“The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill themself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill themself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.” ― David Foster Wallace
This is in memory of my Brother Mark. He was 43 years old when he took his life. Mark had suicidal tendencies. And that is a world where the desire to live in this painful place is almost entirely absent. Towards the end, his world was black and the light never returned. He had become hopeless. He had become suicidal and the desire to live was absent entirely. The light that had once shone out of his eyes was gone. Forever. The darkness took over and my brother was gone. And we still don’t know why
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=41056980
“Killing oneself is, anyway, a misnomer. We don’t kill ourselves. We are simply defeated by the long, hard struggle to stay alive. When somebody dies after a long illness, people are apt to say, with a note of approval, “He fought so hard.” And they are inclined to think, about a suicide, that no fight was involved, that somebody simply gave up. This is quite wrong.”
― Sally Brampton A Memoir Of Depression