I Still Think Suicide Is Selfish And No, I'm Not Ignorant For Believing So

I Still Think Suicide Is Selfish And No, I'm Not Ignorant For Believing So

We need to stop ridiculing people who believe differently than us.
3618
views

My eleventh grade teacher always reminded his students to remove phrases like "I believe," "I think" or "in my opinion" from first person essays. He said it was redundant to include them because anyone reading our work would know what we write is our personal opinion.

Mr. Ponikvar is correct to an extent. I think now, more than ever, it is so important to include those phrases in our social media posts. In regards to my recent article about suicide, I heard many complaints about my lack of compassion, awareness, and sensitivity.

But if there's one regret I have about my last article, it's this: I didn't emphasize enough that the words I wrote are my opinion, which are based on my personal experiences ranging from childhood through present day.

Let's get one thing straight — opinion does not equal fact. Almost every negative reaction my last article received was so consumed in an egotistical outlook, that many people forgot the foundation of an opinion. It is neither right nor wrong.

However, my fiancé brought up a good point as I wrote this article. Some opinions can be discredited, and that is exactly why it's so important to hear each other out and be open to different perspectives.

Everyone has different life experiences (education, religion, etc.), some might be more knowledgeable about a topic than you are. You’re allowed to have an opinion, but you should always be willing to admit that someone else might know something you don’t.

We can all learn from each other.

What hurts the most is people who call me ignorant or say things like, "You've obviously never experienced depression." The hurt I felt, however, wasn't for myself. It was for all of those people who ACTUALLY believe I don't know what I'm talking about simply because it contradicts their own knowledge and beliefs.

I'm writing this article as a partial follow-up to my last one, but I mainly want to talk about a larger issue that was brought to my attention through the conversation my article created.

Every single person is different. Everyone is raised differently than their parents, siblings, and neighbors. Everyone experiences different friendships, hardships, and feelings. Everyone has a right to believe in what they believe in, and no one should be ridiculed or belittled for thinking differently than anyone else.

Something important to know about me is that I was raised in a Latino-Christian household. Those aspects of my life played a huge role in the types of life lessons I was taught. One of the life lessons emphasized early on is that family is everything. Family comes first, and you should always do what you can to help your family before yourself or anyone else.

Mental illness and depression were taboo subjects growing up, mostly because I was surrounded by adults who believed depression was experienced by individuals who lived a life without Christ.

My depression was brought on at the young age of 14 when my best friend, Brittany Kirk, was murdered by her stepdad. The same stepdad we all joked around with and loved hearing tell jokes. No one saw it coming, and her murder, along with her brother and mother's, was a shock to everyone who knew their family.

It was a long road to healing, but I overcame my depression because anytime I heard about suicide, it was described as selfish.

"There's more to life than yourself and your sadness. You can't let your emotions overpower your common sense. God has a plan for you, and killing yourself is just plain stupid."

Those were the kinds of things I heard about suicide growing up. The only reason I didn't kill myself when I was 14 years old was because all those words flooded my mind. Despite the deep darkness that consumed my mind and heart, I knew ending my life wasn't the answer.

It would hurt and permanently scar the lives of my parents, siblings, nieces, nephews and so many others. I would set an awful example, and I would cause more damage than I could possibly imagine.

The opinion and belief that suicide is selfish saved my life, but many people think that kind of outlook is toxic. Regardless of how you were raised and what you have been taught to believe, you have to remember that everyone has a different outlook on life because of their upbringing and experiences.

Don't judge others based on their beliefs. They're entitled to them just as much as you are. No one can help what they're taught to believe, the people they meet, the schools they go to, etc.

No one opinion is more important than another. Just because a particular opinion is popular doesn't make it a fact.

Experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts does not automatically make you an expert on it or qualified to assume why Chester Bennington, or anyone for that matter, did it.

I don't care if you have a Ph.D., you will never completely understand my, or anyone else's, experience. Depression is experienced differently by everyone. No one can experience someone else's pain because it is caused by a unique experience, and they feel what they do based on their past, their ability to cope, and many other factors.

Some people label my opinion on suicide "toxic" while others label it "a revelation." At the end of the day, it is only an opinion based on my personal experiences, and no one can take that away from me.

I want to also point out people are not defined by their actions. By labeling suicide as selfish, I am in no way labeling a person who ends their life, selfish. Millions of people deal with horrible mental health issues, and I never have and never will take it lightly.

Depression affects everyone differently, which means there are some life-saving methods that work for some and others that don't. This phone number 1-800-273-8255 might save someone's life, but it didn't save mine.

You don't have to believe suicide is selfish, but some people do. Accept it, don't judge, continue to disagree if you want, but move on. There is no room for hostility or lack of respect when discussing other's opinions.

Let's do better.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Hart Photography

Popular Right Now

To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
56594
views

Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Depression Is A Balancing Act That Is And Isn't In Our Control

Managing depression can sometimes feel overwhelming.

1235
views

*Warning: Before reading any further is that this article will be talking about heavy topics such as depression and suicide.*

Depression in this day and age is a very sticky topic to talk about. Yes, we are becoming more aware and accepting of the issue, but we still have a long ways to go in terms of really know how we can be there for people in a way that's most effective and where they don't feel judged because of it.

I have dealt with depression most of my life and especially going through college. It didn't become a big thing for me till I came to college, and then having to navigate my issue of it. Whether that's talking about it friends vaguely about it, bottling it all in, going for professional help, etc. It's one of the many reasons why I'm afraid of meeting someone new, or wanting to be in a relationship, I was afraid of the judgment and feeling that if I told someone they either might not want to do anything with me, say it's too much for them, etc.

Now some of those fears, in my opinion, were unjustified in a sense that yes even though it is important for people to be there for me in my time of need, I need to be conscious of how much I share and whether they can take that piece of me I shared. It's a balancing act that is hard to manage, but it allows me for a much-needed look into myself of what actually makes me happy, what doesn't, what triggers my depression and going out of my way to make sure I don't let it take control of me.

The depression took me to places, very dark places that I'm happy to have push through, with my depression it made my thoughts go into suicidal ideation, and even hurting myself, an act that I never thought I would ever do but thankfully I had people in my life that helped me overcome that and going to talk to a professional.

Depression is a mental health issue that most everyone struggles with regardless of where they're at in life, it can come like a tidal wave, or not at all. It's an internal struggle with ourselves, and we do our best trying to get through it. I know that I'm not alone in this, and if you're reading this you're not alone either.

Don't be afraid to talk about it, but be mindful of other people and how much you can share in order for them to be able to process it, go for professional help, exercise, hang out with friends. Don't let depression fully control your life, it won't go away but if we can manage it in a way that helps us be able to keep it under control then that's a win.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Related Content

Facebook Comments