The Show

“To be, or not to be, that is the question:
Whether ’tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Slings and Arrows of outrageous Fortune,
Or to take Arms against a Sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them: to die, to sleep
No more; and by a sleep, to say we end
The Heart-ache, and the thousand Natural shocks
That Flesh is heir to?” – William Shakespear

When I was younger, I contemplated suicide as an option to escape the ‘thousand shocks’ and the agony that my life seemed to be destined to follow. I considered several different ways that I could do so, each one trying to minimise the negative impact on others.

I was about twelve at the time and my life was a misery to me. I was seriously looking for an excuse to stay alive, because there seemed to be so many reasons not to.

I had always been a loner at school. The people I thought were my friends weren’t. For the sake of personal safety I had learned to play on my own, to contemplate on my own and to not get close to others. It thought that there were some decent people out there – so long as they interacted with you one on one.

I learned that anything that you write down can be used against you, that anything that you tell people will be used against you and that the best policy is to not engage.

On top of that, I had just shifted school after my brother had experiences a particularly nasty bout of bullying which the school failed to address properly. This, combined with shifting house twice exacerbated my feelings of domicile restlessness. I had moved around quite a lot as a child and had been stable for five years – now I wasn’t again.

I spent many long walks thinking about how I was content on my own, but not around others. I had a lot of troubles with my brother and I felt quite alienated from the rest of my family (mother and step father). I considered quite a few extreme actions but chose not to do them because I really didn’t like their consequences.

On top of this I was entering my teens, which really messes ones self-identity up.

Eventually I decided two things.

1) There is no minimum impact to those that care about me, and there are always some who care about me. I certainly didn’t want to be responsible for their grief and pain.

2) If I did suicide, my life certainly wasn’t going to change for the better. In fact, it couldn’t change at all. It’s ended.

So for the hope of a brighter future, for the ability to act for that future and the love of those who cared about me I decided to live on. For a long time, this seemed to be enough and as I left my teens, I never needed to go back to this model.

One of my motto’s became “The Show Must Go On”, and in my life, I was the lead actor.

So, when have you considered suicide and, assuming you aren’t speaking from the beyond, what keeps/kept you going?