Today is Suicide Awareness Day, and I want to focus on a particular thing that irks me concerning suicide and its prevention.
One of the most common advices suicidal people get when they display their thoughts either to their friends, relatives, therapists, doctors, etcetera, is this one:
“What about the people you would leave behind?!”
Nope. It’s not “what makes you want to do this?” nor “why do you think this would put an end to your problems?”, nor a To-Be-Or-Not-To-Be scenario where you would be sent into The Great Nothing and it would be hella boring. Nope. They do not care about you nor the factors that make you think death would be better than life.
Their question is “WHAT ABOUT ME?!” (specially “WHAT ABOUT MY HEALTHY, PRIVILEGED ARSE?! WHO AM I GONNA BULLY NOW?!”). “WHAT ABOUT THE HEALTHY PRIVILEGED FRIENDS AND RELATIVES YOU WOULD LEAVE BEHIND?!”, they sort of ask. They even dare saying they have “zero respect” for people who commit suicide, something they consider a selfish act.
They ask you about things and people who are beyond your jurisdiction. Mostly, all they ask you is about themselves. If you have a mental crisis that leads to a suicide attempt, as soon as you wake up at the hospital after they pumped the shit outta your stomach or sewed your arms like a freaking rag doll is: “WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME?”
Well, fuck them.
I am going to ask you this:
What about you? What about the things about you that YOU would leave behind?
Suicidal people are far from selfish. Actually, they see their plans as acts of charity. As altruistic favours to make other people feel better. To stop being a burden onto their loved ones and hated ones. If they died, they think, people would be able to achieve their dreams. The hot husband would marry someone who “fits” their demeanour, the bullies would shut up, the concern-trolling mum would have a wonderful life with her remaining cookie-cutter family, the economy would improve drastically worldwide… ending one’s suffering is the last thing in a suicidal mind. It’s mostly all about ending the pain of others, and in return, ending your own pain.
So here’s my advice for Suicide Awareness Day. It might sound ridiculous and wrong, but it’s the ultimate act of survival:
Take care of yourself, stay safe and sound. Protect yourself from triggers as much as you can. Pamper yourself quite often, and replace the flirtations with death with intense and non-life threatening acts of fun and revolution.
If you’re an underdog, this is the best way to fight back. If the world has treated you like crap, don’t give them the satisfaction of not having to deal with you anymore. Stay.
Stay, stay and be yourself. Do not be afraid of being a “burden”. May your presence be so heavy, their world sinks.
If you stay alive those who truly love you and truly worth it will be happy. Those who don’t like you will get their just deserts.
(Of course, if you need physical or mental help, you completely deserve it. If you want to die because life is literally unbearable [see Tony Nicklinson], then it’s better to burn than to fade away. A dignified death, in this case, is the ultimate act of self-care. In any other circumstances, living is the best thing you can do.)
Useful contacts in the UK (list via Mind):
Advocacy Resource Exchange
tel. 08451 228 633
To find a local advocate
British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP)
tel. 0161 705 4304
Directory of accredited behavioural and cognitive psychotherapists available online
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
tel.01455 88 33 16
See website for details of local practitioners
The British Psychological Society
tel. 0116 254 9568
For a directory of chartered psychologists
C.A.L.L. (Community Advice & Listening Line)
tel. 0800 132 737
Emotional support and information on mental health to the people of Wales
tel. 0845 123 2320 (England)
tel. 029 2069 2891 (Wales)
Provides information, support and self-help groups
Hearing Voices Network
helpline:0114 271 8210
Local support groups for people who hear voices
helpline: 0800 068 41 41
Advice for young people at risk of suicide
Saneline: 0845 767 8000
Advice for those in crisis, as well as practical information