Friday, August 23, 2013

Is Suicide a Viable Option?

I am not liberty to say yes or no because I have never committed suicide; and I hope to God that nothing in life ever pushes me to that point.  However, if I am going to state an opinion on the topic, I will definitely say a resounding no.  Is it an option?  Sure.  But a viable option?  No way.

Recently I read about 21 year old Vicky Harrison who committed suicide three years ago in England.  She had 3 A Levels and 10 O Levels, but after submitting 200 applications, she received no prospect of a job.  Humiliated, she opted for suicide.  It tugged at my heart because I thought to myself, “People are living so much longer nowadays.  She could potentially live another 70 years.  And there is no doubt that she would have gotten a job in that time.” 

Four days ago, I was saddened by news that Lee Thompson Young had committed suicide.  It honestly felt like I had lost a member of my extended family.  Lee starred in The Famous Jett Jackson as a child and for the past three summers I watched him every week on Rizzoli & Isles.  Like Wendy Williams would say, “he was a friend in my head.” 

He was on a TV show.  Yeah it is cable and not network, but there are about 7 million people watching it every week; and that’s no easy feat.  He had a popular Disney series, which was also made into a movie.  He was handsome.  He was young.  He was talented.  What didn’t he have?  And that is what people who are not suicidal don’t get.  They don’t get that people who are suicidal feel like they are at the end of their rope.  They don’t get that people who are suicidal feel so hopeless and helpless and useless.  They just don’t get it.  Because we optimists think that as long as there is life, there is hope.  We think that tomorrow is going to be better.  We think that you stick around because the 201st  job application might be the one with an offer.  We think that you stick around because next week you might get a better job, a better role, better opportunities.  We think something better is around the corner.  We think that we have time; and with time, the possibilities are endless.

If for nothing else, the main reason why I think there has to be at least one other alternative besides suicide is because death is so permanent.  Now I’m not debating any afterlife.  I’m just talking about here and now.  When a person is dead, that’s it.  There is no okay maybe I’ll try this next , no maybe I’m unhappy with this job so I’ll find another job, no since I’m unhappy with this relationship I’ll find another one.  No.  That is it.  The end.

I don’t have any personal experience, but I will imagine that when a person suffers from depression, it must be hard on him/her to pretend to be happy.  Every day that person has to pretend that their issues are not bothering them.  That person has to pretend that all is well.  That person pretends so much, that that person no longer knows who he/she really is. 

The way that I see it, well mostly because I watch Oprah:  Where Are They Now?, and I see people like Todd Bridges, Danny Bonaduce and Fab Morvan, people can turn their lives around for the better.  And trust me, Fab probably felt like committing suicide.  After all, his lip synching partner from Milli Vanilli, Rob Pilatus, succumbed to suicide after he had trouble coping with the scandal.  Is life perfect for Todd, Danny or Fab?  Of course not!  Life is not perfect even for Bill Gates, and he is a billionaire.  Life is not perfect for anyone.  But anyone’s life can always turn for the better.

As someone who is currently not suicidal, I have deep sympathy for those who are.  I have the capability to find an alternative to anything that gets me down.  Kids get on my last nerve, I lean on my husband.  Husband gets on my nerves, I lean on my kids.  They all get on my nerves, I look to my siblings.  Siblings, husband and kids irritate me, I communicate with my friends.  Friends driving me crazy, I lean on my family.  Heck I’m known to start conversations with strangers, and to see me laughing and chatting with them, no one would know we just met.  But for those few minutes, I don’t have a care in the world.  For those few minutes I’m interacting with someone new and different.  Those few minutes give me enough boost to last much longer than the few minutes it took to achieve.  And before you know it, I’m in a position to deal with the kids, husband, siblings and friends again.

And if push comes to shove, and I feel like the whole world is getting on my nerves, I go for a walk alone.  I take a long shower.  I take a long bath.  I watch TV alone.  That’s all we need to fight depression – a healthy, coping mechanism.    And I know it is easier said than done.  Fighting demons is never easy.  Those girls from Charmed can testify to that.  [I know…..I watch too much TV; but now I call it research for my writing.]  And we all have something that we are fighting to change.  Some of us will be successful, and some of us won’t.  And I surely don’t have an answer on how to combat depression except to fight it head on; but, perspectively speaking, one thing I know for sure, suicide is the one option that allows us no do over.


  1. I tell my friends all the time... There's a thin line between sanity and insanity. You hope and pray that you never have those (suicidal) thoughts but you just never know when that thing... That one thing or a build up (of emotions) is going to push you over that edge. What I hope for is that we get to a point where mental illness is no longer a "hush-hush" issue - We need to talk about it in more personal ways that help to raise awareness and take away that awful stigma that is attached to mental health. Then more people would feel ok/comfortable/want to ask for help.