Recently, I had a chat with someone around the topic, ‘is suicide selfish?’. I feel that this is quite a popular opinion, and something that I once used to feel – so whilst I am in between races, I thought it would be a good topic to cover.
I suppose a lot of people may read my blogs, and see the challenge I am doing in memory of Adam, and wonder why I am putting myself through so much effort for something that was ultimately Adam’s decision – and perhaps something that could have been prevented.
On that night back in April 2016 when I first found out about Adam’s death, I will be honest in that, although naturally incredibly sad, I had feelings of anger – ‘how could he do this to us? ‘why has he done this?’, ‘how is Mum going to cope?’
I couldn’t comprehend what had happened.
It was the next day that my friends rallied round and we did what we always do – we talked about things as rationally as I could at that time and started to discuss what had happened and why.
Although my view around the selfishness of what had happened changed almost instantly, it has now been over 2 years and I have learned enough about mental health for those feelings to now be completely eliminated.
It is a common opinion, and as mentioned, one that I used to often feel when hearing of people leaving their loving families behind.
From this blog, I want to get the point out there that Adam was one the most kind hearted, selfless people I know, (well of course I am going to say that), but it is true, and the support with this challenge from everybody who knew him is a testament to that.
Brothers and Sisters grow up and grow apart but I was lucky enough to have Adam as a close friend and had spent the day with him 3 days before he passed away. We spoke about his mental health and life in the future.
He did have suicidal thoughts that he spoke openly about. He called the usual helplines, spoke to family and friends and on that last day I spoke to him, he told me of course he would never do anything because of what it would do to us. He knew that his life was worth living – it was just his mind torturing him.
Sadly, the anxiety got the better of him and it is heartbreaking that he felt that the only way to stop these thoughts and feelings would be to end his life. Without being in that state of mind – and I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone, or want to ever experience myself – I don’t think that we can judge and call it a selfish act.
Yes, we are left behind with the loss, and yes many lives have been affected – but when you are in a place of wanting to give it all up, are you thinking rationally and about other people? No. Does that make you a selfish person on the whole? I disagree.
My friend described it as a ‘heart attack of the brain’ which I think is quite a good comparison. When you have mental health problems that run that deep, you’re not functioning properly and making decisions as you normally would.
That is my take on it anyway… But I know it is hard to change personal opinion. I just wanted to share how I feel about it.
I think I just want anyone reading this to understand that Adam was a lovely, funny young man – and to take away any thoughts that he, as a person, must have been selfish because of what he did. Because in my eyes he was anything but.
During that last conversation, Adam also asked me if he could stay with me once I finally got my own place. Well here is his Happy Gilmore poster in prime spot in the spare room ❤️
So where am I up to in the 30for30 challenge?
‘Race’ number 21 is consisting of 4 x 5k runs called the ‘Sale Sizzlers’. I have completed the first one just over a week ago, in the good time (for me) of 00:26:22 – which is 12 seconds off my 5k PB.
I have 3 more of these to complete which are happening every fortnight throughout July and August. I will aim to get quicker and see if I can beat my time.
Tomorrow, I will take on race number 22 which is a half marathon in Shropshire (Carding Mill Valley) where all runners are required to take:
- Minimum 1 litre bottle of water
- First aid kit
- Map of the area
I wanted to keep things massively challenging to make all the fundraising worth it and to impress people enough to stretch those donations!
If you do wish to sponsor me for this ridiculous race then please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaBramwell2
I will be wearing my GoPro on this race, so I can upload some footage of the amazing scenery on the next blog. I will report back once recovered!
3 thoughts on “Is suicide selfish?”
Nice contribution Emma …
The night before Adam died we spoke a lot and he assured me that he was ok …
My last words to him was to ask him to book two weeks holiday in Greece to play tennis and I said are you okay son….. He said – Yes Dad !
I miss him so much.
Well done Emma you are helping…….
I once tried to kill myself and, whilst I appreciate everybody’s experience of depression will be different, for me, ending my life was utterly inconsequential, like putting socks on. Sock on, sock off, alive, dead; it just didn’t matter, I didn’t matter. It’s s hard to even imagine that these days now I’ve recovered, I am no longer even able to think like I used to, that’s how much your brain is when you’re depressed. Selfishness? Consequences? Missing somebody or being missed? When you’re at those kind of lows, you’re not even capable of thinking such things. Can you imagine feeling like you were utterly insignificant to everyone and everything in the entire universe? It’s tough to do. In fact, prior to my actual suicide attempt, I used to believe emphatically that I was harming everybody around me and that by sacrificing myself I would be doing them all a kindness.
You cannot use the thought processes of a well person to imagine what somebody suffering from depression is thinking. Oil and water.
Suicide is not a selfish act; it is the desperate act of a tortured mind.