Changes: On Depression, Choices and Suicide

“I see no changes, wake up in the morning and I ask myself:
“Is life worth living? Should I blast myself?”..” – Tupac, Changes

Over the years, the topic of suicide has mostly remained taboo, with even those who choose to discuss it expressing rather mediocre feelings about it.

“Why would someone choose to do that? There’s so much to live for.”

“Suicide is selfish.”

“It’s weak.”

And for a while, I understood how they felt. I honestly to a certain degree still do. But I can’t say I share those sentiments.

One never really knows what depression feels like until they’re in it. It’s more than sadness, it’s more than not being happy at having had a bad day, it’s more than a week filled with unfortunate events.

Depression engulfs you. It leaves you feeling worthless, powerless and useless and trying to explain that to people who will only respond with a “Cheer up, look at the bright side” aggravates everything.

I stopped trying to explain it to people who would suggest that maybe I should just get high.

Maybe if I wrote about it it would be better.

Maybe I should just take a nap.

Pray about it.

Simply, cheer up.

I feel like it must be understood that if a person comes to you with certain issues, you should probably appreciate the effort it took. They reached out to you. I could just as well continue to crumble inside my own head but if I TRIED to come to you, then I probably trust you with my issues and my shame, and that’s a lot.

Depression isn’t trivial. It’s not as simple as “I’ll eat a cookie and I’ll be fine.”

For some it’s to do with chemical imbalances in the brain, hormones, trauma, but I couldn’t tell you why it happens, if it’s a combination of the three, more, or none.

All I know is it does. And most times, it’s like sitting through a very long appointment you never wanted to be there for anyway.

And suicidal thoughts come with the territory.

A couple of attempts if you’re brave or tired enough.

And when you’re going through it, you don’t give too much of a damn about everyone else. In that moment, it’s about you, and you feel like you are failing yourself, failing at Life.

Of course we take into consideration how our loved ones may feel. They’ll be hurt. But pain and grief pass. People die all the time and most of us feel and know, it’ll pass.

While discussing it with a friend the other day, I told him the only reason I hadn’t killed myself yet was because even at my lowest, I know chances are, I might just be okay one day. There’s that 7% of Hope. Sometimes, it’s not what you’re going through, it’s the fact that you’re going through it, again, that threatens to send you over the edge.

And he told me he intends to leave sometime soon.

I didn’t attempt to dissuade him.

And I’m not sure if that makes me a bad friend or whatever, but I do know this:

It’s unfair for us to keep people here who honestly cannot continue with Life. Will we miss them? Yes. I know I’m personally not prepared should he honestly decide to commit suicide but that would be a decision that he makes, for himself, regarding his Life.

It’s selfish for us to want to keep people here when most of us don’t understand how hard it is for them.

Sometimes antidepressants don’t work.

Usually, motivational books are absolute rubbish.

And no, talking about it doesn’t always help.

For some people, Life is like this:

We’ve walked into a room.  We meet a lot of people and get along with some. We go through some shit in this room. And eventually, some want to leave earlier than others. No amount of drinks or chit chat will pick up their mood.  They want to go. They may even NEED to go. And what are we to do?

I think, respect their decision, whether we like it or not.

It’s not about us at the end of the day.

And sometimes you can’t be someone’s hero.

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