Thursday, February 10, 2011
Suicide, or as the Bard called it, "self slaughter", seems to be a theme in my readings these days. There's Lori, who writes incredibly moving and emotionally real words about her attempts to cope with her husband's suicide. There's former Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein, who Dan Shaughnessy reveals is working to try and prevent teen suicide after losing his eldest son. And there's Papa, who saw his declining health and imagined declining skills and committed one of the most famous suicides in history.
There's this gentleman, of course, more recently a famous suicide. And it's not hard to find Kurt Vonnegut, the son of a suicide, talking about his life long habit of smoking Pall Malls as a "classy way to commit suicide". (Vonnegut attempted suicide, but died of natural causes, relatively speaking.)
There is a notion among the psychiatric community that talking about suicide means you are at imminent risk of doing yourself harm. Like all generalizations, this is partially true. Some people who talk about suicide eventually do so. Some people who eat sandwiches also commit suicide, so use generalizations with caution.
I don't think I'm in imminent danger of anything besides overeating. (And I'm nearly always in imminent danger of that.) I think we can talk about suicide without being in danger of doing it. I can't say I've never thought about it- I don't think any thinking person can honestly say they have never thought about it. I can't promise I will never think about it again, either.
But if you're reading this, and you're seriously considering this as an option, please go read Lori's blog. Pick up a Vonnegut book. Listen to a Nirvana song. Remember that the pain of those you leave behind (and there will be- you may feel alone, but I can guarantee you there is someone who will miss you) is unending and without surcease. Please think twice about it.