I've concluded that the most important question to ask oneself is whether to commit suicide or to stay alive. As said by famous philosopher Albert Camus, suicide is “the one truly serious philosophical problem”. The same sentiments are uttered in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as a famous line says: “to be or not to be”. Taking these examples, it seems like there is a small niche of general consensus that contemplating suicide is incredibly essential to figuring out, or at least developing, a purpose in one's life.
From personal experience, I would say that in most cases in which an individual chooses to say yes to suicide, he is not in a clear state of mind. His emotions are caught in the fog of negative thinking. During the weeks leading up to the moment one contemplates suicide, it can usually be observed that the person chose a continuous cognitive diet of intense negative thinking. During this time, one cannot look at life and love it, nor look at oneself with love and admiration. With the absence of love, the fire maintaining the drive to continue life slowly wisps away and dies out.
The reason I mention all of this is because I recently have been re-introduced to the 2017 controversy surrounding the show 13 Reasons Why. Controversy arose from viewers being concerned by how the show depicted suicide and self-harm, as many were worried as to how it could influence younger viewers into romanticizing such dark and destructive topics.
Personally, I find the show to cheapen the actual matters concerning mental health. You can find all the reasons as to why I think this in Nitpix’s Video The Insult of '13 Reasons Why’. Many unhealthy misconceptions are taught about suicide through the show. The one misconception that strikes me the most though, is the fact that the show teaches victimhood. Yet, despite all of this, the show is a blessing in my eyes. Through the hype and popularity of 13 Reasons Why, the show bridged a path for society to arrive safely at a place in which speaking about mental health and suicide become more acceptable.
As odd as it sounds, there is a sanctity in suicide. Having been someone who successfully failed five separate attempts, I know very intimately the process- and even the path taken- to develop moments that have an individual contemplating, not only his own death, but the very act of forcing his willful body to stop its ultimate purpose: to keep going.
In order to explain myself, I need to state first that an individual will only succeed in life when they confront their own inevitable death. Time is fleeting, even at a pace quicker than one would think. When one notices the fragility of his own life, he either;
A.) Handles it with great care.
B.) Decides to think instead- that since death is the ultimate destination, and nothing essentially matters because of this, he allows himself to seep into his own body and mind- until eventually, he becomes a depressed, living corpse. And naturally, when there is a corpse in an environment, people start the process of burying it. Following this logic, one would begin to prepare their own burial when they find themselves to be depressed.
It is very easy to slip into the latter. Being someone who was initially an instinctive negative thinker, I can emphasize with, and at times, still believe the second sentiment. But I have two responses when I find myself slipping into this mindset.
1.) Death is the final destination- but this is useless information to apply in everyday life. As a very notable meme says; The journey is the destination. One does not listen to music to arrive at the end of a composition. People have listened to music for hundreds of years to be immersed in the richness and beauty of hearing sound at play.
2.) Even if we die at the end of this process, would you rather enjoyably prance to your final place of rest, or dread each step as you slowly walk into a hole in the ground?
I know this is some strange advice- but walk to your grave as a shining bride gently marches in assurance to her betrothed. Walk as she does- in complete excitement to share a life with him. One cannot build the foundation of a happy marriage on the rubble of two half-assed lives. Both partners must be completely independent and immersed in their own lives before successfully merging into each other. Death is involved with all of life, so be immersed completely in your own in order to happily meet him at the end of your life. In the end, you’ll look back at a beautiful and vivid flashing of memories of what once was. If you currently cannot be immersed with any aspect of your life, venture forth and find something to be immersed with. This is the duty of each man.
Ultimately, when one starts to contemplate suicide, it is because he chose to arrive at that mindset. He chose to think in ways that exaggerated, amplified and highlighted the irritations and woes he noticed throughout his days. (My friend Kai says depression is a lot like obesity. People do not become obese overnight. People become obese and depressed overtime due to the habits they develop from choices they take every day). Positive thinking is the ambrosia of the everyday human.
There is something else though.
The tricky thing is, we must recognize how society contributes to the death of an individual.
We all individually contribute to how everyone- in a global or rural community- experiences society. Sometimes we enact war. At certain times in history, we have killed others simply because their skin color was different from ours. Other times, nations develop lifestyle habits that cut short on the lives of many within the nation.
I mention this because suicide is often a micro example of how certain societal illnesses manifest. I believe the stark rise in deaths from suicide during the Great Depression is a great example of this. I do not believe it would a naive statement to say that those who suffer from depression are often sensitive. We must listen to the sensitive and their worries. They are the canaries in the coal mines. Sensitive people are the ones alerting the world about the toxin's humans create in their small atmospheres, whether they be environmental, emotional, or societal.
Each of one of us is sensitive in certain ways. Everyone suffers from life in some way or another. We must realize we are not alone suffering, and in essence, seek out the ways in which we can help ourselves and our community cope with suffering. Our destiny is rooted in what pains us. Seek your purpose in what pains you.
There is a sanctity in suicide, as it showcases how we must balance between lightening our own burdens by taking responsibility for our own happiness and taking the steps to care for each other by aiding to the wounds others may not be able to heal on their own.