The Tragedy of Suicide

Suicide.

The act of killing yourself because you do not want to continue living, according to Miriam Webster dictionary.

Killing one’s self.

There are so many ways to kill yourself. People often ask why. We rarely find any answer, we barely understand it.

It’s a complex issue that most people often mistake as a simple scenario where a person just snapped and offed himself or herself.

It’s not.

People must understand that it is not a snap decision. Call it selfish, call it cowardly, but it is not impulsive. It doesn’t happen right away, it happens over time. It must be realized that it could have been prevented. It should have been prevented.

I do not support suicide, but I also do not want to condemn those who committed it or thought about doing it.

I cannot and do not speak for others, I only speak for myself. I believe that it is natural to fear death, because there is the fear of the unknown. If a person starts to fear living more than dying, then I believe that it is an indication that there is something severely wrong.

Countless of times I have wondered why was I born, and most of the time I wish I could just disappear. Sometimes the desire is so great, yet I am aware that I cannot do it. I cannot kill myself, because I know it is wrong. I remember wishing for death so badly. Shame filled my body at that time, because I know it is wrong, yet I wanted to die. The desire and inability to fulfill the desire caused a lot of dissonance within me. I felt devastated. My doctor asked me why I felt that way. I could only cry, because I could not pinpoint a single event that made me wish it. A lot of things happened, and I couldn’t tell which of them triggered me.

A lot of people would do everything in order to stay alive. I know. They know. That’s even more painful, because we already know it’s wrong and yet we somehow still wish to die. When people try to prevent them from doing it by adding even more guilt and pressure, I would believe that it is very counter-productive.

There are others who romanticize suicide. Stop it. It is not beautiful. It is saddening. It is not the way to send a message, it is not the way to ask for help. There are others who criticize the person who died. Stop it. Some people say that it is a form of victim blaming, and I agree with them. There are ways to stop it, and you are not helping by criticizing it. Give ways to help people who are alive right now, who are contemplating committing it right now. Help by doing what you think should be done. Read up on mental health and illnesses, try to understand it. Try to understand people.

Empathy and compassion goes a long way. Lend an ear to a stranger, give a hug to a friend. Say a good word here and there. Those little things mean a lot in the long run.

It has to be understood and realized that sometimes, they aren’t enough, that professional help is required. The stigma against mental health has taken and ruined a lot of lives. It could have been prevented, it should have been prevented, and yet here we are in our society where people die because of their own hands.

Some would say that suicide is caused by lack of faith in God. In Islam, suicide is condemned. I don’t want to judge, for I believe God has the final say in everything, and indeed He even provided a prayer against suicide.

“Oh Allah, keep me alive until life is good for me and give me death when that is the better for me” [Bukhari, Muslim]

But not everyone has the luxury and blessing of faith. Sometimes, it just get really difficult. That is why realizing and accepting that mental health has to be taken care of is very important.

I dedicate this post to Chester Bennington, who I do not know personally, but his songs have touched my life in ways I cannot describe. He was an artist who spoke from the heart. There is both a tragedy and irony in his works. The world has listened but did not understand.

This is also for all the people who have thought of doing it, and still does.

To all the people suffering out there, there are those who still care, if we could only just reach out.

And you’re angry, and you should be, it’s not fair
Just ’cause you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it, isn’t there

If they say
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In the sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
Or quicker, quicker

Who cares if one more light goes out?

Well I do

Help other people, and at the very least, please help yourself.

Always at the Crossroads

Last year, 2016, I was at the crossroads. I couldn’t enroll in my current law school because of certain complications and I was forced to decide whether to continue studying law or not.

I find it funny, that I find myself waiting and trying to decide again whether to continue with it or not. I thought it was over. I thought I just had to look forward and move, but I hit another dead-end. It’s like a game that I keep on playing, with my character that keeps on getting beat up and dying. After that the screen is asking “do you want to continue? yes or no” with ten seconds left before automatically making a choice for me.

Life is like that, isn’t it? It’s a game. A series of choices that would lead you to somewhere. Some people know where that somewhere is, I don’t.

I’m in danger of trashing my lawyer dream once again. I can’t help but laugh bitterly as I ask myself what is it with me that I keep on failing. Is it really not for me? Is this a sign? Is it a punishment for believing that I could do it when I clearly cannot do it?

