The courage to die is the courage to live

I’ve been seeing people I know die for years now. Deep down, it’s always a huge shock to the system. I pretend like it just happens, you die just because you got to be born, but every time it’s heartbreaking.

I guess the worst of the deaths so far was a couple years ago, around Halloween, when, basically at the same time, two friends of mine committed suicide. One succeeded, the other did not. Obviously, both of them had been in a prolongued state of depression up until that gloomy day, but nobody really imagined it would go that far.

Both accidents inspired conversations about suicide. Virtually everyone keeps on agreeing that it’s cowardly, it’s not fair, it shouldn’t have happened. However, none of that is always true. It was in these cases, because they were both so young, yet I can see know where they were coming from.

I don’t even think it’s about depression, at least not exclusively. It’s about a certain blindness that takes over your mind, shadowing your thoughts with paranoia and despair. You don’t know why you got there, and you don’t see the way out. Day by day, it seems clear that it all needs to end.

After the suicide attempt, my friend spent a week or so at a center for people with mental illness. I’ve spoken to a number of the patients, some quite young, some in their forties. They were so full of compassion, friendliness, understanding. Everyone had their tragic story behind, but nobody was truly alone.

I’ve been having suicidal thoughts for a few months now, the most recurring of them being a vivid image of a gun blowing on my head. Yet I’ve sworn to myself that I would never, and I won’t, but I feel so guilty about these moments.

Still, whenever I get the smallest glimp of happiness, I remind myself of why it’s truly worth to live. Of all the instances of bliss that my friend will never see. He was my neighbour, so I pass by his house every single day, I feel a moment of staggering sadness, and then I remind myself that I need to fight till the end. Whenever it happens.

If you can manage to die, you can manage to live. Don’t kill yourself — life is a string of surprises waiting to happen when you’re about to give up. There will be times when giving up seems easier than dusting yourself off and start over, but they will pass, and the magic happens when they do, and you’re still up, standing, stronger than you ever was.

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