Over much of the last ten years, suicide has been a very real option for me. When my mood has been at its lowest and I haven’t been able to see ahead because of the fog of depression, life, as clichéd as it sounds, hasn’t felt as if it is worth living. After attempts at taking my life, when medical professionals tried to keep me safe from myself, I was angry. I was angry that they were taking the choice away from me. I asked myself what right they had to make me live when they weren’t the ones living my life.
But today it is different. There remain times when I see ending my life as a means of ending my distress. I still get overwhelmed at the prospect of living for decades to come. Perhaps that will always be the case for someone who has seen suicide as an available option. What I have seen recently, however, are also the reasons to be hopeful. They are the little glimmers of life, the moments I laugh without thought, the fulfilment that comes with doing something I enjoy. Instead of having a list a mile-long of why I want to die, there are greater reasons for me to live.
I choose to live because:
There is the possibility of change and of progress.
I can be with the people I love.
I can see the world and explore new places.
I can read books and listen to music, old and new.
I can help to make the world a better place through my unique perspective.
I can have new experiences – meet new people, go to gigs and events, and do what scares me.
I can use my experiences, rather than wasting them, in order to support other people.
I can make my life what I want it to be.
We all have different experiences and reasons for the choices that we make. I don’t know what your life is like. You may be content, you may be muddling through, unsure what you’re doing, or you may be like me, wondering why you should live. What I do know, though, is that what I saw as permanent has so often been fleeting. Things change. We can utilise the very worst of life and make it count for something. That reality is my reason for living.