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Old 05-10-17, 07:30 PM
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keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I've been around some talk of some suicides lately. No one super close , but one was a pretty good acquaintance. The common theme I hear when people discuss it is "he took the cowards way out" . But did they? When you realize or at least perceive that you will never again feel joy, feeling meaning, care for anything. When it takes every drop of energy to face every day, even when from the outside it appears you have things good. When your alone time is filled with agonizing thoughts and misery. Wanting to live like that is heroic?

Or is the few months of grief that others will face the real source of the cowardice ?
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Old 05-10-17, 08:13 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I was never brave enough to take "the coward's way" out.
Believe me, I thought about it. A lot.
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Old 05-10-17, 08:39 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I think that's an unfair and inaccurate characterization of suicide, something that certain people use to avoid engaging with reality, or to feel superior to the one who died.
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Old 05-10-17, 08:53 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdnvwls View Post
I think that's an unfair and inaccurate characterization of suicide, something that certain people use to avoid engaging with reality, or to feel superior to the one who died.
I agree, just thought maybe it can be a way of turning sadness into blame or pseudo anger due to the resentment of having to feel it.
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Old 05-10-17, 09:01 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I believe making the decision to take your own life for whatever reason is a personal choice and should be respected as such.
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Old 05-10-17, 09:01 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

Daveddd

It's rubbish. I think peopleby default desperately want to live. It must take a lot to counter that natural instinct. A lot of sorrow and pain. I can't even imagine what someone mist be going through before they decide to commit suicide. If it wasn't hell or of it wasn't hell they were expecting I don't think anyone would do it.

Good to hear from you. Hope you've been good!!!
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Old 05-10-17, 09:11 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I also think it's rubbish.

I know 2 people that committed suicide. Neither was "cowardly". For both, the pain was too much, with nothing to look forward to.

YES! I was angry (one of them was my sister's fiancee, a few years after she was killed in a car accident). He NEVER got over her death. He NEVER was the same after. He was a shell of his former self. It was an awful, horrific thing.
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Old 05-10-17, 09:16 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

Yeah. That bugs me big time.

I used to always wonder why all the adults would say whoever takes their life would be severely punished by god and sent straight to hell, then say in the next breath that they were cowards.

I thought it surely took some guts and amazing strength to go against what we'd been taught to fear so strongly and choose to buy a one way ticket to what sounded like the worst place ever.

Then I would wonder why in the world this loving being I heard so much about who supposedly forgave everyone of everything would punish someone hurting so badly. I was dismissed and hushed whenever I asked or brought it up, as usual.

Coward, my a**.
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Old 05-10-17, 11:34 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I think courageous vs cowardly is irrelevant to suicide - it's never either one of those.

I also think suicide is often (but not always) a very poor match with what the person intended to accomplish.
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Old 05-11-17, 02:33 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

I was suicidal myself several years ago so I know from personal experience how painful those feelings are. I have also lost online friends to suicide so also understand how it feels to lose someone you care about in that way and be unable to help them as they edge towards the final action.
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Old 05-11-17, 03:15 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

The Crime Writers On... podcast talked about this last week and (I think) touched on some interesting points, most notably that this idea seems to have come about in the 80s and specifically in response to teen suicide. I don't think it's anything close to a selfish act to kill yourself when you learn that you have terminal cancer, you have six painful months to live, and all that you'll end up doing for your family in that time is burdening them with debt. For that matter, I have a really hard time condemning Robin Williams' suicide as "selfish" either.

I do think that especially for younger folks it can seem like the best solution when it's just not. I was never quite suicidal but I had a rough time in high school and while I don't think I would have heard it if someone told me "it gets better", maybe if that message was all over the place maybe it would have? And hell, there even is that aspect of "they'll be sorry when I'm gone" that does go into some suicides and that does kind of make it selfish. But yeah, I mean, not all suicides, and probably not most of them from mature adults.
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Old 05-11-17, 03:20 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

Any human being, in such pain from external factors or depression or mental illness, to the point of wanting to take their own life, needs every shred of compassion possible, as do the family and friends left in the aftrermath of such a terrible tragedy.
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Old 05-12-17, 04:08 AM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

hey dave. good to see you xx

so, freshly out of a two-part inpatient stay, i am going to do my level best to reply to this thread without saying triggery things...things triggering for others or for self. but, that's the disclaimer because i try to do a lot of things and i don't always succeed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daveddd View Post
I've been around some talk of some suicides lately. No one super close , but one was a pretty good acquaintance.
my experiences are my mother, my closest and dearest from this very forum...and myself.

