|Subject:||Not all problems are temporary|
Given the events of the past 24 hours, the Intertubes are all abuzz with the basic concept of suicide. We keep hearing that "suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem". This is usually in the context of depression or similar mental illnesses, implying that support and treatment (presuming the person can get it) will get them through the worst of it, and on to a better life. In a lot of cases, this is true.
But not always.
Long-time readers of this journal (that's him over there) have read many posts about my migraines. For those of you who don't know, I get migraines. Bad ones. Lots of them. Since grade school. Except that they're controlled and relieved by a whole arsenal of treatments, from chiropractic to Botox. Unless some medical breakthrough happens, they are never, ever going to stop.
This is not a temporary problem.
If it weren't for those treatments, I'd be down five or six days a week instead of two or three days a month. Not even counting the suffering, it would mean no job, no ability to be a decent husband or father, basically no life. And I know people who have it worse. People whose intractable pain is constant and unrelenting. To deny these people escape is nothing but cruelty.
Throwing that old saw in the faces of these people is telling them to just tough it out. It's like telling someone with deep depression to just snap out of it. It denies what's really happening to them and reduces it to a bumper-sticker sound bite. I understand that it's well-intentioned, especially coming from someone who believes that suicide is a one-way ticket to Hell. But often, they're making the judgment that suicide is a cowardly, selfish act whose immorality trumps the person's need for the suffering to end--that endurance of that suffering is somehow a moral obligation to those around them. It is also a Catch-22: Serious consideration of suicide is seen as prima facie evidence of incompetence.
Robin Williams fought his demons for over forty years. Who are we to say he didn't fight hard enough?
BTW, don't read between the lines here. I'm good. My migraines are under control, and that isn't likely to change any time soon. As for the rest of me, I have everything I need and most of what I want. I have nothing to escape from. This was not always the case, and the foregoing draws upon my own darker days, and those of my late mother, who had migraines worse than mine and did not have the treatment options I do.
"Who are we to say he didn't fight hard enough?"
Well said. We have every right to be sad or even angry, but no right to judge.