The other day, our professor talked to us after we chased after him to plead our case. He said no of course, then after that he went on to lecture us about life, about how we could find other things to do, that what happened to us was not fatal and we should stop if it’s really not for us then it’s not, that what we did was undignified. He said a lot of things that were pretty inspiring and at the same time annoying. Annoying because I already knew them, annoying because some of what he said were untrue.

I don’t know what happened this semester. I have no one to blame but myself. I can’t help but feel disgust every time I am reminded of my disorder that the society doesn’t acknowledge, and they even consider it as just a part of imagination. I hate using my disorder as my excuse, but I also hate knowing that it may be imaginary for other but it is real for me and it may have stopped me from living fully once again. I hate that I forgot that I have it, that I couldn’t control it to save myself. Most of all, I hate having it.

I hate how I tried so hard to save others, that I forgot to save myself. I hate the feeling of resentment that I have against the people that I have helped when they succeed and I don’t. I hate the feeling of disgust and self-hatred when I know I have no right to feel such emotions. They didn’t ask for it, I gave it. Willingly. I hate it, I hate it so much, thinking how my doctor and others would berate for giving too much while receiving almost nothing at all. I hate being normally self-contradicting.

I didn’t help them because I wanted to be paid back. I help people because I want to, because it makes me feel better, because it distracts from how much of a failure I am. It doesn’t hurt that they don’t appreciate me or say thank you, but it helps to feel appreciated. It hurts me when I ask myself why am I such a failure, and what did I do wrong? It hurts to hear people say and point at me, making me as an example of why people shouldn’t be too kind. I don’t understand this thing, about being too kind when in my mind I’m just being a decent human being. Isn’t it sad that most people nowadays would applaud nice acts like it isn’t expected and normal?

Now I don’t know what to do. I know what I want to do, but we don’t always get what we want right? Like I said, I’m at the crossroads again. Life is just really tiring. I guess I’m just a perpetually exhausted pigeon, not that phoenix that I fancy myself to be rising from the ashes.

Law school and life has beaten me again, and again, and again. The question is: will I continue?

I want to, oh how much I sincerely want to that it makes me want to vomit. I value this opportunity so much, and I know how much blessed I am with this privilege, more so than anyone else because of my experience. Last year, I have felt bitterness when I heard of people quitting and wasting the opportunity they were given.

I guess it’s karma that I might become the people I have resented. I am just so tired and exhausted. More than that, I don’t know how much I can take anymore. I have been pushing since day one, and I want to do more. I want to give more but I feel myself burning out, I have burned out.

I don’t think my friends and family realize, how I think that if I choose to continue it would be too selfish of me. I want to stop not only because I’m tired but because it costs too much. It’s expensive, the tuition, the time, the medicine if I want to keep my sanity, and all other costs I have not accounted yet.

Yet, I still want to continue. I still want to try. I still want to ask God, God is this for me? God will you let me? God please?

I have been asked by my parents previously to stop. I can’t describe how much it hurt, how much it pained me to hear those words from them, because it merely enforced the idea that what I did, what I’m doing is selfish, and that I can’t do it.

Despite that, I still want to try, to see where I could go. Despite being berated by our professor for our actions, I don’t regret anything. I felt happy that we tried. We had our closure for that certain subject. People don’t know how much I am glad, that for once I have fought. I have failed but I have fought.

I am honestly still scared. I am scared to learn that it’s not really for me, because I know it will hurt. I will be satisfied knowing that I did what I could, but it will still be painful.

I guess we really have no better choice in life but to move forward like always. Yes, I want to continue.

I’ll have to see whether God will let me. It will hurt, it will burn, but maybe a perpetually exhausted pigeon that is burned can rise from the ashes and become a phoenix?

Wishful thinking, but we have to see don’t we? Assuming I don’t become fried chicken instead, ahaha.

I might always be at the crossroads, always getting lost. Hopefully, someday, I’ll get to my destination.

 

Aloe’s Wishes

“Aloe, smile!”

A seven-year old Aloe blinked then smiled a toothy grin at his mother, albeit some of his tooth were either missing or still growing. His black eyes bright with wonderment as he heard a click coming from the machine his mother was holding.

“I wanna try! Momma!” Aloe exclaimed as he waved his hands and tried to touch the camera. The castle he was trying to build with his Lego blocks was ignored in favor of the new contraption in his mother’s hands.