Quote:
The common theme I hear when people discuss it is "he took the cowards way out" . But did they? When you realize or at least perceive that you will never again feel joy, feeling meaning, care for anything. When it takes every drop of energy to face every day, even when from the outside it appears you have things good. When your alone time is filled with agonizing thoughts and misery. Wanting to live like that is heroic?
i think that of those i knew, and i knew my mother suffered mightily and she did it when i was at school...but my father keeps her privacy that she wanted in life...he keeps her privacy in death as well. i don't know what he know and i'm not asking. if anyone suggested she took a "coward's" way out...i'd know the person was either 1. ignorant on the topic most likely and ignorant of my mum's struggles most definitely; 2. wanting to "other" her and what she did. she's a coward...that person is brave...she's a failure...that person is a success.

sometimes we mark out who we are by standing i opposition to what we believe we are not. someone concerned with being weak...with being "irrational"...or "cowardly"... is probably projecting his/her own ******** or some seriously authoritarian parenting s/he grew up within.

with esh...there are a lot of things i could say. i could explain how he suffered. i could explain how much the means he used hurts, a lot, and that he suffered so massively from psychotic depression and lost hope when found treatment resistant that he certain was not a coward when he made adjustments and used those means to complete. he was also raised very religiously...he left with i wish for heaven but an expectation of hell. but a belief that he was an evil and detriment in the world and only leaving could save those he loved, much less be the act that redeemed him and delivered him in grace.

and then there's me. my primary diagnosis has a number of criteria associated with it, blah blah blah... and there's suicidality from engaging in activities that could be lethal...like trying to remove things from inside my body (certainly, i'm not afraid to do what needs doing in those moments and far from being a coward, i'm fighting the good fight to overthrow those plotting and manipulating me and my experienced thoughts and perceptions. it's never to "kill self" when lacking insight. but...then insight happens and the post break/post hospital slump leaves me with more insight and i lot more guilt and self loathing that i am a detriment to all those around me and i must remove myself for their sake. and, i can't just run away because my heart couldn't stand to be apart from (nowadays) my small girl. before her...i just want to do the right thing and ensure i don't put out a net negative into the world. and i also freak out when i fear i'm incapable of not acting on my intrusive thoughts (from a different diagnosis) as they can be quite violent.

if i were a coward, i think i would be too afraid to take action to secure the happiness and lives of my loved one. but the coward/easy way out thing is quite a slap in the face. it's not easy to say goodbye, oh wait..psych! that was a trick challenge, because you don't really get to say goodbye. not really. it's not easy to know that your child will grow up without you, and hopefully better, but you've also scarred her for life in a different way because now she's growing up with a parent who left. and, not to graphic...but i would suspect those who call it cowardice or the easy way out...maybe they[re envisioning some bottle upon bottle of pills. that's...well not easy if you're looking for success. the means that are 90% or more guaranteed...it's gonna hurt like hell and if you survive...then you're super ****** because you've ruined you spinal column or part of your head or potential quadriplegic for dislocations...i mean....

i have to stop now or this is going into too intense a place for me, what with being all freshly out and so forth. but i hope i've made my point.it's not cowardice in anyone i know who has attempted or completed. and,tahnks to my mental health situation...i know quite a few.

am i a coward? have i been a coward? it is "easier" to leave.

well...i'll be blunt: it's harder to complete than you think. a lot of things must go right and access to lethal means can take some scrappiness to obtain and some skill to execute. i've never even planned, much less rehearsed or gone for it from a place of being too cowardly to live. more...that the only way my life makes sense and i can save those around me is to end it. that i'm dragging others down and that they will live lives horrible, brutish, and short because of me. i also feel i'm a burden sometimes and, finally, i fear not being able to die. that's maybe the only cowardice bit i can find. i'm afraid, less so presently, but without reservation and not un-susceptable to falsification, wholly afraid that things have been done to render me unkillable. that i'm not human properly but human corrupted and unable to be part of the circle of life and death...and as the finitude of life gives it particular meaning that it be lived at all...i would be robbed of that. and i would be something i can't type about here.but it's not good. and i would rather be certain i can die and will avoid that so when i'm unable to set those beliefs aside...i test it.

i don't really see "easy way out" or acting from "cowardice" in my experiences, first and second hand.

i do think that maybe if someone were afraid of living through prison after having committed heinous crimes...in order to avoid having to confront committing them...maybe that's less than brave. or, if someone had embezzled a bunch of money and was about to be found out and empire crashed and so forth...and completed out of fear of facing the consequences or being unwilling to endure trial and so forth...

i don't know. even then..."cowardice" doesn't quite fit.

