Much of the time, I find myself wondering if I should end it, before things have a chance to get really bad. Because things can get really bad. Burning alive, ending up horribly mutilated. Spending the rest of your life locked up, facing torture & violent assault, or permanent isolation. Disabled and in agony and unable to move. Things can apparently get really fucking bad.
Perhaps I’m just a coward, or I’m hyper-averse to negative experience. Maybe those are both the same thing. But over and again I come across experiences that make me wonder ‘Is continuing to live worth risking this?’ And the fear of it hangs over me.
Now most of those experiences are rare. Not many people burn to death, or are drowned trapped in a sinking ship. Not many westerners experience the terror of war. Very few people in the modern age experience being torn apart by a pack of wild animals. Odds are I die of a stroke, or heart attack, or cancer, or any number of other unpleasant but mundane ends.
But the danger feels real. The fear is there. What if I get hit by a car next time I cross the street? What if I’m left permanently brain-damaged, unable to move, but in constant pain? What if something truly horrific happens and I don’t have a way to end it? What if my past catches up with me, and I lose my freedom to act?
I have no way to rationally weigh that danger. I know that it’s real. I know that horrific shit happens every single day. Things that leave even successful, happy, functional people begging for someone to put them out of their misery. That if we live long enough, we all end up incapacitated to some degree, and lose control of our fate. And a huge part of me wants to end it now – on my terms, in my way, calmly and with minimal pain, while I still can. On some level that feels like the sensible choice. So that I don’t find myself desperately wishing that I’d done so, when it suddenly becomes too late.
And yet, I’m not going through with it. I’m not doing the research I need, or ordering the equipment, or arranging my location. And when I ask myself why, all I come up with is more fear. I’m scared to stay, and scared to go. And still seemingly very attached to the idea of living, for some reason.
I don’t know if I have it in me to overcome that fear, and if I could if it would be ‘for the best’ to end it. I’m still emotionally invested in the possibilities of this life, though my prospects of any kind of fulfillment are dismal by anyone’s standards. I’m pretty much the lowest of the low, the guy you look at and feel glad you’re not him. Things at the moment are sad, frustrating, uncomfortable, and incredibly lonely, but I can still distract myself from it sometimes. I still have some level of control.
I wish I had some way of judging whether taking the risk of continuing to live, of things getting truly horrific, was ‘worth it.’ How would you even assess something like that?
If I’m going to move forward in life, I need some way of putting that fear in context – of being at peace with how terrible things can get, and resolving that I’m happy to take that chance. If I’m going to end it, I need some way of overcoming my fear of death, and of letting go of my attachments to this world.
I don’t want to be stuck between anymore.