Saturday, July 5, 2014

Suicide DON'TS

By plane, by one's own hand, by cop. Sometimes holding on is not an option for whatever reason. Illness of mind or body. I really GET depression. Swimming in MUD. Wanting it all to just STOP. Been There.

What I don't get & believe me, NO ONE ELSE WHO LOVES YOU EVER WILL, IS,
* Not leaving a note
*Doing it in such a way that loved ones will find you
*Taking others with you. Flying a plane into a building, taking your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend,    husband or God Forbid, your kids with you. Shooting up a school of other peoples kids, as revenge or jealousy. THIS IS ALL ABOUT YOU & no one else, so keep it that way.

I spent time as a teenager, when inappropriately medicated, thinking about my own demise. It was always as a way to STOP the agony of being alive in a 'dead to ME' world, or during premenstrual hell, hanging off the toilet while I puked, cramped & bled until I was anemic. Somehow I managed to hang on, knowing it would end in exactly168 hours. Seven, six, five, three, two, then finally in just one more day, 24,23,22 hours.... I thank God now that I did hang on.

For some, the agony will not end until they are dead. It may be because of a terminal illness or an untreated mental illness. Somewhere in that internal muck however, there IS the absolute knowledge that this is NOT someone else's wish or fault & if you believe it IS, THAT person or THOSE people get to decide whether or not they are going down that same path to THEIR demise.  It's the ultimate personal choice. YOU get to make that choice for yourself. Making that choice for someone else is MURDER & far more destructive for those left behind, even than the taking of your own life.

When I was in high school, there was this sexy, angst ridden, self destructive idiot who was over 18, drove an orange GTO & picked up young impressionable girls. A 16 year old classmate fell in love with him &  just like Jack & Diane, they made a lovelorn suicide pact. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned. When he rammed his GTO into a school wall at 60 miles per hour, he died. She, however, is now paralyzed from the waist down.

On a more personal note, my grandfather, who was clinically depressed prior to most knowing what clinical depression was, stuck his head in an oven at age 50 while my mother was away serving in the RAF. My grandmother found him when she went to prepare breakfast. There was no note, leaving everyone to speculate with their own story. Neither she nor my mother ever got over it, which consequently affected subsequent generations of my family. The good news was that it led to a greater understanding of our genetic predisposition to mood disorders, including my own. The bad news is he didn't leave an explanation, thus literally taking his own agony, along with everyone else who loved him, to his own grave.

Your suicide will ultimately be horrible, horrendous & heartbreaking for everyone in your life except for you, although no one knows even that for sure. The smartest thing to do right now is to pick up the phone & call your local crisis line, where experienced intervention specialists have heard it ALL before & will spend as much time as you need talking over your decision & other options with you. What’s another half an hour in the larger scheme of things?

Finally, suicide is illegal in the United States, except where a Doctor sanctioned subscriber can assist a terminally ill patient to die. Insurance policies often have a caviot that if the policy holder commits suicide, the beneficiaries cannot collect for a non-accident or non-medical reason. Not only will your family mourn your death, they may well become destitute as well.

This IS a pre-decision guilt trip, which may or may not affect your decision, but PLEASE, if you have any compassion at all for your loved ones, refer back to the ‘Suicide Don’ts’ as above all else, this is ultimately YOUR decision. 

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