I Attempted Suicide & I’m Not Sure It Was Wrong

It was just after Thanksgiving. My head was pounding, and I was freezing as my feet hit the pavement running.

My parents had gone to my grandma’s house for leftover turkey and dressing. I stayed home, eager for the time to myself.

While they were enjoying their family dinner, I took a bottle of Tylenol: 350 capsules. It didn’t help matters much that I had taken a muscle relaxant from my mother’s collection.

I wasn’t suicidal.

I had a migraine from running.

At least, that is the story I told.

By the time my boyfriend found me, my body temperature had dropped, my lips were blue and I was freezing.

I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

When I was 15, medical professionals tried to tell me that it was “depressive disorder.” Even then, I knew better.

While on Facebook, some days, just viewing my profile can cost me an entire day or a few hours. It’s one day one minute, and the next minute, it’s Tuesday.

The days just disappear and so do the hours. Facebook regularly prompts me to update my profile and poses this question:

What are some of your favorite memories?

I should mention . . .

I also have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

As an adult, I have learned that extensive physical and emotional trauma have conditioned my brain to a specific, organized, way of thinking.

Some days, it feels like it did the same to my emotions.

I couldn’t tell you exactly what at the time, but something changed just before I started seventh grade. I stopped going by my first name. I adamantly went by my middle name and became verbally aggressive if challenged otherwise.

Please, call me, ‘Grace.’

I also took a creative writing class that year. When we returned from Spring break, we were assigned a writing project prompted with this question:

What was the favorite part of your Spring break with your family?

In tears and confused, I approached the teacher’s desk and quietly whispered that I had nothing special to tell about my Spring break.

Quite the opposite, in fact.

I can’t remember what happened that year. There were many hard years. My counselor tells me,

We have a way of blocking the hard parts out.

I’d like to know what she considers as hard. 

The teacher told me to write about any happy memory with my family instead. On that day, I realized I didn’t have any happy memories—not one.

Not that I never had any happy moments, that is just how my mind works.

Ethics

As a teenager, if had succeeded in taking my own life, would the decision have been ethical? Would it have been right or wrong? After all, I was the victim of an abusive culture and upbringing, innocent in my youth and my thinking.

I was a child.

If mental health did not play a role, but rather a pure response to real trauma, would you tell a child he/she is selfish for escaping abuse the only way the child knew how or does the abuse give a logical and acceptable justification to suicide?

Physician-assisted Suicide is legal in the Netherlands, currently being determined in Canada, and moderately approved (with restrictions) across the United States. According to the American Medical Association:

Physician-assisted suicide occurs when a physician facilitates a patient’s death by providing the necessary means and/or information to enable the patient to perform the life-ending act (eg, the physician provides sleeping pills and information about the lethal dose, while aware that the patient may commit suicide.)

If the physical need for an escape from pain or the fear of the pain that is coming is an ethical justification for suicide, then, wouldn’t the same be valid in the case of a teenager escaping physical abuse or other trauma?

If suicide is justifiable for any reason, what gives anyone the authority to govern who and who does not deserve to choose if they live or die?

If an adult, undergoing extensive medical treatment for a terminal condition, can choose to end his/her own life at will, why would an adult undergoing daily pain and torment not also deserve that same right?

Wouldn’t it be “ethical” to determine that is for the greater good of all who are hurting to cease suffering, if possible?

The problem is human nature. It makes the majority believe that the method by which death is achieved is not moral. 

I would by lying to say that I am not torn on the topic. Losing a loved one to suicide feels like a shock to the heart. It feels like an injustice, like a life was stolen.

A close friend who lived in my neighborhood was shot in the head during the summer of 1996. His name was Michael Lime. At first, they tried to claim it was suicide. Then, there was rumor and speculation of murder. In the end, it was chalked off to boys playing with guns.

But nobody really knows because we don’t talk about it.

Why do we fight against the justification, ethical theory and legality, of suicide being socially acceptable?

Morals.

If we determine and declare that suicide is an acceptable way of dying, what message do we send our children, friends and family, when they reach out during that moment when life feels like too much?

In those moments, we want to send one message:

Choose life!

So, we declare it unethical, immoral, sinful, selfish and crazy. But is it?

To want to escape something unreal, unimaginable and unbearably painful, is that unethical? Is that wrong?

I’m not sure, but I choose life and every good or bad day it may bring.

I choose life.


Suicide Prevention

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52 thoughts on “I Attempted Suicide & I’m Not Sure It Was Wrong

  1. Having lost both of my parents to suicide, I’d say the entire subject is a slippery slope. My mom battled severe, undiagnosed depression (and a miserable, lonely childhood) while my dad decided to end things after a diagnosis of lung cancer. He chose to spare my sister and I the suffering he’d endured while watching his mother die of the same illness. Our society stigmatizes both depression and suicide, though, I have to say that in the last few years, people are beginning to be more compassionate. Is it the right choice? Who is to say when and where it is right. Is living better? Again, who am I to say whether it’s the best choice for someone else? All I can say is, if that’s the choice you feel you need to make, be sure you understand that it isn’t reversible. I’d ask anyone considering suicide, either assisted or otherwise, to be as sure as they can be that they have no other option.

    You are very brave to share your pain and confusion with us like this. I’m grateful you chose life so you could be here to teach the rest of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Grace, I have to say that you are an amazing person. You have been through so much but you still keep going and are here for others. You do what you can to help others and support them in there time of need. You have helped me see the bright side of things when I was down. I love you my dear friend and am grateful that you are in my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • But that is an opinion.

      The belief that there is a “god” is purely faith-based. And, if life is a game, then, why do we place it at such a high value?

      What is the difference in choosing to end your life, rather than live in pain and misery, and having life taken from you while you are living?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Choosing to end your life is a very painful decisions and it should never be taken in consideration. Suicide doesn’t take away the pain, it gives it to someone else who is close to you, like friends and family.
        Life cannot be taken from you because you are the representative of your own self. You need to understand the situation and keep the stuffs close which makes you happy and let go of what do not matters.
        Your happiness is a priority to yourself and you need to remember that life is a phase of tough and good times.

        Like

      • Just as one could argue that it is selfish of someone to not think of the emotional damage he/she will inflict upon his/her friends and family, one could also argue that it is selfish of any person to feel justified in telling a cancer patient that has been sentenced to a terminal battle he/she does not have the right to avoid inevitable pain and suffering.

        Most of us want them to be able to avoid that. So, we make suicide acceptable.

        Hospice. “End of life care.”

        “The patient refuses to stop taking medicine.”

        Did you know, in a psych ward, if you refuse to stop taking medicines, they can force you?

        “For your own good.”

        But, if you’re sick enough, we make an exception. We give it a special label even.

        “Physician-Assisted.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Grace, what I can say is that Suicide or offering pain to your own self if not a solution..!
        You need to understand that.. someone needs to understand you and help you in dealing with the pain you are suffering with.
        Life is tough but you need to show your positive character to fight against this battle. 🙂

        Like

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