When I was a kid, I didn’t have that athletic gene that most of the other kids had. The majority of my friends – from elementary school & beyond – played some sort of organized sport, while the most extracurricular I’d gotten was a year of karate class (tournaments included). My contribution to adolescent sportshood was my card collection. I bought basket, base, & football cards, & paid close enough attention to know who was hot & who was not. A lot of my larger friends seemed to fancy a defensive player named Junior Seau. So naturally, when I came across those particular cards, I tucked them away. Little did I knew that the only reason I’d revisit that macro-collection as an adult would be because he’d later allegedly commit suicide. My prayers [have already] go[ne] out to his family regardless of how he passed. (See what I…never mind.)
Assuming Junior Seau’s death was a suicide, it’s always sad to see someone take their own life, semantics aside. Think about it for a moment; it’s hard-wired into our psyche that we know live once, no second chances. Instinctively, we avoid harm, even when we inflict it upon ourselves for recreational purposes. That’s called self-preservation. Think of self-perservation as Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics,” except for real people, in real life. For a human being to reach the depths needed to override that safeguard & activate their own killswitch is nothing short of amazing. People generally blame depression for such a reprehensible thing, but only God truly knows how His children work.
I can’t begin to empathize with a person who has taken their own life, but I’ve dealt with deep depression during my alcoholism & I can definitely sympathize with being overwhelmed, under-responsive, & sick-&-tired of being sick & tired.
& speaking of my alcoholism (four years sober as of April 1st, btw), my first cohesive thought as I left the hospital years ago was literally, “Wow. I almost drank myself to death.” I imagined what my death certificate would read as the cause, not to mention how my children would have to explain, for the rest of their lives, that their father had essentially committed suicide. A slow-burning, long-winded suicide that would have just as surely killed those around me until I’d actually died myself. Fuck all that, though.
If nothing else, the main reason I stopped drinking was because I wasn’t ready to die for something so small. That’s a God-given clarity that, unfortunately, many people don’t live long enough to achieve. On a few occasions during my disease, I wrestled with the thought of killing myself to prove a point to people, but the only point that was proven was that I was too chickenshit to really do anything to myself. The irony being, of course, that I was doing something to myself anyway by drinking like a confused fish at an oxygen bar.
Life should never get so heavy that one voluntarily collapses under the weight. If it does reach such a size, there are people in place to help you. In my 36 years of breathing, I’ve never seen someone solve a problem from beyond the realm of the living. (Jehovah, Jesus, the devil, & the rest of those guys notwithstanding, of course.) Ending your life won’t solve any problems & is arguably one of the most selfish things a person can do to the people than need them. Granted one never knows what the next one is truly going through, but my point still remains.
God bless the families of Junior Seau, Don Cornelius, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, & all the other individuals in the universe who died by their own hands, accidentally or otherwise.
& for God’s sake, people, chill.