8/2/11

Suicide: How I view it.

Moon phase: Waxing Corn Moon (age: 3 days)
Moon Sign: Virgo
Weather: Fair skies, warm but seasonably so; drought still persists
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A friend of mine committed suicide a few days ago. It surprised and disappointed me. I felt some pity for her. Then I got angry. Really angry. I then took a step back and said to myself "Why are you angry, you contemplated it? How does your Tradition view suicide?" Those two questions stopped me cold in my tracks and have been rattling around in my mind for a little while now. Beloved's position was pure anger, as was that of Stormcrow. Both men had an excellent point when they expressed their disdain for one's final act to be of such selfishness. Both of them held out that the dead no longer were effected by their actions in this world, but left a tangled mess behind them for the living to sort out as a result of their final action.

The logical part of my brain agreed with this but the anger ran deeper then that. There was some sort of spiritual aspect to it that had me stumped. As such, I meditated upon the matter. I contemplated it as I lay sleepless the night after we had learned what happened. I rolled it around in my head as I was walking my son home from the bus stop. Then it finally hit me where the anger stemmed from.

I can accept that one will commit suicide to escape pain, to escape a poor quality of life, or as an act of resistance. I can accept that suicide can be accidental or a result of one's thinking getting completely distorted by things outside of their ability to control, such as the side effect of their medications. Suicide makes sense in these contexts. It may not be the ideal solution in the eyes of a third party, but to the person who is deliberately acting in this fashion, it will have been perceived as the best possible solution available to them. And as the First Law of Human Behavior states: All people shall act according to what they believe to be in their best interests according to the information they perceive to be available and relevant.

My anger came out of the fact that this suicide was a result of poorly managed depression. This young woman, according to what information I have learned from sources that were close to her prior to this event, intentionally disregarded elements of her illness. It is this that makes me angry. She knew she was on a collision course with a suicidal mindset but refused to address it. As one who has lived with recurrent bouts of suicidal depression for most of their life, I know what that feeling is like. At one point, I had several friends drag me back from walking out into traffic. As terrifying as incidents like that were, I struggle daily with suicidal thoughts as a result of my post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic, recurrent depression.

Why haven't I killed myself? It isn't out of cowardice, as my Mother once accused me of. It is courage and a grim determination to meet my responsibilities. It is my sense of honor. I have duties to people around me that I must uphold, lest I prove less then honorable. My friend knew she had similar duties to people around her. She chose not to make an effort to meet them, even if it wasn't perfectly. It was a cowardly act.

Now, there is a distinct possibility that the information that I have is incorrect. It may be that complications from her antidepressants caused her to become suicidal. If that is the case, my anger is mitigated somewhat. As this change in her thinking occurred, however, she should have addressed it with her doctor. Suicidal thoughts, generally, are not something that strike out of the blue unless there is a preexisting condition that is manifesting in that fashion. As such, she would have had a window of opportunity to get help for her crisis. An opportunity that she allowed to pass by.

I do not feel proud of my own suicidal tendencies. I am rather ashamed of them, actually. I, however, continue to fight them because I refuse to dishonor myself by failing in my obligations. It is my experience that the Gods punish dishonor. It comes in strange and at times subtle ways. But it does come. I have known people who bore the mark of a curse upon their aura and learned why. I have no wish to know how one who willfully dishonors themselves and commits suicide makes recompense for their failure to keep their oaths and meet their duties.

Edited to Add~ I realized as I reread this that I was writing my way through an emotional flashback. I believe I will let this post stand, but I need to give the entire situation more consideration before I post again on the topic. I apologize to any whom I offended.

3 comments:

Alter Esel said...

At my age (82) I have learned that I cannot even understand myself let alone others. I cannot know what motivates another person, all I can do is respect their decision and honor it.

Adryss said...

*hugs* hang in there buddy

Adryss said...

Hang in there. Summers passing still needs more investigation before any real verdict can be made.