, everything’s gonna be fine one day, too late, I’m in hell”. I was a tornado, hurricane, tsunami, and an earthquake in tandem causing catastrophic damage to people that were in my life. I hated everyone and everything. I couldn’t understand why god was putting me through this. Fuck god. I wanted to die because life was unbearable. There were many times I considered suicide, knife in hand. I couldn’t do it though, because I was a pussy. I’m scared of a needle piercing through my skin let alone a large blade. Pussy.
I didn’t know who to turn to, because the stigmatic views of our culture were unconducive to seeking help. People were more likely to convince me that life is beautiful instead of empathizing with my situation and helping me find a solution. Even worse, people would’ve felt I was crazy because my thoughts didn’t fit the narrative of what society perceives as normal behavior. I persevered though, with patience and hard work. Things finally started going my way. I received my green card, I started paying off my debt, and I took control of my circumstances. I threw out all the ideas fed to me by religion and society and I built my life up again from the ground up. I can clearly recall that the turning point was right after I received my green card. I decided to smoke pot for the first time, sat down on my couch, and listened to the album St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley. Their song Just a Thought started playing. The lyrics were about humanity’s struggle with humanity. The chorus stuck out to me, “And I’ve tried, everything but suicide, but it’s crossed my mind.” The song was beautiful, but maybe I felt that because I made a rookie mistake of smoking an entire joint all by myself. I was higher than Coloradans on the day weed was legalized.
Shit. It hit me. It hit me hard. I started crying. Life started making much more sense because this artist understood what I was going through. All the pain I had absorbed for five years was being excreted through my tears. I finally loved life for a second and it was all due to death music.
I was strong enough to get through those times mostly on my own, but others may not have the ability to lift themselves up from their circumstances. People jump off of bridges, hang themselves or shoot themselves in the face to escape their tragedies because they may have felt no one understood what they were going through. Even when I told some of my friends that I was writing a piece about suicide, they were taken aback. Why the hell would someone have a thought about that subject let alone write about it. Does that make me crazy? Possibly.
Maybe we need to refrain from telling people what they should think or do and instead ask them what they need or want. Maybe instead of calling people crazy because we can’t comprehend their situation, we should give them support through therapy and, as a last resort, an option for euthanasia. If we took steps to be more compassionate as a society people would be able to openly seek help, and if the pain is too great, choose to bring their life to an end in the most humane and painless way possible. It’s weird, but when I was younger I would have never thought that my views would align more with Dr. Kevorkian than with most political and spiritual leaders. His nickname was Dr. Death, what would that make me? ????
Unfortunately, my problems aren’t completely in the past. Being someone with a lifelong disease like Ulcerative Colitis there can possibly be a point when my body is so inflamed that I can’t take it anymore and I will need to end my life. Even though my scars won’t be visible physically, I will be feeling it internally. I want to be able to die humanely without having to travel to one of the few states that allows physician aid in dying (PAD) or one of the few countries, like the Netherlands, where euthanasia is legal. Though I guess the benefit of the Netherlands is that I can get stoned while a prostitute jerks me off so I could leave this world blissfully. However, my preference would be that euthanasia is legalized in America, along with weed…ahem…and prostitution, so that I can have the freedom to die in my own home or in a hospital near my family and friends. Of course, watching me get jerked off would be optional for any of the parties involved. My point is, wanting or thinking about death shouldn’t be considered a crime, it should be considered human.
This isn’t a call for help, it’s just a thought. I am actually at the happiest and most successful point in my life right now, even though I’ve tried, everything but suicide, but it’s crossed my mind.
Have you ever had suicidal thoughts or even thoughts that are considered abnormal? How did you overcome those feelings? Feel free to comment below, or not.