Not. She's dumping me. Yeah. She really is.
Which brings me to the subject of suicide - taking one'own life.
First let me make clear I have no licenses in psychology. I'm not a clinician of any kind. I simply have experience. An my good, old, trusty BA in English - makes me a legit writer, yeah. Power to Education.
I always thought Socrates was the first of ancient persons to take their own life. He drank a lethal brew of hemlock.
It turns out, he was sentenced to death by a jury in 399 BC, because his views were considered unconventional - yes, simple as that. He chose his form of death.
"Socrates had become renowned for his contribution to the field of ethics, and it is this Platonic Socrates who also lends his name to the concepts of Socratic irony and the Socratic method, or elenchus. The latter remains a commonly used tool in a wide range of discussions, and is a type of pedagogy in which a series of questions are asked not only to draw individual answers, but also to encourage fundamental insight into the issue at hand. It is Plato's Socrates that also made important and lasting contributions to the fields of epistemology and logic, and the influence of his ideas and approach remains strong in providing a foundation for much western philosophy that followed."
"According to Xenophon's story, Socrates purposefully gave a defiant defense to the jury because "he believed he would be better off dead". Xenophon goes on to describe a defense by Socrates that explains the rigors of old age, and how Socrates would be glad to circumvent them by being sentenced to death. It is also understood that Socrates also wished to die because he "actually believed the right time had come for him to die.""
"Xenophon and Plato agree that Socrates had an opportunity to escape, as his followers were able to bribe the prison guards. He chose to stay for several reasons:
He believed such a flight would indicate a fear of death, which he believed no true philosopher has."
"If he fled Athens his teaching would fare no better in another country as he would continue questioning all he met and undoubtedly incur their displeasure.
Having knowingly agreed to live under the city's laws, he implicitly subjected himself to the possibility of being accused of crimes by its citizens and judged guilty by its jury. To do otherwise would have caused him to break his "social contract" with the state, and so harm the state, an act contrary to Socratic principle."
Socrates' death is described at the end of Plato's Phaedo. Socrates turned down the pleas of Crito to attempt an escape from prison. After drinking the poison, he was instructed to walk around until his legs felt numb. After he lay down, the man who administered the poison pinched his foot. Socrates could no longer feel his legs. The numbness slowly crept up his body until it reached his heart. Shortly before his death, Socrates speaks his last words to Crito: "Crito, we owe a rooster to Asclepius. Please, don't forget to pay the debt." Asclepius was the Greek god for curing illness, and it is likely Socrates' last words meant that death is the cure—and freedom, of the soul from the body."
"Freedom of the soul from the body". Suicide.
I've had my fair share of exposures to suicides. There was an employee of mine, whose husband hung himself during X-mas. The owner of the facility we worked refused to give her time off to attend to his body and other matters. I was her manager, until the next day when i quit the job calling the owner an asshole, which he was. There went my resume listing "manager"...
During my time as a custodian at a community college in the 1970's I made two unforgettable acquaintance'. I was in my early 20's and both women were beautiful, very beautiful. One woman made me think of the French, Joan of Ark, short, dark hair, a face to love, and experiences... she was 26 when I met her.
The other woman was a model... in the sense she was beautiful, graceful, but by no means dumb. We had some very good discussions, but then one day she opened up about her body image. She hated herself. She felt the human body was wrong, not right, awkward. She decided she would rather be dead than living in her body. She did so, committed suicide. She was at most 22.
My French friend, she told me one day she was in the nursing program to learn how to properly kill herself. Age 27 she shot herself at the local general hospital, in the restroom.
There was my cousin's best friend, a beautiful woman I got to know well with 3 kiddos and a husband. We used to share "feelings" together. We had fun together. She killed herself and i adopted a kitten the day my cousin and I visited her husband after her death. The cat was my closest companion for the next 11 years, until he died... with him, she died forever, and I was devastated.
Fact is: My father made me promise not to kill myself. He could see I was capable of it from a young age. And so far, so good. But considering the reason's why some choose suicide and others don't... maybe it's the fact I was a 70's person, and going to a therapist was in style, along with self-help books and a lot of questions about "Who Am I", and "What Is My Purpose in Life?" We embraced the challenge. Many of us benefited from the unusual therapies. We took personal risks other generations didn't dare take. For many of us, the "baby-boomer" generation, the results were mixed, but overall positive. For others, not so good.
I'm an idealist, and always around the corner is a better life... some would call that hopeful, others would describe that as being a basic foundation of the American principal, the never ending "pursuit of happiness" that our culture encourages, or at least as a "Constitutional ideal". I'm finding that in reality, life is indeed difficult, and finding happiness is more and more elusive... The very nature of what got Socrates sentenced to death, for example, is still alive and well in 21st century America... the overt demand for conformity. Some people do better shedding the need to conform than others, or the ability to conform and find pleasure in that, however, even successful people have trouble feeling as one with society sometimes, and find they can't live with themselves. And it's sad. I don't believe it has to be that way. But again, I'm an idealist.
Feeling awkward about ourselves or our body... ? Granted, sometimes that is unavoidable, especially when we obsess about it, yet often, it is simply a difficult task as we become more keenly aware of our differences among others, our physical form, or the burdens we carry.
Seems the role of government in that respect would be more one of acceptance, and less frivolous regulations when it comes to what rights adults have in pursuit of their dreams. But alas, governments, religions, and group ideals don't often help, instead, they are designed to enforce a ideal of their own, a lock-step of sorts, and the result is a large segment of the population doesn't feel like they "fit in".
I'll conclude with a very touching, recent story of a SOAP Actor who recently took his own life. Nick Santino, unemployed, was "forced" to euthanize his dog Rocco, on Nick's 47th birthday. Nick got Rocco, a mixed pit-bull, from a shelter, lived in an apartment complex the originally allowed pets. They changed the rules, but "grand-fathered" pre-existing pets as okay to keep.
But for Nick that was at a price...
“People were complaining about his dog,” said neighbor Kevan Cleary, 63, an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School. “It was open season on him.”
Rocco couldn’t ride in the main elevators and wasn’t allowed to be left in the apartment alone for more than nine hours.
Santino couldn't live after that... and that's all it takes.
Hey, us human beings, we're a tough lot. But we've got feelings. Part of those feelings is where do we fit into humanity, our brethren?
I can tell you suicide is not the answer, but the solution is complicated. It requires standing back from the present and reassessing the future. With more than two solutions present at all times, one's third eye can often see a way out. I've witnessed it many times. Yet still, those who took their own lives, it's so sad, as it still seems so unnecessary, unjustified and unfair to us still living.