(continued from here)
When I wrote Part 1 of this entry on Suicide, I was a little hesitant to publish it. Most of my posts, be it my headless videos or my other random musings are generally received with mixed emotions, and so I was slightly uneasy as to how people would perceive this attempt at semi-fictional writing, especially since it was in a rather sensational and over-the-top style, if I do say so myself.
Still, I published it, and even I was slightly surprised at the different types of comments and feedback I received regarding it; on Facebook, the blog and even in person. Some focussed on the writing style, and commented on that, while others were more focussed on the content. Some noticed the “Based on a true story” at the end, and were confused by it. Still others were eager for part 2, to ‘see how the story ends’. This, I suppose, was the most unexpected response.
Because, you see, this really is based on a true story. Luckily, it was not someone that I knew, but my friends had told me of this incident recently and it greatly disturbed me. For, in real life, there was no happy ending. There was no ‘part 2’. She texted her friends; and she jumped.
Suicide is a ‘phenomena’ that is disturbingly prevalent in our communities. When I was in school I used to hear tales of how school children jumped in front of trains when they got bad O’ Level or A’ Level results; I simply could not wrap my mind around it then. Last year we read of suicide in a prominent girl’s school in Colombo, all due to some petty matter regarding the possession of a cell phone. I read those articles too, and I shook my head in disbelief.
I do not look down on people with suicidal tendencies; in fact, I understand the thinking behind it. I’m sure that every one of us, if we peer inwards with honesty, will admit to having considered the thought of ending one’s life, simply due to the burdens we bear on a daily basis. This world may be more technologically advanced, but the average individual is now more stressed and pressured than ever before, making us susceptible to depression, anxiety, and suicide.
To be completely and brutally honest, even I went through a phase where I wondered about ending my life. I was in my late teens, studying abroad, and I felt I was in over my head. I just couldn’t handle the stress, expectations and decisions of life with regards to family, friends and studies, and the thought of escaping all that with a simple decision was indeed intoxicating.
Yes, at the end of the day, it really is about escaping. I sincerely doubt anyone that commits suicide pauses to think of where they are escaping to, as long as they get away from where they are. Over the last year I have heard people who are dear to me talk of suicide, and wanting to give up on their lives. Rarely have I ever been so heart-broken than when I heard them say so. It is a bitter reminder to me that I live in a world where people rarely stand up tall when the storm comes.
We have become a people of quitters. We sometimes mock celebrities for their string of failed relationships, but in the end we are people who would rather save a rainforest than save a marriage. We would rather compromise than stand firm. We would rather get high then get real. We would rather end our life than actually live it. This is no way meant to be condescending; it is just a conclusion I have reached after endless encounters where I am left holding the strings as someone I know and love gives up and succumbs.
Our world is changing before our very eyes, and we seem to be unable to cope with it. I read of teenagers, no older than 15, going into depression because of the peer pressure to lose their virginity. I read of senseless murder and assault, done merely for entertainment sake. I read of false religious leaders hiding their perverted fantasies behind the guise of ‘faith’. Whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or an atheist, believe me when I say – there is a storm brewing. It’s time we took up a stand, because from now on, we are literally fighting for our lives.