“Suicide Is Painless … ?”
The theme song from the 1960’s (60’s – 70’s) sitcom “Mash” went something like.
“Suicide is painless,
It brings on many changes.”
Of course, this is a stupid statement, but then I believe it was meant to be a stupid statement. To-ho-tally inspired by the irony of a stupid war, stupid human enforced violence and tragedy. Stupid wars, as a tradition we have continued in this country since the Korean Conflict.
But still, is suicide painless? How the hell would anyone know? You can’t ask anyone who has successfully accomplished suicide. They’re dead! How are they going to tell you? You can ask somebody who failed at it. “Woah, dude! Did that hurt?” “Yeah, it fucking hurt! I just shot myself in the fucking head! Yeah it hurt!!!! It still fucking hurts!!!”
The greatest tragedy is that to say it’s painless is actually more of a narcissistic statement – outlook – than common thought would embrace. For the dead guy, suicide is now painless. That person can’t feel anything. But, as is also obvious, everyone else who had any contact with that person is very painfully affected. For the family, the formerly loved ones, it hurts like a bastard! It hurts with a pain that never ever goes away. And “the changes” it “brings on” are a continuous state of pain, regret, despair, depression, anxiety, self-recrimination – the inventory of pain is endless. And permanent!
But nobody talks about the blame. Or, when they do, this takes on a vengeful note. A condemnation of someone. The person who killed themselves is a sinner who will burn in Hell! The spouse, parents, friends – somebody must pay!!! What I wonder is “Why?” “Why do we have to have a scapegoat?” Not, “there’s a problem here. We need to … maybe … find a solution?” And, “This should not happen?” Oh no, we must assign blame.
Thing is, no one can know what it is like to walk on one leg, unless they loose a leg. You can imagine it, sure, but what it is really like to try to walk on a prosthetic limb is something you can only know with the imperial evidence. Who do you blame when you fall into that black lightless cave of depression and despair? Really? Have you been there? I know when it happens to me, and it does happen to me not infrequently, I don’t blame anyone or anything, I just want to get out of that cave. And, in the past, I was never in a right mindedness (rational enough) to think, or even care, how I got out of it. I just wanted the fuck out!
The judgementality of other people only makes it worse. Much, much, much worse. The brain, in such pain, knows no rationality and it does resent all the insincere, phony sympathy. Sometimes the brain in pain violently resents phony sympathy. Brain is shrieking, “Just make it stop!” What to do? How to help? Simply? “Shine a light into the cave.” Don’t try to yank the afflicted out of the cave. Most likely you will get bitten or clawed. Simply shine a light into the darkness with – maybe – a smile or a kind nonjudgmental word or gesture and allow time and space for the afflicted to react and respond as they are able; can find the strength to extract themselves.
And, make the greatest attempt to understand that what might seem rational or intelligent or appropriate are conditions that do not exist in these circumstances. Do not expect those things. They do not apply. In the case of being the one afflicted, “Faith that nothing BUT nothing is forever for the living. “ The only thing that is forever, is death. So … if you don’t take away your own life, things will eventually change. And, hold on to that factual knowledge like it is a floating log in a class five rapids. Whatever you do, don’t let go of that log and eventually you will float to calmer waters and can climb out of the fucking river.
In the cave, just sit down and wait for the light. When you see it, crawl towards it.