CW: Suicide, mental health.

There’s a song I used to listen to often, an angsty punk rock ballad, that I’d scream along with while banging my fists down on my steering wheel driving around in my little black sportscar. I thought I was so introspective and deep. So cool, careening around those corners with the roof down railing against society from the safety of my two-seater.

There are some lyrics in this song that I’d latch onto harder than the rest. There’d be more passion in my voice, more introspection, more rage against the machine.

Even if I say
It’ll be alright
Still I hear you say
You want to end your life
Now and again we try
To just stay alive

Even though I have personally struggled with suicidal thoughts and depression in the past, I still find it hard to really fathom how hard it is for some to stay alive. I still struggle to contemplate how much trying is necessary for some to just stay alive, let alone thrive.

My next line typed here was “Fucking Champions”. I reread this and then deleted. It feels wrong to glorify and applaud the struggle. It seems incredibly insensitive. Maybe because the decision to end one’s life is not something that is entered into lightly. Maybe because it feels arrogant to suggest to someone who’s probably thought about that decision often and for a long time, that they should not feel that way; that there’s another way; that I know better than they do.

Who am I to say that their pain is worth it? Who am I to say please stay even though staying is excruciating?

Is the opposite of condemning suicide as an option condoning it? I don’t think so. I’m just not sure telling someone they are wrong is helpful here. Can we talk about more than just trying to stay alive? Can we reframe that conversation somehow?