Suicide

The Samaritan woman wondered if I had thought of killing myself. I have taught myself not to, and this is how.

I wanted to die, and looked longingly at buses- could I fall under one? I started thinking more seriously of it. I decided I must not hurt anyone else. It would hurt my father to know I had killed myself, so it must appear like an accident. But crashing head on, on a fast road, might kill the other driver and their passengers.

-It would be murder, she assented.

And it must be relatively quick. I could not think of a way which satisfied these three requirements, so I did not.

People regret, sometimes immediately. A procurator fiscal told me of a man who had hanged himself with sisal, then tried to loosen the knot, scratching desperately at his neck, but could not. A coroner’s assistant told me of people throwing themselves off the cliffs at the South coast, and landing on a ledge a short way down. Perhaps they broke an ankle, could not climb back up, and died of exposure. Those who survive jumping from bridges- their first thought is often to the effect What have I done!

I contemplated how I loathed killing spiders. I would if I had to, because of my arachnophobe friend, but find them fascinating and beautiful. How much more beautiful is my hand! I might hate myself and want to escape, but how could I kill something as beautiful as this organism?

In 2003, I had had enough. I decided to take painkillers, and thought they would kill me more easily, and I would become unconscious more quickly, if I washed them down with whisky. I went into the living room to get the whisky and found my bathwater dripping through the ceiling. I could not bear that. I called the landlord, who called a plumber to fix it, and when he had gone the feelings had gone away. That was my proof of the existence of God for years after. I told a friend who said, “Your guardian angel knows how you tick”.

-Yes, she said, guardian angels, God looking after us
-sometimes the synchronicities work really well.

In 2009, I was sitting in the office and decided I would kill myself. I had got sleeping pills from my GP, but they were too strong, making me feel tired all the time by day. I kept them in case I decided on suicide. I left the office at 1pm, and went home. I would lie in the bath with a mug of hot chocolate and take my pills. I got home, sat in my living room, and realised I did not want to kill myself, I just had to leave that situation there and then, immediately, without any plan of what to do next.

Since then I have realised how fiercely I want to survive. I could not kill myself. It colours my view of assisted dying. Suicide is stupid. A friend said every time the subject came up, “It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Perhaps he too had had to talk himself out of it.

berthe-morisot-girl-with-greyhound

7 thoughts on “Suicide

  1. I barely talked myself out of it. I had the option of pills or firearm. Firearm was quick and sure, but messy and I didn’t want that to be what was found. Pills would give me too much time to regret. My indecision saved me.

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    • Congratulations. Most people who talk ourselves out of it are glad of that. The real American Carnage, which Mr Trump enthusiastically supports by opposing gun control, is gun death by suicide, far more than by murder.

      What is found matters. It is not a blessed release but a sordid mess, hurting those involved, including relatives and the one who finds the victim. And terrifying, and painful, for the victim beyond the point of no return but still conscious.

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  2. First of all, I’m so happy for each outcome – for you and the rest of us! I’ll admit to having fleeting thoughts of suicide in the past, but, for all the reasons you state, I could never take them seriously. More often, and more seriously, I did consider thoughts of fleeing. I used to imagine that everything would be OK if I could just slip away to another city, where nobody would know of the person, the boy, I was so tired of trying to be. I am a procrastinator, though, so, instead of setting my life up for the escape of my dreams, I immersed myself in fulfilling the traditional dream. It only took five decades to learn that the route I had taken was really the one of escape.

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    • It is something to celebrate- I could have died, and I did not. Another time I was driving down the M74, with two Southbound lanes at the time, and the left hand lane was clogged with lorries, nose to tail at 40mph in pouring rain. I went past them on the right, and started aquaplaning. I was going at 70 and had lost control of the car. I had time to think, fairly calmly, “Now what?” before my tyres got traction again.

      We live our lives as best we can. The traditional dream has some value, even for people like us.

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      • As you’ve said, yourself, even transition can follow a traditional path. It is our uniqueness that makes following any path, traditional or not, worth living at all. Despair comes to those who become stagnant.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I relate, perhaps too much. I ride a bicycle often and often used to wish that someone would just wipe me out with their car. About a year ago I had what I thought was a foolproof plan, to sedate myself to an extent where, if I decided to go through with it or not, I’d have that option. Well, I fell asleep and awoke, needing to rush to work for a conference call with European customers. I fell asleep during the call and awoke sitting in my office chair to a dial tone. I went home and my wife found me asleep in bed in mid-morning. She insisted I inform my therapist which i did, who insisted that I follow up with a psychiatrist or face hospitalization.

    I was lucky, very. I think my suicide attempt told me, my wife, and my therapist how serious my conundrum was. So much has happened since then. I’m divorced which is tragic for both of us. But I’m also now on a explorational journey to find where under the transgender umbrella I am. It’s very scary, still, not knowing. I am trying to be gentle with myself. But I’m also pushing forward.

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