Quote:
Or is the few months of grief that others will face the real source of the cowardice ?
i wasn't afraid of my mum leaving, but that's complicated and overmuch for her.

i WAS afraid of esh leaving.because i'm selfish. i didn't want to not make new memories each day with him. i didn't want him to go before he had accomplished more that he wanted.i didn't want him to go when he felt like an awful blight-failure on the world who would only cause pain to those around him and could do nothing about it because of the somatic symptoms his psychotic depression made manifest.

i was afraid not because i was afraid to grieve (though, frankly, i should've been...it was rough years for me there). i was afraid that he would go and even if only for a second, that he would undertake this supererogatory act to do what i believed was the ethical/moral/just thing for him to do....and as he did everything to spare others and ease his pain and the suffering he put into the world...i was afraid of how consciousness would leave him and what amount of pain his body would endure as it happened. but that's MY cowardice. that's my wanting for there to have been another way....for there to have been a guarantee he wouldn't feel that pain he felt the first time he tried, but failed and lived another year...and we had an incredible year.

the thing that makes me most afraid of leaving at this point is that i have a small girl.and i believe she knows me at this point and loves me and depends on me. it would have an impact on her to grow up with a dead mum.especially given the stigma surrounding that kind of dead mum. but...if she were able to know the meds i've taken over the years, the treatments, the appointments, in PHP stints and IOP stints and the revolving inpatient door and med side effects and that THIS IS *HELL* for me....a lot. when i have violent intrusive thoughts...hell yes i'm terrified. i'm reassured those with such thoughts due to ocd don't act on them i'm not willing to take that chance. it's not cowardice...it's preservation of the one i care about most.

something to consider:

1. the desire to frame it in terms of "cowardice" is flawed if that's the end of the sentence.

the think about battles and how these are largely invisible to the eye and often undetected by the average non mentally ill person. those "cowardly" ways out are not the first battle, or the best one you fought...it makes no sense to so the "cowardly" way out might've been the last battle..and the first one truly lost...the only one others got to "see", but in the days and months (years...sadly) makes the logistics of fight versus presentation of fight makes it sound like the person who left abandoned the fight early. like...certainly when faced with anything challenging and possibly at the slightest struggle. in other words, you just turned and ran without even trying to meet those challenges. that is seriously NOT the story of anyone i know with mental illness. however, if that's attributalbe to those of us with MI, then those without can present selves as the antipode to that trait.

people often focus on the one final act of a war someone has waged...five...ten...almost twenty for me...more for many...years. cowardice is not engaging in the battle at all. and i suppose maybe that's technically possible for someone to be in that situation. but people with mental illness fight the battles undetected on many days, unappreciated for the true battle being fought and won when you endure another day, and, sadly, unknown for those battles that were won daily because defined by the one, the ONE battle they lost.

so i guess, i'm rambling. but all of that is to say that, yeah...cowardice plays a minimal,if any role, in those experiences i'm closest to. and i'm grateful for that.

every person and situation and type(s) of battle(s) and outcome can, and i suspect does, remain a mystery to those who'd call it an easy way out/cowardice. why do i say that? because those who believe it easy haven't ever endured it or haven't been let in when a loved one endures it. I say that because being let in, or being present at times of crisis, be they more or less visible... when you let someone see you fighting these battles, winning sometimes, defeated routinely, i find it hard to believe those persons i doubt would say anything about the cowardice of laziness/ease of wanting to get out. to know that much, if anything, about the "invisible battles" found against our "invisible"illnesses on the daily. that

Last edited by peripatetic; 05-12-17 at 04:26 AM..
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Old 05-12-17, 03:55 PM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

"unappreciated for the true battle being fought and won when you endure another day, and, sadly, unknown for those battles that were won daily because defined by the one, the ONE battle they lost."

yes, very good

this is i think what i was almost trying to think

also I think sometimes you win battles just to realize you are fighting a meaningless war
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Old 05-13-17, 01:45 AM
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Re: keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

When someone says suicide is cowardly, I consider one of the following:
  • They've never felt the level of pain that can bring someone to that moment.
  • They're struggling; this is their coping mechanism.
  • They've struggled in the past and lack the understanding that suicide can't be generalized.
  • They're hurt/confused because they know someone who died this way.
  • They lack empathy.
  • They're ignorant.
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