Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I used to think, like most sheep, that taking your own life was a foolish, selfish act, only fit for the weak. Within the last few years, through life-altering experiences, my opinions have shifted.

A few years ago a friend of mine hung herself. She was depressed, miserable and all hope had left her existence. My natural reactions were sadness and anger. How could she do this to us? Do this to all the people who loved her and who could’ve helped her? Then it hit me - the paradox. Would we want her to exist in such a state so we could continue enjoying her presence on the physical plane? Would we want a friend or loved one who acts content but in reality is drenched in misery to stick around just because we would miss them if they were gone? Suicide is selfish? THAT seems selfish. No one wants a friend or a loved one to die, but do we want them walking around everyday striving and struggling in their own personal agony? No we don’t. We always want the best for the ones we hold dear. We want them to be content, stress-free and comfortable, away from the despair that plagues mankind.

Another point that came to mind was that of choice. With some exceptions aside, every human is in control of their own life, lifestyle and living. Whether we smoke, drink, fight, or fuck, we all mold our own lives in accordance with our desires. So then, why do we not have equal control over our deaths? Who are we to judge or decide if a person no longer wants to live? It is their life, so it should be their choice. Many countries don’t deem suicide illegal but only a handful legally permit euthanasia. We can sign DNRs choosing not to live, but we can’t take our own lives? Fucking bullshit. If someone no longer wants to exist, so be it. It should be their choice, and if they need help carrying it out, these services should be available to them. People with young children are the exception. Your child is your responsibility and they come first – not your death wish. Like religion, morality, it seems, is trumping the advancement of the human race as a whole. Yes, extinction is a form of advancement… at least for humans.

Suicide is not an act of weakness. Selfish in ways, but far from weak. It is courageous, it is commendable, and it takes strength to leave a life that depends on you, that will be negatively affected when you are gone. Taking control of your own life and how it will continue - or not continue - is an act of true strength. And who knows, maybe you’d be better off dead.

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