Each day I ask myself ‘Why aren’t you ending your life?’ What I tend to come up with is some combination of subconscious survival instinct and fear. As long as I’m alive, there’s a theoretical chance I might reproduce. And additionally, I’m terrified of what might follow death. Although I tend to presume it’s nothing, it’s still essentially a leap into the unknown.
So, the next question is ‘Are those good reasons not to do it?’ To which the answer is generally ‘No.’ I have no intention of ever starting a family, so maintaining my theoretical ability to pass on my genes is utterly pointless. And whatever waits beyond death, I’ll inevitably have to face it at some point. So why delay?
Well, I do have family who I believe would be devastated by my ending it (especially my mother.) I tell myself that I couldn’t do that to them – putting them in the position of getting the call, having to ID the body, hold a funeral, grieve. It might well ruin what remains of their lives. They are far more invested in my wellbeing than I deserve. So perhaps it’s worth continuing on with this dreary, zombie existence in order to spare them that.
On the other hand, it’s not like I care that much about their feelings the rest of the time. I’m generally pretty selfish and narcissistic, which is probably part of why I ended up where I did. And as long as I’m alive I’ll probably continue to cause them stress and shame. So perhaps it would be better for them to draw a line under it – maybe they’d eventually be able to move on from it. If I’m going to do it at some point, perhaps it’s better now than when they’re elderly and infirm and less able to cope.
I don’t know. I don’t really have a clue what I’m still doing here. I’m alive because of habit and fear of the alternative. Even if I were to decide that I was ready to end it, I don’t know whether I have it in me. It’s this miserable no man’s land where I’m not dead yet but not really living either.