I was having a casual conversation with a stranger in a coffee shop and the subject of suicide was brought up. She said to me, “Did you know the highest rate for teen suicide in the country is Fort Collins CO?” I took her word for it that she knew what she was talking about and did not look it up. I believed her because years ago, I had a suicidal night while I was living in Fort Collins.
It was the darkest night of my life so far. I could not go on living anymore. At least that is how I was feeling then. I struggled to make my world right, and it seemed to be wrong every time. I want a do over.
People say suicide is the coward’s way out and it is a very selfish act. I agree its selfish, but it is the self that is tormented. There is no room for considering what others may be thinking. You want to make my torture about you? Butt out, this is my crisis! When I am dead, I won’t care anymore.
“A coward’s way out”, I don’t agree. It takes the ultimate bravery to step into what’s next. Death is coming to all living things. What happens next is a mystery. It may not be like corporate spiritual institutions would have you believe. The human consciousness is just one tiny aspect of this universe. Selling plots in the afterlife sounds like an awesome business plan and doesn’t even have to be true.
Recently a couple musical celebrities, died by their own hands. That makes all of us ask “Why?” They had money, fame, everything. Yes, they did and they also had their demons. The lifelong companions that scratch and tear at a soul as long as it takes. Sometimes they win.
The stigma of suicide is that everyone that even attempts it is suffering from some form of mental illness. Sometimes mental illness can be just as terminal as cancer. The end result is the same.
Terminal medical patients make their decisions to die very soberly, and with a lot of oversight. I am a big supporter of assisted suicide for terminal conditions. Another example is the Samurai of Japan, they performed many ritual suicides when the situation called for it. They were honor bound.
A hero may give his/her life in sacrifice to save others. That is still choosing to die. I guess since death is inevitable for us, we really should think about how we want to go out. I do miss the people I have known that have committed suicide. I miss the people I have known that have died when they wanted to live. We miss our loved ones that have passed regardless of how it happens.
That night in Fort Collins, I was suicidal. I had no idea about the future. In my anguish, all I could see was Death waving me closer. I laid on the floor and sobbed inconsolably well into the early morning. I wanted to die, but was too afraid to move. I fell asleep on the floor. When I woke up, I was breathing hope. Every conscious breath I felt better. I did not end my life that night in Fort Collins. I didn’t have what it took to do it. When I think about it, sometimes I think that I was a coward. I still wanted to live. A lot has happened since then. My youngest daughter was born. I started my career in stand-up comedy.
Death is a harsh reality. I would try to help someone in crisis. I know what it’s like.