“Suicide is outside me. Life is sometimes is unbearable. “A week or so ago, I received an anonymous email from someone who introduced themselves as a fellow academic. They told me that they hoped the letter would become a post on this blog. I was also told that my response would not be received. On some reflection, I have decided that letter is important, though it is likely to be controversial. And so, what I present below is a slightly edited (I was asked to do it) version of what I received. I offer no comment.
Some time ago you wrote about the ‘It’s OK to talk’ campaign. My blood boils when I hear this. Have all those people telling me it’s OK to talk considered who exactly I’ll be talking to? Family, colleagues, doctor? Family (and friends) will freak out, colleagues will look at me like I was an idiot, the doctor will do risk assessment and call the crisis team. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt. Well, I haven’t tried with colleagues as I don’t think I have the right to burden them with my problems. Talking in fact only creates more problems, either in your relationships or through escalation of ‘care’, assuming that they will take it seriously (been there too).
So, whenever I hear someone say ‘It’s OK to talk’, I can’t decide whether I want to head-butt them or ask ‘Who the f…to exactly?”. Talking anonymously to a stranger over the phone? Give me a break.
The other side is no better. Do you really believe that just because you talk to me, somehow I will be fine? I’m sooooo sick and tired of these well-meaning idiots who encourage others to talk to me. Do your words have healing powers? And do you really think that just because you talk to me, I will reveal my most intimate experiences? Experiences I don’t reveal even to people I love. Really?!
How about thinking that suicide is not in me? This is where the talking comes from, doesn’t it? I’m just not coping or have something wrong with my head. It’s not!! It’s outside me. If you must talk, talk to my life. Life is sometimes unbearable, you cannot talk it down, so you respond, sometimes the response is ultimate. Tough shit – that’s life.
It’s very easy to tell me I need to continue. How about continuing for me? Want to swap? Don’t patronize me with your advice and your suicide prevention strategies. Just f…off.
What stops me? Love, actually. My children, my partner – my suicide would cause them so much pain. Too much pain. At the moment I can’t imagine myself causing them all this suffering. I love them. I love them. They are part of me and if I commit suicide…it’s unthinkable. But let’s make one thing clear, though. If I do decide to commit suicide, nothing will stop me. Nothing. It’s only my decision. No, not every suicide is preventable.