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Painted Brain | Suicide And Selfishness
We're bridging communities and changing the conversation about mental illness using arts and media.
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  • admin
  • August 29, 2015

Suicide and Selfishness

“Suicide is so selfish” “Suicide is appalling” “How can somebody do that to their friends and family?”

Let me tell you how…

So many people say suicide is selfish, but I’m going to challenge that.

Is it possible and perhaps even probable that the individual saying “Suicide is selfish” is demonstrating a side of self-serving propaganda (no matter how small) for lack of a better term? Is not their reasoning behind it their own fear of being left with an emptiness, a longing to be with that loved one, to spend more time together, create memories together and go through life together? Chances are that the individual claiming that suicide is a selfish act has never experienced the depths of darkness and overwhelming hopelessness that seem to know no end, and thank God they haven’t because I wouldn’t wish such pain, torture, and suffering on my worst enemy.

To say suicide is selfish is a preposterous idea to me. Someone that is contemplating suicide isn’t thinking, “I wonder how this will make my friends and family feel?” They’re desperate for a way out of the pain they are experiencing. Coming from someone who once felt that suicide was her only option to escape from the pain, I’m asking that all of you show a bit of grace and understanding.

There are 2 types of voices.

I’m still here today because there were people who told me I was worth it, who told me they loved me, and not to quit before I find out what it’s all for.

These were my “Voice Number Ones.”

But then there were the “Voice Number Twos,” the people who said that “Suicide is selfish.” People I call “Voice Number Twos” said things to me, such as “You’re selfish! Dramatic! Doing it for attention! If you mean it, then do it already. Everyone would be better off without you. You’re causing a scene. Get over it. You are crazy! Mind over matter. You’re a pathetic excuse of a human being.”

Luckily, in my case, the voices of love were louder.

…so my challenge to you is this: Can you be someone’s “Voice Number One?” Can you be the voice of love, one that drowns out the voices of worthlessness and hopelessness?

Perhaps this is the very reason I’m able to love people without restraint, and why I feel things so deeply. Could this be one of the breeding grounds for empathy? With great suffering may come understanding and connectedness, the ability to love as deeply as one formerly experienced pain. The capacity for love is even greater, not only to understand how others feel, but to feel what others feel as well. It is a blessing and a curse. As much as I struggle with depression, I am learning to embrace aspects of it, because with that pain comes beauty and with that darkness comes light. It took so long for me to realize these things.

I am a human like you, so before you see me as my diagnosis, know that my diagnosis is a PART of me, but it is NOT me. MY NAME IS SAMANTHA, not Depression, Anxiety, or ADHD. I am a daughter, a sister, and a friend. My diagnosis does not define me.

Samantha Nelson is a feeling and compassionate human being, and this is her first contribution to Painted Brain News.

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