Imagine that Death appears as a man at your doorstep, well- dressed and looking sharp. His attitude on top of his attire, reflects confidence. As for my lady, Life, you are clothed by self pity, feeling worn out and miserable. You have desperately tried and failed at running away from yourself. Wouldn't you, then, let yourself sink into the arms of Death?
The state of mind where you think death is better than all the years of life that you have known until that point, ie. wishing to die rather than live, is something that you would struggle to understand unless you have been in such a position before or you are there right now.
So if you are familiar with this feeling, I hope reading this article will help you feel better. As for those of you who are not able to relate to this matter, it's my humble request to read along as it may help you in future, if not for yourself, at least for someone you know.
So when and why does one start thinking highly of death?
If life can be compared to a road trip, then most of us may not be sure of the destination. However, we definitely intend to enjoy the ride amidst the challenges that might come in between. But what if the ride doesn't seem to be happening at all. Instead you just feel stuck in this rotten place which only seems to be getting worse over time.
Most of us have been through times when we become so critical about our lives. But we also manage to get out of it in one way or the other. But, what I would like to bring your attention to, in this article, is the kind of lingering and self-consuming gloom that makes you want to end your lives. The kind of gloom, where you isolate yourself and withdraw from others.
Unknowingly you build a wall between you and everyone else. You may be doing so, because you believe that you can make it right by yourself, but at the same time you are also strongly convinced that no one else can help you.
With such beliefs rooted in your mind, if at all you seek help it doesn't work either and being confined to yourself, you develop feelings of hatred, pity, shame, disgust and so much more against yourself.
But still you cling to yourself without knowing that you are no longer your best friend..
Meanwhile the walls you have built around you seem to be closing in on you. In such confines of your mind you are driven by hopelessness, helplessness and fear. Here, you feel you are all alone.
So where are the others in this picture? Are you really alone?
We usually feel lonely, not because there is no one around us but because we are surrounded by people who are unaware of what's happening within ourselves.
Inevitably, this makes the world look like an insensitive and mechanical place where people are too busy minding their own business. But it doesn't get any better unless they understand what you are going through. Understanding is never an easy step even with people you are close to. So if you pick a random person, imagine the kind of effort one might require to understand and to be understood.
Open communication is the key here
Being able to talk to someone openly about your own thoughts and emotions is the lifesaver here. But this isn't a one-time fix for the anguish you must be going through. Rather you need to practice open communication. Force yourself to do this, if you have to.
And while you are on it, you need to accept that you cannot deal with the situation by yourself. You need a friend.
Whereas listening to your thoughts playlist alone and on repeat would depress you more, even to the extent of glamorizing death - That is, in the context of isolation, social withdrawal, self hatred, hopelessness, helplessness and a dysfunctional belief system, death becomes the only way out of the mess that you find yourself in. Thoughts about dying may actually calm you down in this case.
Let's take a step back!
How can thoughts of dying calm down a person??
We usually grow up thinking of death as the scariest monster in our lives. However, as an adult I have realized that, scarier than dying, is to live your life wishing for death. But when you equate your life to suffering and you lose hope for a better tomorrow, the thought of shutting your eyes, never having to open it again and embracing the void as it slowly dissolves you, could feel very calming.
As ending your life seems to be the only way to end your suffering, your mind gets preoccupied with the idea of death.
This is another sign that you are in dire need of help. You may even justify these thoughts saying that you won't actually do it. But you would be overestimating your own willpower to resist falling for the illusion of freedom, peace and victory that death gives.
The Treasure of Life!
For more than 7 years now, I have been leading my life as a paralytic with more than half of my body paralysed. As much as (or maybe even more than) one's body is challenged by a disability, the mind is too. Even when all of us positively address it as a 'challenge' that can be overcome, it's more of a daily struggle. The voices in your head would be battling against each other to prove the worth of your own existence. Each day you may have to wake up and walk right into this battle with yourself - An inner battle of choosing to value life over death.
The illusion of control that we have in our lives usually helps us remain organized and prepared in our daily lives. Following this logic, when we feel like we have lost control of our lives, we become hysterical.
When I found myself unable to do many things independently, because of my physical condition, I was shattered. I felt like I was a factory of everything negative like frustration, hatred, worthlessness, etc, all of which were largely directed against myself.
But over the years, I have understood the power of letting go of the control you wish to have over every single thing regarding you.
When you are open to experiences in your life with such an attitude, you start appreciating your life more, you start accepting your flaws more, you even get to a point where you can get along with your own company. All this becomes fuller and easier when you surround yourself with people who love and care for you, so that when you fall into darkness, their faces and voices will help you get up again.
When you are suffering and not able to help yourself, wishing for death makes you feel powerful and in control of your life. But, know that, the sense of control felt like this is just a facade of your fear and desperation. If you can spot this pseudo power within you, you are one step ahead already.
So on a concluding note, even when you may not yet have a reason to believe so, value Life over death. While you get to share your life with your dear ones, the experience of death is singular and its remnant borne by loved ones alone.
Let the flame not be snuffed out (at least not before the candle burns out)!
To life, for life and with life...!!!