Wednesday, July 17, 2002

When Death Becomes Me

I wanted to write something short and the first thing that came to mind was how I conquered my acrophobia. The answer to that was that I didn't need to. I was suicidal, so I had nothing to fear from my fear.

I've often contemplated the idea of suicide. I did so several times when I was depressed over my crush, but I didn't take it too seriously since I had come to terms with death by then. I knew death would not solve anything, and that life gave me opportunities. However, given the chance, I'd easily surrender my life in exchange for someone else's. If there was a hostage situation, I'd willingly volunteer to be a hostage if only to deprive them of the chance to acquire one of my friends as a hostage.

My true contemplation of death occurred when I was eight. I was smart enough to realize then that my life would often be filled with sadness and solitude. I wanted to end it all, free myself of all responsibility or care. The question was, how do I do it?

I knew holding my breath wouldn't work. I'd only end up unconscious and start breathing again. Besides, suffocating to death wasn't something I cherished. I already had colds that kept me from breathing. Going out that way wasn't pleasant. That ruled out death by drowning and death by strangling.

Jumping to my death seemed natural since I did have acrophobia. However, there were stories of people surviving high jumps. People recommended that if you were to leap to your doom, it should be done on low levels, like three stories. The problem was that I can survive a one story jump without getting severely injured. I'd probably survive a three-story fall. So how high should it be? If I jump from a building too high, I might also survive. Ending up lame for the rest of my life wasn't something I wanted.

In television, people usually slit their veins if they want to die. If you do it the wrong way, it can be very painful. I was no expert in the art of committing suicide? I mean, who is? You only get one chance. Besides, I had a feeling our kitchen knives weren't sharp enough.

Shooting my brains out seemed tempting. Of course there were two problems. One, where do I get a gun? Second, I don't think I had enough physical strength to pull the trigger. I mean there was this amusement park when I was in the US and there was this game when you had to fight the computer in a quick draw. My aim was good but my trigger finger wasn't. I could barely fire it with two hands, and that was a simulation. How much more with an actual gun? I don't think anyone would volunteer to shoot the gun at my head for me.

At this point, only drug overdose seemed to be the only pleasant way to die. Again, I was encountered with a few problems. First off, where do I get the drugs that'll kill me? Second, I just can't overdose on certain drugs. For all I know, I'll just end up with a stomach ache. What I needed was a lethal drug, poisonous to people yet soothing and comforting. No way would an eight-year old be able to acquire something like that.

There was also the "slit my own throat" option but I realized I just didn't have the courage to do so. Maybe if someone else did it but I just couldn't find the strength to do it myself. Besides, I knew my last actions were to grasp for life. I may want to die but my body doesn't. Committing suicide wasn't working out for me.

After a lot of deliberation, I decided that killing myself wasn't worth it. Whatever problems I might have, having life means that there's always a way to solve them or evade them. At the very least, I'm open to opportunities if I live. When I'm dead, I won't feel anything, much less aspire to anything. Death would be a waste.

And so, that was how I staved off death for the next several years. Suicidal thoughts come and go but that experience made me realize how much I really wanted to live, and how I'll always find the strength to somehow cling to life. Besides, if I weren't alive today, I wouldn't have met all the great people I now know

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