“When people kill themselves, they think they’re ending the pain, but all they’re doing is passing it on to those they leave behind”
The other day I heard a particularly melancholy tune on the radio by the Manic Street Preachers. In the song the lead singer of the Cardigans Nina Persson bluely trills “Your love alone is not enough…”. Something about this lyric caught my attention. Having never been a fan of either the Manics or the Cardigans I didn’t know the back story to this song.
The lyric is apparently a piece of text taken from a suicide note someone close to one of the original band members left before they ended their own life. I don’t know all of the detail but I suspect that you can guess who in the Manics was affected by this tragedy if you look out for the singer who mumbles “I could have written all your lines…” in this video.
For the rest of the afternoon I thought about something I’d never thought about before. Why do otherwise healthy people get so depressed that they kill themselves?
If you are sick of life and thinking of suicide I doubt that you are sick of life. Life is too wonderful, too precious, too amazing to be sick of ‘life’. I don’t think you could say you were sick of waterfalls, sunsets, the stillness of dawn, the warmth of a roaring fire or a dash of rain on your face. I can however, understand how someone might grow sick of their life. We get let down by lovers, double crossed by siblings, rejected by parents, trapped in debt, and stuck in cycles that keeps telling us that we are burdens to our families. When these things are happening to you (and hurting you deeply) you probably won’t notice the waterfalls or sunsets.
If you feel so depressed that you want to end it don’t kill yourself just yet. Instead of killing yourself wake up tomorrow pack a small bag and walk out your front door. Keep walking in one direction until you are a completely different person . Forget your responsibilities, dependants, current job, interests, friends and hobbies. Most of all forget your identity. Tomorrow morning take a totally new name. Start a brand new identity. Embark on a new life. That suicide compulsion is your burn notice. It is time for radical change.
The chaos and upset of your disappearance will be nothing compared to the feelings people would have if you kill yourself. Imagine how much worse they will feel if you leave a note saying that you are killing yourself than if you just up and leave. Now imagine how much worse it would be for the ones left behind if your reason for ending it all is ‘because their love alone is not enough’. That’s a rough way to exit stage left. Rougher for those left behind.
Instead try a totally new identify on for size before you go ahead and kill yourself. Retain nothing of the old life that has driven to the point that the warmth of a good fire is no longer enjoyable. Leave no connection to your old life. It died in the dawn. Burn it down and arise a new.
Take the time to grow into your new identity.If you still feel the urge do it quietly and peacefully. Do it because you feel tired. Do it because you are submitting, but do not do it because you want to send a message to the people who’ve hurt you. This is about you and you alone. It is not about revenge.
The other thought that I’d like to share on suicide is that in a tribal community an uncared for child would be raised by the whole village. If a child was abandoned by it’s parents it would either be adopted (and loved) by others in the village or that child would wither and die from hunger and cold. In our time we have an abundance of food and water. Even the most uncared for children can grow up. Unfortunately, though they tend to become very broken adults unless they have the strength to overcome their circumstances. Although they have had all of their physical needs met they have not had any of their emotional needs fulfilled and this I think is a contributing factor in the prevalence of suicide.
If this is your burn notice, please try on a new life. I hope that your new life delivers the best that the universe has to offer. Love alone can be enough. You must become a treasure seeker and find it.