I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself.
The line above is one of my favourite bits from Louis C.K.’s Chewed Up.
I know the feeling he describes. So do you. We’ve all done the binge eating thing. We’ve all pounded so much food down our necks so fast that it’s painful to move even.
But we don’t do it every day. We could. But we don’t.
We’ve all had too much to drink. We’ve all had nights where the level of alcohol we consume completely alters our reality. We’ve all stumbled and fallen and vomited and shouted and screamed and cried and laughed hysterically.
But we don’t get like that every day. We could. But we don’t.
Why? Because we recognise it’s damaging effects. It can quite literally kill us.
Generally, when we recognise that something severely and negatively impacts our life, we stop it. We don’t want to accelerate towards death, so we cease with the destructive behaviour. We don’t do things that kill us.
Some other things that kill us: smoking, eating low quality, processed food, not moving and not exercising. These activities are proven killers. Yet, contrary to common sense, we continue to engage in them.
Most people, particularly when it comes to smoking, cite free will. It’s my body, it’s my choice, I can do what I want, I can live my life as I see fit and so on. Which is true. But only partially.
You do not exist in a vacuum. Yes, you can choose to destroy your body and shorten your life, but that doesn’t mean you should. What happens to you doesn’t only affect you. It affects the people who have to witness the consequences of your behaviour.
Yes, smoke forty a day. Yes, sit on the couch watching TV and smushing chips into your face. Yes, by all means, kill yourself.
But please realise, the people around you, the people who love you and care for you will have to witness your slow demise. They will be the ones that, when the time comes, will have to walk the path with you and support you. They will be the ones who will have to endure the heartbreak and the suffering and the agony when you get cancer, when you develop coronary heart disease, when you die a premature but easily preventable death.
They will have to share the burden of your selfish, self-inflicted ills.
We live in an open society. Do as you wish. Just acknowledge that by choosing to kill yourself you are harming others.
Originally appeared on Phronetic.