Recently CBC ran an article on the right to die, which included a brief discussion on mental illness. I have long been an advocate of the right to die for the mentally ill and was happy to see that this was finally being talked about as frankly as it was. I understand that this is a difficult topic but it’s one I think we need to discuss.
I don't want to go any further without first saying that even as someone who believes in the right to die, I find it incredibly tragic to hear about suicides in young people and any suicide that seemed to occur impulsively. So I want to say two things right off the bat; first, if you're reading this and you're a teen or even in your early twenties, I can't promise you it will get better, but I can tell you that you're in phase of your life where there is going to be immense change. Who knows where that change might lead; it's worth fighting for. Secondly, whatever age you are, if you've reached the point that you don't want to go on anymore, you owe it to yourself to do everything you can to get better first. I know for myself, feeling like I'm ready to end has been a gift of sorts; I am now free to do anything I want. If you're ready to go, there is no reason you can't do the crazy thing you've always dreamt of but never could. I would at least do that before choosing to end it. Why not?
I’ve recently gone through some very traumatic experiences that have greatly altered the course of my life. It affected every aspect of my life and I now really have nothing. I know that anything can happen in life; I could win the lottery, or finally be discovered and become a Hollywood star (my mama always said I was very handsome and should be an actor) but you reach a point in your life where there are realistic outcomes and as we get older, that realm of possibility diminishes. I’m faced with the very stark reality of where I am in the world and the unlikelihood of ever having what I want (and no, it’s not millions or starring opposite Jennifer Lawrence, though that would be nice). But it’s not just longing for something more, it’s the pain I feel every day.
In an average day, I cycle through embarrassment, humiliation, severe anxiety that leaves me shaking, the depths of sadness, and on the worst of days, rage (there is nothing worse than being angry; I hate it more than anything else). The good days are the days I get to cry, it gives me some relief, but it happens less and less. I find that crying is more difficult when I can’t really imagine anyone else caring, and I seldom do anymore. I don’t like it if I’m making noise watching something on my laptop, or cooking, or cleaning and one of my neighbours is in the hall of my apartment building. They can hear me easily then, and it makes me feel terrible; they know I exist and I don’t want them to know. I just want to hide and be forgotten. It’s not even enough to die, because I can’t take back all the life that came before, every moment of it haunts me and won’t go away.
I’m currently doing everything I can and is economically feasible. I see two therapists (both temporarily), a psychiatrist, and my family doctor is wonderful and well informed of my situation. I’m trying medication, of course, and never miss a dose. I wonder how much of this is being “sick” and how much is just the reality of the circumstances of my life, but I’m trying anyway.
I simply can’t function in the world anymore. While I am willing to give it more time, I am coming to a point that the only thought that calms me down is the thought of ending it all. I wish I could do that without traumatizing the person who finds my body, I wish I could donate my organs, I wish I didn’t have to risk pain or brain damage, and I wish my decision could just be respected.
I wish I had something more profound and interesting to say, but it’s all just grey these days, and maybe that’s the way to end this.