Thank you Clara Hughes, the Olympian, for opening up frank and honest dialogue about mental illness in Clara’s Big Ride around our country.
In the late 1990s, the last time I was suicidal, I also went through a period of unemployment during which I assigned myself tasks each day, however small, to get me to do something. One day I memorized Hamlet’s soliloquy, which seemed apt, since it is a rumination on suicide. I read it all, but felt it summed up the arguments, pro and con, in just these stanzas, so that is what I memorized, and play in my head, as required.
or not to be:
that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them?
To die: to sleep; No more;
and by a sleep to say we end The heart-ache
and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to,
’tis a consummation Devoutly to be wish’d. T
o die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause
What I took from it then and still do: No matter how momentarily enticing the thought of escape, if there is any chance that you may bring the suffering of this world into the next by purposely choosing your exit during a time of torment, then just don’t do it.
tl;dr: don’t kill yourself when you are depressed, you might stay that way in the afterlife.