A Case for Suicide


I’m scared of everything all the time. I live like I’m not, but I am. On the outside I act like most everyone else. I have a family, a job, and most days are filled and hectic. I wrap myself in the kids, in my writing, my marriage, and though there is joy and wonder, fear is always looming, and suffocating.

The pervasive awareness that life is short and fragile makes living, loving risky. I’m afraid to become attached to anything because everything is temporary. But it isn’t only death and all things related that scare me. It goes way beyond just me and my time. I fear for my kids, and their kids, reminded daily on the evening news of humanities frailties by the infractions we inflict. I’m afraid of people. Just scratch the surface and we are all fatally flawed. I’m scared of myself. I’ve proven to be reckless with my body and mind, lied to myself to continue bad behavior, and rationalized away reality to protect my ego.

I realize most people don’t live like me. They engage themselves in their daily lives and move through their time paying little heed to extraneous abstractions unless they are thrust into harsh situations that require scrutiny. Only then do they consider fear as something more than background noise. Only when fear has them by the throat and they’re gasping for a breath of hope do they understand how I live everyday.

It’s exhausting living like this, but I don’t know how to be different. I cannot block out baseline realities like we are mortal, people are fundamentally self-serving, making most inherently unreliable, as I am, even to myself. Since I believe in no god/s, and have faith in no one, I can find no ground. It constantly feels like I’m falling. I’ve tried countless psychotherapies, as well as prescribed and acquired chemistry, but I cannot shut down fear.

The only thing I know will kill the fear is death.

That’s what makes suicide such a viable and practical option.

6 comments:

J. Cafesin said...

Please note: This piece is not about me. It is a composite of how one might feel to rationalize suicide.

Bob said...

Provocative but off the mark psychologically. As a writer who struggles with depression and deals with it through understanding, I thought about writing my own short, using yours as a prompt. I still may.

I would suggest that an excellent and more appropriate name would be "An Alcoholics Case for One More Drink"

cygnetbrown said...

I like the elements that you have here, the fear and the idea that this person doesn't fit in but I think what's missing is the hopelessness. Also the idea that this person has tried to DO better but to no avail. A depressed person doesn't give up without at least trying to make an effort.There's some conflict within the depressed person that they just can't get away from except through suicide and I don't see this aspect displayed in the article.

I worked for six years on psychiatric wards and worked four years in Drug and Alcohol Rehab.

Linda Armstrong said...

The character seems a little young to have a wife and kids. This particular rationale is more common in teens. More than depression, it reflects an unrealistic desire to be in control, i.e. if I am going to die, dxmn it, I want to choose where and when. This is understandable when you remember how many changes boys and girls must undergo in only a few years. So much is beyond their control, and even their parents are usually confused (winks)
Teens also tend to think that they are unique. Older people usually know that, alas, they are not.

Alcasa said...

An interesting piece and done with a good faith effort to capture the essence of depression, however, it is obvious the author has not ever suffered with the "black dog" - Winston Churchill's name for depression.

Fear and hopelessness do exist in a depressed person's mind. So does panic, self loathing, exhaustion, pain - both physical and mental as well as if the thought that if there were to be a change in the way you feel, it would be for the worse.

Suicide can seem to be the only escape from being chased by the black dog!

Thank you for a thought provoking discussion.

WritersSecret said...

Enjoyable read...and timely...fits in with the book I'm reading: When Misery is Company by Anne Katherine.