Thoughts on Suicide, Fear, and Life
March 17, 2013 42 Comments
I was basically asked two questions: Are you afraid of dying? Is that fear why you’re still here?
As to the fear question, the short answer is yes, but it’s more complicated than that. However, that fear is not why I’m still alive. But that question certainly got me thinking… Why am I still here?
I think what I hate most of all is having to deal with all of this in the first place. I don’t want to have to deal with suicide. I don’t want to have to deal with death. But I must because I have something else I have to deal with, something I never wanted to deal with, something I wish I never had: life.
But, oh, how I so do not want to deal with any of this! I want to be spared from life, but in order to do that I must face suicide. However, I also want to be spared from suicide. But if I turn from suicide, I’m back to facing life!
Suicide seems like the better deal. It’s certainly shorter in duration. And that aspect makes this debate seem so simple. However, every ounce of my instinct cries out, “Don’t do it! Stay alive! Stay alive at all costs!” To which, internally, I reply, “Why?” But these cries supply no reasons for they cannot. They stem from a mindless drive to persist. I can push them aside through further questioning, yet still they shout. Is it fear that halts me and makes me listen? I honestly don’t know. All I know is that they’re not easy to ignore.
But neither are my own anguished pleas. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be anywhere. I simply do not want to be. And I don’t have to be. This can all stop. Go. Just get this over with.
An exit is indeed available, but it requires a lot of effort to go through. And it’s effort that I wish I didn’t have to exert. I was thrust into this life unaware. I’ll echo a previous commenter and say that the best that could happen now is to at least exit unaware as well. But beyond some outside chance, that’s not going to happen. And so I return once more to the choice forced into my hands.
But as I said, I despise this choice. And though I can’t avoid it entirely, what I can do is postpone it. By stringing together enough distractions, I can, in effect, kill myself for a day. I can get lost in the story of a book or a show. I can go on long hikes at a brisk enough pace that it’s too hard to form coherent thoughts. I can be absorbed in a game and forget that I even exist.
Though obtaining nonexistence for a day is much easier than committing suicide, it is, of course, only temporary. Reality can only be avoided for so long. And I know a day will come when I cannot (or will not) postpone this choice anymore. So as I kill time, I also plot my demise. I really want an ideal-as-possible suicide method, so I’m taking the opportunity to search for it. Ultimately, I want to get to a point where I have an effective method ready to go at a moment’s notice. Then, whenever it’s easier to kill myself than to keep dragging it out, I’ll be able to jump at the chance.
Now, to specifically address the question of fear:
A big fear of mine is not of death/dying but rather a failed attempt that results in further problems (whether those are physical, mental, or even social). Thus, I want a method that’s as reliable as possible while still taking into account my other requirements. This fear can be minimized through preparation and experimentation, but I’m not sure it can be removed entirely.
Am I afraid of the actual process of dying? If I have to be conscious during it, then, yes. This is certainly more of a worry now that the hyperventilation plus water method has been ineffective for me. What was most appealing to me about that method was that it was testable; you could try it out beforehand without any adverse effects. It was also very controllable; many other means of causing unconsciousness simply introduce too many variables for my liking. I’m still looking for a way to induce unconsciousness that appears accidental, but I may forego that requirement if it comes down to it.
Am I afraid of death itself? Yes and no. It’s weird. I suppose it’s innately inside of me, but when I think about it, it makes no sense. A fear of death is a fear of the loss of future days. However, I’m not exactly craving future days, so this fear seems odd to me. I suppose it could also be a fear of the unknown, but since I’m no longer religious, I no longer care, so this is also odd to me. I do fear the effect my death will have on friends and family, especially if it’s apparent my death is a suicide. This one is tough to deal with because I have no desire to torment my loved ones. However, I also cannot continue to torment myself, so there appears to be no nice solution for this one.
While my fears may make me pause, they are not preventing me from taking action if the need arises. It’s more a matter of ease. Killing one day at a time is currently easier than killing myself. The moment that changes, I hope I’m armed with an effective method and ready to act.