Is Suicide Ever An Answer?

This is a common question among those struggling with deep depression or any sort of mental illness that has become debilitating and unbearable to live with.


"I'm a caged bird longing to be free." "The happiness of others can only be reached by the complete and permanent absence of me." Sentences to the many notes I've written in private in the past, with previous attempts to back them up with action.


To answer the question bluntly, I don't think that suicide is ever an answer to the question at hand, especially not when we're allowing pain and fear to dictate our thoughts and actions. 


Matthieu Ricard said it best:


By committing suicide, you destroy the possibility you have, in this life, of realizing the potential for transformation that you have within you. You succumb to an intense attack of discouragement which, as we’ve seen, is a weakness, a form of laziness. By saying to yourself, ‘What’s the point in living?’ you deprive yourself of the inner transformation that would have been possible. To overcome an obstacle is to transform it into an aid to your progress. People who’ve overcome a major trial in their lives often draw from it a teaching and a powerful inspiration on the spiritual path. Suicide solves nothing at all, it only shifts the problem to another state of consciousness.


I've said it many times before and I'll say it again. It's not the victory that pleases me, it's the struggle. Life's all about the journey. It's all about our pain revealing who we've always been, as it scrapes off everything we've been holding onto that we've never truly been. Pain is not the enemy here, it's the teacher. Turning you from a delicate being into a warrior.


The Problem Is Not Knowing How To Dis-Identify With Our Thoughts


Every thought and emotion we have is a passing cloud that we reach out to and hold onto, for some inexplicable reason. The spiritual path teaches us that it's really about learning how to let go of the clouds. We're actors on the stage of life; and once we let go of our script and realize that we can truly be anyone and re-write it, peace is finally achievable. It's about realizing that you are water and that you must bend to whatever your truth is. If you pour yourself into your thoughts, you manifest those thoughts into reality. You become what you pour yourself into. Once you realize that you've never truly been "you" to begin with, that all of it is just attachment to thoughts, values, and beliefs, you are able to let go and be free. There is no "you", as identity is not a real thing, it's simply what you choose to let define you.


Suffering without meaning in life deepens the ever-nagging depression.


You can dwell on your own past and mortality with something to live for, laugh about, and love, or not. Something worth fighting for always makes the battle of life worth enduring and surviving. If you want to overcome your depression, it's not as simple as therapists make it seem. No, it's not about the coping tools. It's not about medication. It's about asking yourself why you want to live in the first place. What do you desire, what are you reaching for? Once a warrior knows his opponent, he can then figure out how to defeat the opponent. Depression is our opponent in the battle of life. If you do not choose your suffering, then your mind just inflicts some form of pain on itself. It tests how far you'll go to achieve your dreams even when it seems impossible. It's that simple. After all, it's not the fall that breaks people, but their fear of falling. What that fall may bring as a result. It's their desire that harsh things should never happen to them which is a human's greatest downfall. Once a warrior realizes that pain is inevitable but suffering is optional, he has already won.


The master understands that the universe is forever out of control. - Lao Tzu


Think about it like this: if you had to fight for your survival and run from predators during war, you’d literally have no time to be depressed. You must fight to survive or you die. A shark that does not swim, drowns. It's about variable acceleration, really. Fighters usually fight at the same pace. Switch it up randomly and you throw your opponent off his game. Fill your life with different things and see how your depression submerges in the flood of new things you're actively doing to distract yourself away from the nagging bully that is depression.


We all fall. It’s about what we do with our lives to pick ourselves back up.


The point is not even necessarily to find happiness, it's to give some sort of meaning to suffering. A common question from a therapist seems to delve into the negatives after rape and physical trauma. (Bleep) that! My question to you is "How in the holy fuck did you survive?! What went through your mind, what is it that got you through it?" Of course, you've come out of your crucible a different person! Focus on what you can control, not on the things that you can't. The problem with media and therapy is that it often avoids real-world problems and wraps them in blanket coping tools and statements that don't work for everyone. The main issue is that most therapists are not very intelligent. They are book-smart at best, but without real-world experience of problems, they cannot effectively help their clients. 


We were designed to run and to hunt. If you don't do that, you are slowly falling apart. Physically and mentally.


There's a reason why many people die shortly after retirement. We all thrive best when we are contributing to the world when our talents and skills are needed. Once we settle down, we stop using our bodies and brains in the same way, and we, as a result, wear out and slowly start deteriorating.


The question isn't "Why am I depressed?" So much as "What am I going to do about it?" Again, therapy seems to avoid the real problems and it's why I'm more in favor of the self-work and becoming the Master of oneself. Hire a life coach if you need to, but therapy often adds salt to the wound and doesn't give you the same kick in the right direction. You're not going to fix your life by thinking about doing something. You'll fix your life by actually doing something.


I've been there to experience assault and abuse of various kinds. What I learned was that those things didn't happen to me to punish me. They forged me into a warrior because sometimes our greatest lessons come from the unhappiest of places. Without the pain of loss and suffering, we cannot truly appreciate the good. I'm thankful that I went through it so much so that I don't even call it abuse or assault, but important teachings. Which of course isn't to say that I condone those actions, but that it's about changing your perception. When something bad happens, turn it around and make it a good thing. 'Successful people find an opportunity in every problem. Negative people find a problem in every opportunity.'


You want society to make you happy? It never will. The harsh truth is, the world doesn't care about you. You have to be enough, you have to care enough about yourself to be true to who you are and become stronger for yourself. Don't be who the world wants you to be, be who you need yourself to be.


If you find any of what I'm saying offensive, you have severely misunderstood me and depression itself. Life is pain. It's that simple. It's about making your pain work for you, not against you.


Ironically, comfort is quite counter-productive. 'Isolation is a self-defeating dream' That is to say that your worst thoughts are born when you are away from the world. When you stop swimming, you drown in the depth of your suffering. By contributing to the world, you are "swimming." Never stop being physically active, and mentally.


I came to the same conclusion myself when I was suicidal years ago, that the only person that could save me was myself.


As my favorite dog, Wilfred says, "We don't worry about anything because our noses keep us in the present. We smell the roses, every god damn one of them!" Similarly, when we are too busy making our lives better, depression will not be as strong as it is when we're not moving.


Wilfred taught me that feelings are blind spots. That's because what you do will always matter more than how you feel.


The show has changed and saved my life, what with its depth and humor combined in one. A Redditor from a subreddit I follow writes about Wilfred and says: 


"I think Wilfred was intended to be a metaphor for the meaning of life, or just life itself. Most of us can agree that life is defined beyond the walls of intelligence, it can't be understood by the human mind. If we were given the answer, it would be incomprehensible. The questions we asked are too complex to have answers we can understand. That's what Wilfred is. All in all, Ryan never finds out what Wilfred is exactly. Just like Ryan came up with crazy theories as to what Wilfred is, we come up with crazy theories as to what life is. We'll think ourselves to death if we keep worrying about the questions that can't be solved, just like Ryan's life falls apart when he begins to search for the answers. In the end, we have to learn to just stop trying to think about it, and just throw the ball. Because as demonstrated in the show with how Wilfred gave Ryan happiness at certain times and brought him back from depression, if we live life the way it takes us, and learn from the lessons it teaches us, that is the only way we can find true happiness."


So, is suicide the answer? No, it's not. As Wilfred's bogus Last Will and Testament says, "Keep digging."