reconsidering the right to die

For the past decade, I have believed in the right to die – if you want to die, you have the right to do so and nobody else has the right to make you live. Committing suicide is your choice, and nobody has the right to make that decision for you. I quote Rebecca Wait, author of one of my favourite books, The View on The Way Down:

Because he wanted to die. Because he was ill and didn’t believe he’d ever get better. Because it was his choice. Not mine. Not my parents’. We’d have chosen to keep him with us. Of course we would. But it wasn’t up to us.

But then, I see this post on Pinterest:

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I look back at my suicide attempts. The first time I was hospitalised, I’ll admit that I doubt I would’ve gone through with it. But the second time, I was going to. I was prepared with a plan, packets of pills in my bag, lies to tell, and blades in my wallet. My last suicide attempt landed me in A&E to get my stomach pumped. I was rather close to death. I was furious that the people around me didn’t let me die. I got angry every time somebody told me that suicide was selfish. Which is more selfish – leaving the world behind, or making somebody stay in a world whereby every waking moment is agony?

People often say that those who attempt suicide don’t want to die; they want the pain to stop. While I did want the pain to stop, I also wanted to die. Even if it would get better, I didn’t care. I wanted to die.

Since 2012, things have gotten better for me. Yes, I’m currently going through what is my worst relapse thus far. But at the same time, I’m the happiest I have ever been (perhaps I shall explain in my next post). And, at the same time, I am able to distinguish between myself and depression. I still get the thought “I want to die”, but I know that I don’t mean it. I know that that’s depression talking. However, the line blurs at times, and I want to cut. I haven’t cut in a little over half a year, by the way. *cue praises*

What if, just maybe, it was depression telling me I wanted to die all along? Not everybody who wants to die has depression, but I wonder – what if the ones who want to kill themselves are being controlled by something else that has overpowered and overwhelmed them so much, that they cannot resist?

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