In times past, I’ve talked to my friends and family about suicide, but it’s pretty rare now that I bring up the subject. I used to feel it was healthier than not talking about it, but it became apparent that generally people don’t believe someone will kill himself until after it happens. At which point people will exclaim, “Oh my God, I can’t believe he killed himself! I wonder why he did it.” So although prior to the suicide it was talked about and reasons were given, people are dumbfounded and confused.
Sometimes honesty can’t be appreciated at the time. I was a bit disappointed several years ago when one of my many therapists finally said, “If you’re going to commit suicide there’s not really much I could do.” Though I had talked to him of feeling like killing myself, I’m not one to cry wolf; for instance, I never say, “I’m going to go and kill myself at 5:00 this evening.” In the past when I actually did decide to kill myself at 5:00 in the evening, I didn’t tell anyone. That would have been downright stupid of me. If my mind is made up that I want to die at 5pm, telling someone might actually prevent it from happening. Though my psychotherapist made the aforementioned statement, it’s clear that doctors and other select professionals are still able to lock suicidal folks away for 72-hour vacations if they talk about having an immediate plan; then afterward of course, they are either released from their vacation back into the same life they were in, or doped up on pharmaceutical drugs that may either prevent suicide or cause suicide.
I think the reason society frowns on suicide and attempts to offer hope — false or not — is because it’s bad for the economy. Last year, two weeks prior to Christmas, I received an email from a manager of a big chain retail store pleading with me not to commit suicide. I do realize he neither cared about me nor had an emotional attachment, but was concerned about the possible loss to his bottom line — I spent about $1500 annually at his store. If that figure were multiplied by all the suicidal people in the world, it would be a fiscal nightmare, causing net losses to businesses worldwide that would drop stock prices significantly and potentially cause a double-dip global economic depression.
I don’t have to go into much detail here; most people are already aware of the many reasons they don’t like the idea of people committing suicide. I do occasionally still sometimes talk to my sister about my suicidal thoughts. I know she would be very upset if I died prematurely. She demands that I stay alive to be miserable with her. I told her I’m aware that my death would have a negative effect on her, and promised her I would keep suffering to make her happy. But because I’m a pretty reasonable and rational person, I’d like to take back my promise just a little bit. Rather than committing suicide, I think her allowing me to pray for death would be a good compromise. Praying to God to take my life anyway he sees fit, sooner rather than later would also satisfy religious folks who are against suicide. If I die from praying for death, then technically, it’s God’s will. And I don’t ever hear anybody argue about God’s will. If He decided He wants to, and implements a method upon me of Divine execution, then it really boils down to God’s will.
I don’t think of praying for death as a suicidal act, but more of a convenient loophole. It’s not in the current version of the DSM, and a therapist can’t have a patient locked away for talking about praying for death, or saying he’s going to go home and pray for death right after his session.
My sister, my girlfriend too, and a few others would still miss me, and be devastated by the untimely disappearance of my soul from my body regardless of the cause. God’s will isn’t really much comfort in real life, so I guess I’ll have to go on being miserable, and continue to be mystified and awed at how other people can cope, wishing I could learn that skill. Maybe I’ll pray about it and hope I don’t get distracted.