So, let’s talk about suicide.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, suicide reigns as the main cause of death for people between 15 and 24 years old. In Australia, almost 7 people commit suicide every day. These are harrowing facts.
There are myriad reasons that can underlie the decision to end one’s life. But, first and foremost, I cast part of the blame on media and part on our own susceptibility to it. No wonder suicide is a topic attracting so much emotion, with all its artificial glamour and wicked splendour conjured up by the media. It sends a distorted message to the public by glorifying the deaths of Plaths, McQueens, Cobains and Woolfs. All these notions of death being superior to life plant a seed in our minds, too overwhelmed with information to filter it correctly.
Other mental health destroyers? I will tell you. Loneliness accompanied by overwhelming silence. Anxiety – the malady of today’s society.
Paradoxically, we have a contradicting mixture of unacceptable loneliness and the unendurable proximity. Charles Bukowski once pertinently wrote in his poem that people are “mutilated either by love or no love”. Nothing can satisfy the modern mind, greedy and always craving more, possibly more than it deserves.
But this does not change the fact that there is a striking, almost tangible dearth of connectivity, taking its toll to a considerable degree. It is not only a public health concern – it is a spreading bane gaining more momentum. It’s harrowing to notice that such a small thing as a meaningful conversation is not always at hand. Kamari aka Lyrikal wisely observed that “Life is too short to waste on empty conversations”. Sadly, there are few listeners in this world. And some excuses like “I don’t have time” or “I’m so busy” are just inadmissible. I believe that if you want to communicate you will somehow manage to communicate.
People rattle, tattle, ramble on. We are surrounded by rumours and incoherent details of the universe’s monotony. We live in an age replete of silly, superfluous accusations and assertions with no grounds. It happens too often that a talk equals an illusion of a dialogue. We all speak at the same time, never listening to one another. The veneer of mutual understanding exists because people are ultra-self-absorbed. Humility has vanished – we are not taught how to deal with failures, we are only told how to efficiently meander in a global rat race.
Furthermore, there is a surfeit of goods and possibilities, both so trivially attainable that it is not conducive to stimulating our inner fighter. It is too easy. We should be fighters. Instead, we are dreadfully sedated and numb from the fear that, realistically, no one will guide us through this darkness of mind. It seems to me that people have a lot of audacity to show off but not enough courage to truly believe in themselves. Social sites such as Facebook promote a happy lifestyle, but are a stark contrast to what really is going on in our heads. Generally, people prefer to post and share joyful moments, implying a no less joyful life. It’s all a façade, only feeding the incapabilities to handle reality.
Also, shockingly, abnormality is prevalently romanticised. It is not so often about pride and having the guts to say “I need help”. Many people actually derive some morbid pleasure from being able to proclaim themselves as mentally unstable, insane, mad, crazy, deranged; whatever name suits their distorted perception. They have no desire to abandon their precious misery, thinking that succumbing to misery and negativity is something unusual. They do not realise that this is a detrimental fantasy, merely a short term illusion. Some also appear terribly insolent by thinking that they have unravelled all the intricacies of life and therefore are ready to “break on through to another side”.
Still, I cannot comprehend why so many young people give up so easily today. There is nothing grand about suicide. Still, it seems like there is a disastrous lack of vigour and ability to take life in our hands, a prevalent sluggishness permeating the air. Our generation needs more curiosity. And more passion, presumably.
Bukowski also wrote “You have to die a few times before you can really live”. This is the whole point. Cherish the times full of misery, embrace the desolation and dejection because one day you will look upon them with a sentimentally racing heart. After all, it is unhappiness that makes us grow.