Understanding begets empathy

The frantic calls from the shore were a distraction, I thought as I waded deeper into the ocean. There was salt in my hair, and the sting from my eyes indicate its presence in there too, the salty waters of the Atlantic have found their way into my briefs, and still, the waves crashed in and beckoned me to it.

My friends screamed my name again, demanding that I stepped back. But this isn’t any ordinary dare, I was willing the universe to do its worst. Carry me off into oblivion, I thought with crystal clarity, willing the thought into existence like a pristine seed sown into nutrient-rich moist soil. It’s been 6 months since.

I wasn’t despairing when I attempted suicide by drowning, I was just drained of hope and consequently the zeal to go on. For days, then weeks, and then months, I fought the demons beckoning me into the bliss of non-existence. “End it,” they whispered, “embrace bliss!”

The irony, I would come to think much later is, that my life as it was then is bliss to many people. But that is the thing about hopelessness, isn’t it? It is a hazardous chemical that is capable of wreaking havoc on the human soul. So for months, I was in that dark place that eludes most everyone, the place where all objections to ‘Suicide as an option’, go to die and get buried.

Now that I think about it, maybe the universe’s worst is simply letting me live out the rest of my life. Or maybe that is its best. Allowing me to appreciate the depths of hopelessness and the toll it can take on the human soul, while empathizing with ‘the generally hopeless’ who do succumb to the beckoning of self-harm that results in suicide.

I can never again hear of someone who capitulated to it and think, “They could have held on harder,” I know how near-impossible that is.