Depression lies. I am under no illusions about the serious struggle that those who are depressed battle daily as they are hounded and try not to listen to an inner voice that I’ve never heard. An inner voice that says they are worthless. That they are unloved. That the world would be better off if they were no longer here.
The URL for the above photo (if The Washington Post lets it remain):
Maybe I’m arrogant, but I’ve been blessed to have a smart-mouthed inner voice, one that immediately thinks, “You and what army?!!” when told that I can’t win against someone, or can’t stand up for what I believe is right.
When battling the kids at school, running home each day in fear of the life being beaten out of me – I was never depressed. Something inside me, always, has replied with sass when told I was not good enough, not wanted, not pretty. I didn’t give a damn long enough to let such condemnation paralyze me.
Despite crippling fear, a father who hated my very existence which drained the funds from his bank account with every asthmatic and COPD-based illness, kids with whom I couldn’t find common ground, I was never suicidal.
Something in me has always wanted to live, wants to prosper, wants to adventure – regardless of the weakening of my body as COPD continues to have its way with me. Regardless of the very real exhaustion I feel as my disease continues to take its toll.
As I read the story above, as one sister morns the decision of another, I feel empathy.
We will never know what causes one person to end their life. We will never know what causes one person to say, “this far and no further”, and mean it.
Instead, I will always wish that the person who killed themselves is at peace.
If you’ve seen the film, “A Beautiful Mind”, you might be lucky enough to find an understanding of the tricks that one’s mind can play on people suffering from depression or schizophrenia. Imagine being aware enough of the outside world that you knew you were out of your mind, but were unable to drown out the voice that was calling you to end the madness? Trapped with that relentless voice.
I am thankful every day that my own illness is something physical and not something mental. That, while I am trapped in an ailing body, my mind is still relatively healthy and not tormenting me.
As I wrote in Pro-Euthanasia Does Not = Suicidal, I see a fine line between being able to debate a quality of life decision, and being driven to end pain and suffering.
For anyone I disturbed or alarmed by my Pro-Euthanasia viewpoint, I apologize. I don’t understand the nightmares you may live with when contemplating every new dawn and trying to find the energy to go on.
However, that being said, and in light of the eulogy included from Eleni Pinnow about the decision of her sister to end her life, I will insist that Euthanasia is not Suicide but a rational choice when all other quality of life decisions have been exhausted.
Suicide is a whole other issue, which I am not all all qualified to discuss or to try and resolve. I just know that they are two very different things.