Suicide Subculture

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Lately, things like suicide are becoming a common headline. Recently, it’s the college freshman from UP Manila we now all know, Miss Kristel Tejada. Her death made people talk about tuition fees. I wonder if she knew what kind of effect her death had on tuition fee discussions in the country.

Does she roam about UP Manila as a ghost and get to hear the buzz about how she killed herself? Would her ghost form be elated with the flak that that student assistance office who rejected her plea for consideration got after her death? Did she get to say “Hahaha! Buti nga sayo”? No I don’t think all this talking would have helped her. We, the living survivors, talk to console ourselves. But we can never prevent kids from killing themselves when they want to.

Like the Bermuda triangle and strange alien appearances of this planet, I can never find the answer and when I don’t find answers, I feel so compelled to dig like crazy or at least write in my blog about it if only to expunge the disturbing thought that nags like an unaddressed toothache.

When I was in college, my tuition fee was roughly around 300 pesos per unit only. But we can only speculate that financial problems were the only reason of her sudden demise. I think that there were other problems that complicated the situation. She had other problems. Probably she was abused, she was brokenhearted, or she was something other than what other average happy college kids are. Or probably she just did not want to exist anymore. It can be a pretty logical decision for some people but often the usual suicides are marred with emotional intensity.

People who love to live their lives on earth find it absolutely senseless and unimaginable to do something like it. Psychology Today once outlined six reasons why people commit suicide. But it was written by someone who remained alive, albeit a psychology expert.

Suicide is misunderstood because the people who can enlighten and really provide insight on why it happens are successfully dead and unable to come back to the living to explain themselves. Suicide notes are usually not sufficient because the decision to take one’s life is something that can either be spur of the moment (limited time to write and explain) or a very tiresome dragging affair (say, the need to terminate life is more compelling than writing a letter explaining to the world why it had to be done). Yet another article affirms that depression is the chief cause or one of the top causes of suicide.

Call me extremely morbid, but I don’t think these people are stupid or cowardly for doing what they did. If you really think long and hard about how life in the world is these days, it’s not a very remote possibility that you will feel like everything is meaningless for the most part. Even the Bible had that entire chapter in Ecclesiastes about the meaninglessness of life. King Solomon in all his wisdom only came to the conclusion of how meaningless life is.

You get married as a woman in your youth and then when you get as wrinkled and ugly as a raisin, your man cheats on you, and is that worth living for? You try to elevate yourself with promotions but what does that bring you? You go to all these places and what exactly does that bring you in the end? You deal with seniority, underpayment, unemployment, useless rivalries, petty arguments over something as trifling as jewelry, humiliation of existence in general, fights with people, non-fights with people, rejection, etc… And what for?

Everything ends. Everything fades, even the best sensations and the highest forms of achievement are at most, fleeting glories.

It is a known fact that kids these days are smarter. And maybe since they are smarter, the suicidal kids may have recognized earlier in their life that life is meaningless and so they think that it’s not good to continue living because it’s a waste of time, space on earth, and energy.

Not to mention that when you become so unstable you just become another useless mouth to feed with the earth’s limited resources. I just feel like some people may want to just die because they feel more useful as a dead person than as a living one. People like to blame somebody for a death when in fact, the one who died may have just simply wanted to die.

Sorry for thinking weird on this one. Maybe I am so wrong because there are so many people who want to stay alive and say that life is beautiful and that we should all just emit good vibes and gorge on all that positive psychology. But I thought about this topic for a while now, and sometimes I think I am too much of a coward to really do it, too, even when sometimes I have that compulsion and curiosity to try and see if it is really as bad as it looks.

Last week, I googled ways to die or kill one’s self and I got a lot of pray to Jesus answers than actual methods of trying to kill one’s self.The top results are usually useless, so probably it was Google’s way of discouraging people to research about suicide online and actually do it.

I actually asked a good friend from publishing who is a registered nurse and another friend from high school who is a pharmacist.

Mercy killing drugs needs a license in addition to doctor’s prescription. Those are the injectable stuff for painless death. And then my nurse friend refused to answer me. She was probably scared that I’ll try to find the drugs for painless and quick/sure death. She just joked that I should find nurses suffering from burnout and compassion fatigue to get the answer to that question because their oath for their profession prevents them from revealing what drugs can really kill quickly and painlessly.

But that means there are actually PAINLESS DEATH measures available if you known which cocktail of chemicals you can ingest.

(I actually passed BS Pharmacy in UST college entrance exam. I should have had more time to reconsider my career of choice given this current morbid curiosity.)