He stood up excitedly; his height reaching up to the waist of his mother. His mother laughed and let the camera hang around her neck to crouch down and look at Aloe in the eye. Aloe clearly inherited his mother’s beautiful onyx eyes.

She pinched Aloe’s cheeks and kissed his forehead. “Nope, this is for grown-ups only.”

Aloe pouted and wondered why his mother wouldn’t trust him with the gadget.

“But, I won’t break it,” he promised earnestly at his mother. His mother giggled at her son’s persistence. “I promise! I’ll be careful!” Aloe’s mother could only smile gently at his begging. She just ruffled her son’s jet black hair and pinched his cheeks again.

“Still nope. But I’ll give you something else,” she started to rummage something in her pockets. Before she could find it and give it to Aloe, she was surprised by her son’s words.

“Momma, the dentist said no chocolates for me yet,”

“Oh,”

“Yup! He said it’s bad for my teeth,”

“But let’s just keep it a secret between us, ok?” she whispered to him as she placed the chocolate bar in his hands.

When Aloe turned ten, he couldn’t understand why people acted so differently from the way they think. Even though he was smarter for his age, he really was still a child, confused by the complicated way the world works.

“Mom, why did you say you to the lady that you liked her dress when you clearly don’t?“ Aloe turned his curious eyes at his mother. His mother, clearly flustered, breathed in deeply to compose herself then smiled sadly at him

“Dear,” her mother hesitated. “There are things called white lies. Sometimes they’re needed to be polite and to avoid hurting anyone. Sometimes it’s necessary.”

“So, it’s okay to lie if it doesn’t hurt anyone?

“Yes.”

Aloe frowned and turned away from his mother.

When Aloe turned fifteen, his parents made the first major lie to him. They have never lied to him before about big things. He didn’t understand why they would.

“Mom?” Aloe cautiously approached his sobbing mother, who was frantically wiping away her tears.

“I’m okay,” his mother immediately said before he could open his mouth again. Aloe narrowed his eyes at his mother’s words. He waited for her to calm down, then what she frantically vomited the words as if she couldn’t hold it in anymore. “I think, I think your father is having an affair.”

Aloe felt blank. He, for a second, wished his mother had lied to him and kept her pain to herself. He was immediately overcome with the feeling of self-hatred and shame for his thoughts.

“Don’t say anything to your father!” His mother suddenly realized how Aloe could react to what she has just said. Aloe felt the tears fall before he realized he was crying.

“Aloe even if he doesn’t love me anymore, he still loves you, you’re still his son, so just do your best and always make him proud okay?” His mother whispered through her sobs. Aloe hugged his mother, and made a promise to himself.

Later that night, he heard his mother confront his father at the living room.

“Where were you? It’s already night,” His mother’s voice was heavy with accusation.

“I was at the meeting!” Aloe flinched. He didn’t know what to do anymore. Lies are wrong, but he was taught about white lies. He drowned out the rest of their arguments.

Aloe heard the door to his room being opened then closed quietly. He looked at his mother’s shaking body.

“Aloe, where did he really go?” His mother stared at him, her eyes begging him to say something. Aloe stayed silent.

“Please, where?” Aloe felt conflicted, but he had no choice. No, he had a choice but he knew what he had to do.

“He didn’t go to the meeting,”

Since then he stopped talking to his mother about his father.

When Aloe turned nineteen, he was told off by people. He tried to disagree with them, but he often found the world proving their words right.

Aloe gazed thoughtfully at the paper in his hand. The score written on it indicated that he passed. He also noticed that it was wrongfully counted. If he had it corrected, he would fail the course.

He approached his professor. “Ma’am, my exam score is wrong, it should be lower.”

That sealed his faith. He slowly walked back to his seat, mindful of what he just did.

“Stop being too truthful, you won’t survive the real world that way,” His classmate told him after having approached their professor.

“I’ll live, you’ll see,” Aloe coolly replied and promptly ignored him.

When Aloe turned twenty-one, he was already exhausted and jaded. His black eyes stared tiredly at the people walking all around him inside the coffee shop. He quietly observed all the people having conversation around him, and he couldn’t help but to feel the resentment.

“I wish that people would be more honest”

“Even if just to themselves”

“I wish to tell the truth”