So, assuming the main reason I haven’t killed myself yet is fear, fear of what? The experience of dying for a start. Presumably I’d fall unconscious fairly quickly with what I have in mind. Perhaps feeling a bit lightheaded or nauseous beforehand. But what if there’s a surge of panic when I feel it kicking in? What if I reflexively abort it halfway through, and end up with permanent brain damage?
Supposing I do get to the point where I lose consciousness, and my brain cells start dying off…what’s that like? Is it actually like anything? Is there a sudden flood of activity as parts of the brain realise that the oxygen supply has been turned off? Is there terror? Desperation? Regret? Does your life flash before your eyes in painful detail? Does every second start to feel like a tortuous eternity?
And when the brain’s finally dead, and all activity has ceased, is that really it? No more pain, no more thought, no awareness? That’s what I assume, but what if my thinking is skewed? What if there really is some continuous part of the self that exists independent of the physical body, as most people have claimed throughout history? I fear that. I fear being confronted with what I’ve done in life. I fear judgement, shame, punishment, torment. I fear having to exist with the awareness of what I’ve done, in a state of eternal regret and isolation. Of course, I see no logical reason to believe in any of that. But what if I’m wrong?
Then there’s the attachments I have to this world. I fear letting go of my impossible hopes and dreams. Finally admitting reality…that there will be no happy ending. Facing the full hopelessness of my existence. That in itself is terrifying.
And I fear the effects on those I’d leave behind, who I’ve wronged so much already. Having to deal with my loss, when they’ve invested so much in me. I fear the devastation that would cause them. I can’t see them recovering. I fear being the one to do that to them, to cast that shadow over their lives. To pass on my hopelessness and despair to them.
So the question I’m left with is, to what extent should I let those fears dictate my actions? It seems like up to a point, delaying killing myself might be a sensible response. But when some threat of greater hardship inevitably arises, I should probably take the plunge. Being made homeless, or my past finally catching up with me. Serious illness, or disability. As soon as something like that appears, I should probably check out. Though it’s an open question as to whether I’ll be able to, when the time comes. I should probably prepare, so that I’m as ready as I can be.
But in the mean time…I have no idea how to go on living. I have nothing to live for. I’ve ruined my life beyond all repair. I’m just living to delay death. I feel so incredibly tired. Motivation to do anything is so hard. Nothing feels worthwhile. I’m running on fear, and nothing else. And this is as good as it gets. There’s nothing to hope for, no good outcome to fight for. There’s no happy ending, it will never be ok, and it will get worse over time. That sounds absurdly pessimistic, but I think it’s actually accurate. I just want it all to stop. But I can’t stop. To stop is effectively to die. And death still terrifies me.