So anyway, in the absence of that necessary medical knowledge, as a suicide aspirant, there are a few options as we find in the headlines: hanging (gory!), getting run by a train Anna Karenina style (wishing you were also as pretty as her), getting run over by a truck at Araneta Avenue in the late evening or early morning before sunrise (and looking like minced meat after, so gory!), gunshot (with piece of brain souvenirs and hell for the maid who is left to clean up your mess), Zonrox or muriatic acid drinking session (I know of somebody who did this and she stayed alive, ended up making a giant hole in her stomach, and was still heartbroken when she survived her failed attempt).

If heartache is a catalyst enough for suicide, there’d be more dead people than cemeteries can store. But you just feel chest pains and feel like a zombie when heartbroken, but very much alive still, fortunately or unfortunately.

To subject one’s self to those kinds of painful and grotesque forms of death is double-edged sword. Stupid enough to exit in a very excruciating manner. Brave enough to endure the horrible mode of death (ironically unable to face the horrible realities of remaining as a living and breathing human being with the rest of the world). So what are you, suicide subculture members? It’s hard to decipher. We recreate crime scenes at best and make all those post-mortem talk.

It’s like they’re telling the world that: “Hey this may look bad but it is way better than what you choose to do every morning when you wake up.” Or “Everyone’s going to die. Why don’t I go ahead since nothing much is going on for me here?”  Or just simply “I just want to die. Can you not put me in the headlines and just let me die?” Instead of feeling repulsed, I feel intrigued at their major life decision to expire before old age or accidents decide to take them.

For years, I had a singular wish, and that is to die quietly and painlessly in my sleep. I don’t like to be part of a freak accident or be in the headlines. They make such media feasts out of the dead because they are so dead and unable to defend themselves from the shame of being photographed and identified so publicly. Sometimes I don’t want to watch news shows especially in the morning because I want to dignify these deaths by not knowing too much about them and just letting them die in peace.When a person dies, all his mistresses and perversions can come out of the investigation and I feel so embarrassed for these dead people when that happens.

Sometimes I contemplate getting off the taxi or stepping over the sidewalk at the same moment that a huge 18-wheeler truck approaches the highway. The latest was last week on a Thursday night. I felt scared but I felt tempted, and I was surprised that it’s possible to feel both at the same time. And then, I considered the janitress who will have to sweep the road with my brains in it, the truck driver who will be arrested for something that is completely out of my own will to do, the SOCO or NBI (?), and the people who will take videos of my dead body, and I flinched. In college, I took out some Admiral blade and tried making some mark on my left wrist but I was worried about how messy and bloody it will look like, and how painful it will be before I stop breathing.And that I needed to write so I should slash my right hand, or maybe I should slash my left first, and in that confusion I just frigging threw the blade away.

I also thought of how my parents will miss my jokes and how my fiance will be unable to work for God knows how long because he will miss me too. Or how my friends will not know and feel bad that I have not emailed them or arranged to meet them. And with all those links, almost immediately, the torturous temptations leave me.

I, like those members of the suicide subculture, do believe that death is the beautiful punctuation to the ceaseless nightmares of life. I thank God for most things in life. I thank God for the beautiful things. But I believe that 90% of the time, life is a nightmare to be endured.

I couldn’t join those in the ranks of the successful self-dead because: 1.) I am too scared and I want painless and quiet death, 2.) I think there are a handful of people who will get depressed or disturbed if I choose to take my own life and in their grief they might stupidly decide to follow crazy me for a more senseless reason, 3.) I might not go to Heaven because I think Jesus does not like weak, suicide people roaming about up there somewhere, 4.) I am afraid of burning in Hell and they actually had a DVD of Hell’s tortures in National Bookstore and that freaks me out so much, and 4.) My life insurance policy will not give my accident and death insurance if my death is caused by suicide, crime, or military exercises. So all those months of not buying clothes or Happy Lemon milk tea to be able to pay for my life insurance will be put to waste. When you have such life insurance, you tend to kill yourself more carefully because your beneficiaries need your money to be able to bury you properly.

I don’t recall where, when, and how I have gotten so morbid about life, but I think that somehow, in a twisted and unpopular way, the suicide subculture makes a lot of sense to me than earning all this money to console one’s self with superficial joys that you cannot take to your grave.

Perhaps there is actually a civilization outside of earth where the desire to live is an anomaly. I don’t know. They’re probably too dead and far away to explain. They might also be an exclusive sorority that needs a lot of paddling for membership. They might be more condescending and matapobre than the people of this planet. And I don’t speak alien talk, in case they decide to pay me a visit. I won’t be able to pass their initial interview on top of their rigorous membership requirements.

So I go back to loving life (kuno) with the rest of the world. And be a perpetual mental shrew with a darkly comic hue.

I’m so tired. I’m so happy. In the end, it does not matter as much.