Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Suicide is Painless (?)


Early last evening as I was eating dinner I heard the breaking news on my television:




Robin Williams dies in apparent suicide; actor, comic was 63


In the days to come his family and handlers will try to whitewash his death but the fact remains, Robin Williams died and probably by his own hand.  No amount of media spin by high paid pr folks will change that fact.  

Why so many celebrities, who have so much God-given talent, fame and fortune are so unsatisfied with life that they either have to drug themselves into a stupor just to get through the day or commit suicide voluntarily or involuntarily, I find fascinating.  Fascinating is probably the wrong word because it conjures positive images but still, why they do it I'll never understand.  


Dead Stars


I know the pain of depression.  I've experienced it myself (as most of have).  Twenty-three years ago a very good friend of mine committed suicide because of depression.  I understood her pain, she just wanted it to end.  That's the way I felt at one time but when it came time to actually get into my car, close the garage door, and turn on the engine and await the Eternal Sleep, all I could think of was how my dear Mother would react.  I just could not cause her that pain.  Thus, some inner voice told me "You can't do this Ron.  You can get through this."  And I couldn't.  I could not do that to my Mother.  Everybody else?  I really didn't care but I just could not cause my Mother that pain. She saved my life and she didn't even know it. 

I'll never forget one of the definitions I heard of suicide:  "A permanent solution for a temporary problem."  

Now that I look back on my personal situation that had caused me so much pain from which I sought escape, I realize how small and insignificant my "problem" was.  The source of my "pain" was a failed love affair.  I just could not imagine my life without this person in it.  Guess what?  I'm doing just fine now and have for lo these many years.  

One thing I've never forgotten, you are the most important person in this world.  We only get one life.  No, there is no afterlife.  I have no problem with those who believe there is, if that helps them to get through this life, more power to them.  But folks, we only get one turn on this merry-go-round called Life.  Once we go to the Big Sleep, it is over and I mean OVER.  Savor ever moment of your earthly existence.  To me, as long as you're not in great pain and have some quality of life, just hang on.  

It does get better.  It's a shame that Robin Williams didn't have that strength.  His pain has ended, but he pain of those he left behind is just beginning.  And that folks, is the real tragedy.  My heart goes out to them. 

15 comments:

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    1. Thank you Anne Marie. I wasn't going to comment on his death but I felt compelled to. Suicide, with the exception of someone who is in terrible physical pain, is just so tragic. The emotional pain, if you give it time, will retreat. I know, I've been there.

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  2. suicide is the ultimate selfish act.
    You're gone, you're dust, but you leave your loved ones behind to wonder why, to what what if, to wonder if they could have stopped it.

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    1. Bob,
      You're so right. I was tempted to write that but out of respect for those who are undergoing that emotional pain for which they cannot find a way out, I didn't. I still remember the devastation I felt at my friend's funeral, seeing her 10 year old daughter and 8 year old son (both adopted Korean babies) standing in the back, dressed in their finest, looking stunned, wondering what happened to their mother and if it was their fault. The last I heard of her son, he wasn't doing well in his life. I don't know about her daughter. But when I had my own moment of truth, I just could not get past what my ultimate selfish act would do to my Mother. Now, looking back on what upset me so much, it was nothing. Absolutely nothing. The guy was scum and actually wanted me to kill myself. I heard him bragging about it. A real low point in my life Bob which will never be revisited.
      Ron

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    2. One thing about suicide that isn't well-known is that it's kind of contagious; people who've lost a loved one to suicide are far more likely to attempt it themselves.
      Of course, don't get me wrong, i feel for Robin Williams, and others, who've felt so low and so alone and so helpless that they thought this was their only choice. But if they'd taken just a moment to think about those they left behind, they might have been spurred on to seek help.
      It's sad, so sad, on all sides.

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    3. Bob,
      I feel exactly as you do. I understand the feeling of hopelessness and despair. The pain and the need to make it stop. Depression is an awful thing. Most of us have experienced it at one time or another. Some of us are more capable of handling it than others. As you so eloquently said, it's sad, so sad on all sides. That was my first thought when I heard that Robin Williams had killed himself.
      Ron

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    4. Suicide is NOT a selfish act, though it may seem so to the outside observer. Suicide most always involves hopelessness, and hopelessness erases the idea that ANYTHING can help. When suicidal people think of loved ones, mostly what they feel is guilt and shame for letting them down, and they don't want to do that any longer. The fact that people love them only compounds the guilt. Here is a link to a great article detailing some facts about suicide and righting some misconceptions. As a licensed psychotherapist, I encourage everyone to educate themselves about the reality of severe depression and suicidal ideation, because it is important to be able to recognize the signs in the ones you love. To not do so would be the ultimate selfish act. http://www.holliseaster.com/p/talking-about-suicide-robin-williams/

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  3. Anonymous10:40 AM

    First you say, "... have so much God-given talent"
    then "No, there is no afterlife"

    ?????????????????????

