a word on darkness

Warning – this post discusses dark and dangerous topics, especially suicide and its motivations. I urge you to carefully consider this warning and not to read if this could upset you.

The thing about life, is that it is supposed to hurt. If it doesn’t hurt you aren’t doing it right. Or rather, if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong, but you’re learning from your mistakes, which is what life is about.

But so many people get caught up in pain, because it’s such a strong and overpowering feeling at times. It’s terrifyingly easy to forget that there is much, much more to life than that! Life is an eternal balancing act. And when you get right down to it, what do we live for but the paralysing beauty that is so powerful and moving that our faces crumple and we are reduced to tears? The world in which we live is so full of this unending beauty that I fear we could surely die just from exposure to it! And that’s the precise moment when I know that I’m broken, that I’ve had too much to drink, too little sleep. When I just sit and cry for the perfection of the world and fear that I’ll shatter against such a bright light.

This is what my mind is like – at it’s good end.

It is irrational and it is beautiful and it is terrifying.

And I cling to it in complete terror and in the knowledge that such a wondrous feeling of clarity will soon be gone, stolen for who knows how long? Replaced by darkness, the other end of the scale, the polar opposite to joy, clarity, understanding, peace.

What comes after is pain, fear, self-doubt, anger. What comes after is a raw desire for the end. A complete conviction that the world conspires against you, that you are not meant to be here, that you are nothing, worthless. It takes effort – more effort than imaginable – to hold on, to stay in the world.

And then there is numbness. You’ve burnt all your joy and wonder, you’ve burnt all your despair. There is nothing left and you are hollow. There is no colour and there is no motivation. There are only whatever routines you have built for yourself, whatever safety nets you have put in place. You are utterly alone and only your past self, the version of you who took it upon themself in a moment of a clarity to look out for this version of you they knew would come, is keeping you alive. Only they are guiding you through the day. Without them you would surely fall.

Every iteration of this cycle is a terrible risk. I can only pray that the cycle will not collapse or become too unbalanced. I have no control, only the best safety measures that I can put in place. I know in my heart that if the cycles were to spiral out of control, my safety measures would not be enough, and I fear so much that this eventuality will come to pass.

People often say that they do not understand the motivations behind suicide. That is because sometimes there are none. Sometimes, people simply lose the battle with life. And sometimes it is a horrible choice, between that and something worse. I think, what if my cycles between joy and misery fluctuated instead towards hatred and violence? If I was afraid I could hurt someone, if I could lose my head and kill someone? I would take my own life over that risk. I would rather die a selfish coward than a monster, and a murderer.  When proper control over your actions is a luxury you were not granted in life, I cannot blame anyone for taking control in the only way they can.

I went to a funeral for a young man who took his own life and I couldn’t get over the fact that everyone was so angry. Yes, I agree that the loss of that young and brilliant life was indeed sad, that there was a lot of potential for good from him! But, if he was in the process of losing a losing battle with himself, if he was on the brink of deviating from that brilliant and good path that he had set himself on, I simply could not see his decision as a waste. If the bad that he prevented outweighed the bad that he caused by his actions…

Yes, life is precious and a wonderful gift and it should be fought for and preserved! But we should not be blind to situations where life should be relinquished. We should not blame and shame the people who have to make the decisions without considering their unvoiced struggles. Life is so individual. And we must all individually face our own battles and make our own choices.

My heart breaks for everyone who is brave enough to be true to themselves.



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