This is a comment by Sailor Bob on the post “Suicide and Mad Men“.
Jake has written a beautiful and compelling article and I do think the failure to ask for help is central to much of suicide … I have never contemplated suicide, but I can identify with every feeling and value he articulated since I have experienced them all. It’s just they never led to thoughts of taking my own life although I know people much stronger than me who have attempted or contemplated it … I can’t say specifically why I have never thought about committing suicide.
It has little or nothing to do with the admonition against suicide by the Church or legal sanctions. (Do you know in some states it’s illegal to commit suicide?) It’s just that I’ve always been able to cling to the feeling that things will get better if I hang on and go forward. I’ve never dropped from the black hole into the abyss that more than a few friends have described, but I do experience depression and know this is a dangerous condition to be avoided at all cost.
So what could make me contemplate suicide? I’m 75 and have seen several relatives and friends spend their final years in a nursing home on feeding tubes, beds that move constantly to prevent bed sores, day after day of the same dull routine, and nothing, absolutely nothing to look forward to that is remotely positive. That is the one condition that would readily make me pull the plug on myself. My fantasy is to pinpoint the final day I’m mobile, rig a battered J-22, head it into a strong 70 knot gale and go down singing that great County Mayo ballad, “the West Awake.”
Photo credit: Flickr / DerrickT