What I can't understand is why suicide freaks people out. You'd think that your life is your own, and that should be a given. The state can take away your property. Hell, the state can take your life. Why are we not allowed that decision with the one thing that is truly ours?
I have a problem with young people ending their lives. Lord knows in the case of unbearable, unrelenting bullying I fully understand. I'm less sympathetic with the young woman who didn't get to be cheerleader or the young man who didn't make the varsity squad. A little perspective is needed on those. The feeling of never being treated as an equal, of things never getting better is more understandable, but I wish there could be some perspective there, too.
Currently, I'm reading Anthony Bunko's biography of actor Hugh Laurie. On page 19, Laurie is quoted,
"...it's hard to know whether your 15-year-old self is the true expression of who you are...(or) whether actually you're just a sort of pencil sketch at 15. Which is the true you?"
In college and through my 20s, I was convinced I'd never live to see 30. That was the person we couldn't trust, anyone over 30, and I didn't want to be one of those people. No one was more surprised than I on that birthday. I'm now more than twice 30, and I'm glad I didn't off myself. A lot of good things have happened to me. Still, why is it anybody's business what I chose and choose to do with my life?
Yes, I'm seeing a therapist and he knows I have "suicidal thoughts." He knows that I've come close to doing it and he knows that I currently have a plan for, as described in Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado," The Happy Dispatch. I've assured him that my departure isn't imminent. If it were, however, what's it to him? My appointment time would be quickly filled by someone. Unless therapists get demerits on their permanent record, preventing my suicide would be a "failure" that wouldn't mean all that much, I suspect.
I hate that we still haven't come to understand the rightness of assisted suicides. My mother died of cancer and was not allowed to have any big time drugs because she might become addicted. She was dying anyway...what did addiction matter? But she could not get serious pain relief nor would any physician consider helping her die with some modicum of dignity. Truly, we treat our pets more humanely than we treat each other.
I'm not facing terminal illness, at least not yet. I'm not particularly considering suicide today...or not any more than usual. But why can't I complete this post's title without people freaking out? It's my party and I'll die if I want to.