Selfish or Not?

FullSizeRenderI have been experiencing some difficult and very painful feelings, emotions, memories, triggers…the past few weeks.  I find myself, or parts of me, wanting to “go away” or “be done”or “end it all”.  Dissociating seems to be stronger than ever.  And as much as I hate feeling this way, it seems to take up so much of my head space.  I have always felt a strong, personal, and “moral conviction” to not think or even act out those thoughts.  Sometimes, I think it’s the only thing that keeps me in a safe place. But somedays I struggle with thoughts of suicide.

I read this article a few years back, after my very close friend’s, son, committed suicide.  She said that it was comforting to read. The pain and anguish that a person must feel, seems overwhelming to me, and yet, I can completely understand.

“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.”
― David Foster Wallace

I was also reading a WordPress blogger’s post, who attached this article about suicide.  I don’t believe in coincidences or fate.  I am sure that this blog came to me for a reason.  Maybe God simply wanted my attention, or He needed me to read these articles.  Either way, I did what “they” say to do, and that was reach out to people who care about me!  I’m grateful I did, and that their are people in my life that love and support me along this journey with a mental illness:  Dissociative Identity Disorder.

How sad that we would say and/or believe this about someone, who we may or may not know.  Is suicide Selfish or a Call for Help?

“There’s no questioning that suicide is catastrophic. It’s absolutely incomprehensible to me and most others that a person would feel so terrible, so trapped, so desolate that she would want to end her own life. 

Yet, it seems every time the topic of suicide comes up, someone attacks suicide victims by calling them “selfish.” I’ve heard it in real life; I’ve read it in articles; I’ve seen it on Facebook. But this attitude is disgusting and abhorrent, and completely misunderstands what it means to be suicidal.

According to a poll conducted in May 2013 by Gallup, only 16 percent of the country finds suicide to be “morally acceptable.” But the moral acceptability is not an issue. Suicide is the tragic, distressing result of severe mental illness. By definition, it takes lives. We don’t question the moral acceptability of other often fatal diseases such as cancer; we accept that they’re awful and terrible and search for ways to cure and prevent them. We certainly don’t attack cancer victims for getting sick. Suicide should be looked at in the same way — we shouldn’t be arguing the justifiability of the victim’s actions or the ethics of ending one’s own life — we should be looking for ways to stop it.

But every time a suicide occurs, some little self-assured voice is going to attack the victim. The same victim who felt inadequate enough to end his or her own life. The same victim who found solace in death. The same victim who assumed the world would be better off without them. This smug character will go out of his way to insult a suicide victim, calling them “selfish,” and “attention-seeking,” asserting that “everyone faces obstacles, they should have sucked it up like the rest of us.” I’ve seen it happen countless times. 

What kind of arrogant, insensitive mindset causes a person to believe that he knows what is going on in a suicide victim’s head, to assume because that he sometimes feels sad, he knows what it’s like to actually want to kill himself? It’s a baffling attitude. A person just died because that seemed like a better option than living. I really can’t, and no non-suicidal person can, imagine feeling that completely hopeless and worthless and out of options. 

I’ve felt sad before, yes. I’ve felt bad about myself before, yes. But I haven’t actively wanted to die, so why should I pretend to know what that’s like? I’ve had the flu before, too, yet I don’t know what cancer is like.

I’m tired of the victim blaming that makes light of one of the most tragic and upsetting scenarios imaginable. This attitude is shameful and does absolutely nothing to prevent suicides in the future; it merely diminishes mental illness and disrespects the deceased.”

—Madeline Ruoff

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Please reach out to someone, you are NOT alone!  You are a survivor, and there is healing from the woundedness you are experiencing!


1 thought on “Selfish or Not?

  1. I totally agree! Suicide is not selfish. The person who ends their life is going through unimaginable torment adn pain. How is that selfish? Some people have no empathy and like to get on their high horse about everything, when they dont know the full facts. It sickens me. XX


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