A SUICIDE SITE that needs to be
(This entry deals with suicide. Please avoid reading it if you have any tendencies that way. Instead go to some of these resources.)
I am fuming, eight days later, about a website I read about in a long, investigative New York Times article. The site is one that actively, enthusiastically, and fully encourages suicide. To date, many deaths have been attributed to the site. And these are not people who have chosen to end their life of a long painful disease. That is a whole other story. This is the story of young people in distress.
In my twenties, I was one of those people. I can honestly say now that there was no big cause for it. I was lonely and depressed, living away from my family and community, overworked among a lot of dim-witted people, but hey, welcome to life after college, right? I maintained a very cheerful front, and to this day, the couple that was with me the night of my biggest attempt can't believe it. They say I seemed so relaxed and happy, had cooked a big dinner for them and their two kids.
But when they left my apartment on Lake Erie, the loneliness hit like the storms that whip up so high on that body of water because it is so very shallow. As were my blues. I botched the job, and when I woke the next very late afternoon, it was with a gratitude I maintain to this day. And yet I did ponder the possibility twice more in the following months.
And so today I remain very glad there was no place then that I could go to have people cheer me on.
A recent essay in The New Yorker by David Antrim has suggested to me another way of looking at suicide, that it is not a matter of one day a person just finally offs themselves. He says that instead, it is “a disease process, not an act or a choice,” by which he means that it is a mental disease that takes over the mind and causes the action, that is not a matter of agency, "that when we ascribe agency to the afflicted ('killing' oneself or 'committing' suicide, we ascribe agency to the afflicted."
I don't know that I can ascribe all my tendencies at that time to a disease. I know there were a lot of poets committing suicide (Plath, Sexton, Berryman), which I found intriguing.
I do know that this website is a horror. The NYT debated giving a link to the site and decided to place one at the end of the article in the hopes of alerting parents of teens. I am not posting a link. Instead, I'll repeat this link:
BE WELL, and if you can't be well, find someone to talk to and not a website.