It’s Not About Selfishness

Trigger warning: suicide

I’ve always broached the subject of suicide through glossier, sugar coated angles to try and ease in the harsh reality of what people face when going through a suicidal episode, but this time….I can’t do that.

The picture is from a book called Americanah (to all my IB friends who are reading this for class sorry for the spoiler), and the main character is reflecting upon her cousin’s failed suicide attempt and whether he had thought of her while doing it or afterwards.

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Many people say suicide is selfish, to take ones life and not think of how another feels is seen as selfish. But what about the people who say that someone should live for them? Just by simply asking if her cousin thought of her while trying to end his life I see as selfish, because in that exact moment everything else ceases to exist but that constant conflict of choosing life or death. Suicide isn’t about who is selfish but that’s what people think of, they think the person committing the act is selfish, not that they themselves are asking a person who is ill to survive is selfish.

I’m not promoting suicide in anyway but I think this idea that when someone is facing an episode should think of their loved ones is hard, it often makes them feel worse why? Because often times people going through a suicide episode believe that those in their life were better off without them, that they are truly alone in this world because they cannot feel the love and support of others.

It’s not about selfishness, it’s about breaking through to someone to save a life, showing them that they are not alone, that they are loved, that they can make it through a rough time. If anybody else thinks it is about selfishness then you yourself are selfish for not trying to comprehend the thoughts and emotions one faces when going through that moment, and truly unless you have been through it you can NEVER completely comprehend it, but trying means something.

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3 thoughts on “It’s Not About Selfishness

  1. Fascinating point of view… I think you’re right about most people considering suicided a selfish act. I myself have been around people with suicidal tenancies; but despite feeling honest compassion for them, never thought of the action itself as anything but selfish… And I never have considered how self centered that makes me. Never mind the fact that not trying to relate to them made me completely useless as a friend…

    Your insight is deep. What is the relationship of suicide in your life?

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    • I have experienced depression, and anxiety and sometimes that can lead me to episodes that I have no control over. Over the years I have thrown myself into learning more about mental illnesses and finding ways to reduce the misinformation and stigma surrounding them. I’ve also been on the other side, trying to help friends through mental health issues and I’ve been able to understand why people have a stigma and why there is misinformation. It’s hard to understand and describe but finding ways to express it changes the way people perceive. I hope this was helpful to you!

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