Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Hard to die. June 2, 2010.
“Razors pain you; Rivers are damp; Acids stain you and drugs cause crap; Guns aren’t lawful; Nooses give; Gas smells awful; You might as well live.” – Dorothy Parker
* * *
I first heard that little poem decades ago, but would have never imagined it would hold special meaning for me someday. When I made my attempt, I was 100% sure that it was foolproof. I did not expect to leave that motel room alive. But my attempt was what they call “incomplete,” and I was left with the consequences: permanent scars; the possibility of lifelong liver damage; a whopping hospital bill; and for my family, feelings of pain and betrayal.
For a long time afterward – until the medications began to work – I continued to be obsessed with my demise. But I had no idea how to achieve it. My “foolproof” methods had failed, and left me in worse physical and financial shape than before. Did I want to be paralyzed and in a wheelchair forever if jumping off a building didn’t work? Did I want to have brain damage if I survived a drowning? And how could I get a gun with my mental health record?
Statistics show that for every completed suicide, there are 20 attempts. And no wonder. It’s damned hard to kill yourself, and you are most likely going to fail – only to face repercussions afterward. Maybe there is a good reason it's hard to die.
Dorothy Parker was on to something, wasn’t she?