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    1. Anonymous,
      Look "Anonymous" . . . . . . . picky, picky, picky. The use of the term "God" doesn't necessarily mean that I believe in God (which I don't, he/she is a myth but if that belief makes you feel good then go for it). I shouldn't have to explain this to you but apparently I do, we of the English language (and probably other languages) use the term "God" very loosely. Perhaps I should have said "BORN WITH TALENT." Then your sensibilities wouldn't be offended by me using the tern "God." Picky, picky, picky.
      Ron

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  4. Ron,
    I agree with Bob and was going to write exactly verbatim the same thing. We had a very close family member commit suicide and now even after the thirty plus years have passed the family still discusses the suicide and still wonder why. The family member was determined to succeed, he had made two failed attempts and the family even with that knowledge still couldn't prevent the end result. Our family member didn't leave a note and even though we knew of the previous attempts we still didn't know the exact reason he was so intent on committing what I consider such a desperate act.

    I am happy that your contemplation to end your life was not successful. Just think of what you and your blogging friends would have missed over the years. Life is precious, live it to it's fullest every day.
    Jack

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    1. Jack,
      Thankfully no one in my immediate family has committed suicide. My Mother's step-sister's husband hung himself after he was accused of child molestation. I don't know if he was guilty or not but she came home one day and he was hanging from a rope in the garage. That was over fifty years ago. She still lives in the same house. Same garage. I've been in that garage, taking her items for a garage sale she was having. Creepy to say the least.

      I think back to when I actually seriously considered doing away with myself and now realize how stupid I was. I was just too close to the situation. The pain was too great. I just wanted it to end. You feel desperate. But as I said, I couldn't get past the image of my Mother at my funeral. She would think it was her fault. I could not do that to her. Interestingly enough, I didn't care about anyone else. I still feel guilty about that. But I am glad I didn't because just think all I would have missed especially now, the absolute best time of my life. And just think of all the wonderful people I would not have met.
      Ron

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  5. One thing I learned from living in Hollywood is that wealth and fame doesn't necessarily bring happiness or contentment. A lot of those so-called "beautiful" people are miserable and screwed up beyond belief. I was shocked to hear of Robin Williams' death - such a waste of a fine talent, and such a loss for his family.

    I toyed with the idea of suicide numerous times, especially in my wild youth, and the only thing that stopped me is EXACTLY what stopped you. It would have completely destroyed my mother. The thought of self-extinction still crosses my mind now and again - - especially due to the present miserable life I have here in Texas. Yet, I plod on..........seemingly forever........

    My maternal great grandmother died under mysterious circumstances. Some say that she accidentally drowned in the river - - others say it was suicide. I tend to believe it was suicide (I never met her, it was way before I was born). She was an extraordinarily beautiful woman but profoundly unhappy. She had been married several times and had numerous lovers. She was a very mysterious woman, haunted by personal demons.

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    1. Jon,
      Whenever I hear of the unnecessary death due to suicide or drug overdose of someone as talented and well liked as Robin Williams, I am always shocked. How can their life be that bad that they needed drugs to get through or suicide as a way out. Perhaps if I was in some kind of unbearable pain from a terminal illness or living in a place like Iraq, I might consider suicide but not with my life now or even back then when I did actually, seriously consider suicide just because an immoral person recklessly decided to ruin my life.

      Far be it from me to offer you advice on your present situation but I have a feeling that eventually you will move. As I've mentioned or alluded to several times before (ad infinitum to some people I fear), my life was changed dramatically last year from a random comment on my blog which evolved into me meeting a new friend with whom I have so much in common. I still have my present life, which is good but now my life is so much more. What I was lacking with friends here in Delaware (a source of great frustration to me because that is one of the reasons I moved to a gay area of Delaware) I found with someone in another country. Which goes to prove, you just never know what fate has in store for you. And that is you Jon. I hope you have the same good fortune that I have had. But you have to be here for it to happen. In the meantime, you have those cats to take care of. (smile)

      Your thoughtful and heartfelt comments are always welcome here Jon,

      Ron

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  6. I've had two young friends commit suicide over the years, and I'll never quit thinking about them. I'm so sorry that we lost such an amazing talent, but I guess there are times that the internal pain just become too much to bear. Yes, I agree (and preach) that it's a permanent solution for a temporary problem, but I guess sometimes the "temporary" just can't be seen. A fine post, Ron.

    Peace <3
    Jay

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  7. It is all very sad.

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