The war is not over for me

I have this fascination with war. Real war, fictional wars, star wars- just anything war related. Some of my favourite shows and movies feature wars at their centre, most obviously is MASH.

MASH is one of, if not my all time favourite show. It highlights war in ways not often shown- especially not at the time the show was made. It doesn’t glorify or make it out to be adventurous or romantic, it shows it for the ugly, horrific, heart breaking event it is. I am fascinated by war. And yet I hate it. Millions of deaths that didn’t need to happen. Families torn apart and people coming home with physical and mental damage that can often times never be prepared.

PTSD is a real thing, and it happens to SO many returned soldiers. A lot of the time they aren’t even aware they have it. I certainly wasn’t aware I had it, I thought nightmares and flashbacks were perfectly normal. I have never been to war, and I never plan to. And I am not saying my life is a war- but at times it does feel like I am fighting in one.

I said that war fascinates me. I also said MASH shows war for what it is, ugly and horrific. That it is not romantic at all. And that I never plan to be in a war. And yet I see it as romantic. I see these characters hating the war and wanting to leave, and for some reason I want to be in their shoes. Is it sympathy? Is it understanding? I don’t know.

This post is very much just for me to get my thoughts out. I don’t know what I am trying to say really. But I do know this. Like many returned soldiers with PTSD; the war is not over for me.

DEATH WISH

I want to thank everyone for the feedback on my first blog. A few of you have agreed with what I said, while others have not. I have taken all of the comments on it and the arguments to my points, and would like to apologise. My intentions with the post were not to forget about a person who commits suicide. By any means. And they were not to say do not share their stroy, in fact I am sure I said to do that. But I must admit, I was wrong in saying not to celebrate them. I believe I have a certain point of view on the situation and let that effect me far too much. But my intention with the blog was to encourage to love. In future, I will be much more clear and plan my writing better.

In thinking about my blog, and the comments people made about I also decided to look at the whole concept of suicide. I have never been in support of it. Someone who was once very close to me was a supporter. To this person, it wasn’t just an option it was the option. I could never understand that. And as you could probably tell in my last post, only focus on the negative impact on the people around them. We miss them, we mourn, we remember. I said I hated my friends who have committed suicide. That isn’t true. I don’t  hate them and don’t think I ever could. What made me really consider suicide (for a blog post, not for myself) today was an episode of Star Trek Voyager. In this episode, a member of an immortal, omnipotent race Q, named Q (Quinn), broke free from a prison he was being kept in by his race to stop him from trying to commit suicide.

The episode centres around a court case, where Captain Janeway needs to decide whether to side with Q (Quinn) or Q (yeah, they’re all named Q) who was trying to get him imprisoned again for his own good and for the good of his race. Whilst watching I was reminded of the person I was close to. Who has been institutionalised by a system who don’t actually help, or necessarily even want to help. Quinn so desperatly wanted to end his life- albeit for different reasons than the person I was close to- and was accused of being mentally unstable and imprisoned for eternity for it, never to be released unless he conformed to their ways. Now, as you can imagine this was a terribly tough decision for someone with such a strong moral core like Janeway. Do I let this man end his life, or send him to eternal imprisonment which really isn’t that better? At the end of the episode, she says this.

“I’ve tried to find some way to reconcile all the conflicting emotions I’ve felt during this hearing. My own aversion to suicide, my compassion for your situation, Q. It hasn’t been easy. I’ve tried to tell myself that this is not about suicide, but about granting asylum. That I am not personally being asked to perform euthanasia. And as technically true as that may be, I cannot escape the moral implications of my choices. I’ve also had to consider that a decision to grant asylum, and the subsequent suicide of a Q, might have a significant impact on the Continuum. That such a decision could change the nature of an entire society, whether it be a favourable or unfavourable change, disturbs me greatly. But then there are the rights of the individual in this matter. I don’t believe that you are mentally unbalanced. And I do believe that you are suffering intolerably. Under these conditions, I find it impossible to support immortality forced on an individual by the state. The unforeseen disruption that may occur in the Continuum is not enough, in my opinion, to justify any additional suffering by this individual. So, I hereby grant you asylum.” – Captain Katherine Janeway

It really made me reconsider many things in regards to suicide, a persons own right to euthanize themselves. Specifically since I support the right to euthanize someone else if they are old, sick, severely injured or extremely poor condition of life So why is it any different for people who choose it themselves? It might impact those around them negatively, but what right do I have insaying they are wrong in doing so.

I am not sure if I have changed my views entirely, but I am definitely going to research and think on it as much as I possibly can. Again, I apologise to those I offended with my last blog.

DON’T WAIT TOO LATE.

Last year, at age 63, a great man committed suicide. I don’t have to say his name, because ever since his death, the world has had an appreciation for his acting they never had before. Robin williams suffered from severe depression, and as many people have said since then devoted his life to bringing joy and laughter to us despite his own internal problems.

I am one of many people in the world who battles depression. I also suffer from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). The battle has been long and hard already- but unlike a lot of people suffering with the same illnesses, I have never contemplated suicide. I am a rarity my psych tells me. The truth is, as afraid of life as I am, I fear death even more.

I think life is a beautiful thing, a gift. People ask me how I can believe that with the suffering I have endured; and I can only tell them I don’t know. I have no answer to why people suffer, why bad things happen to good people or why good things happen to bad people. I never will. Life just is, and I like it, even if I am afraid of it.

For me the choice between life and death is a simple one. But for many, many others, it is not. I have lost friends to suicide. And I miss them very much, but more than that I hate them. Suicide is never an answer. It is selfish and does not accomplish anything for anyone. To these people, they honestly believe that the world will be better of without them. Many people commit suicide not because of their pain alone but the pain they believe they are causing those around them.

Now I realise many of you won’t agree with what I am saying. “How can you be so heartless?” I assure you I am not. For a long time, I self destructed through alcohol and smoking. Because it was the slowest way I knew of harming myself. Like I said, I like life. And during that time I lost a big part of myself, one of my few good personality traits; my empathy. Recently however I have regained that passion for people that I have lost. And yet I say this still. If a person commits suicide DO NOT CELEBRATE THEM. Mourn them. Miss them. Tell people their story. And yes, be glad they battled as long as they did. Celebrating the life and death of a suicidee feeds the minds of the mentally ill. Let me explain.

Robin Williams was a moderately loved man. And towards the end of his life and career, moderately tolerated. I spoke to very few people before his death who liked his movies, some didn’t even know he was. I saw more parodies ridiculing Robin Williams’ work than Robin Williams movies. And suddenly, he commits suicide. The world was shocked. It was and IS terribly sad, that a great man lost a battle he hhad been fighting so long. But suddenly the world loved him. Suddenly Robin Williams was everywhere and there wasn’t a person alive who didn’t LOVE every single one of his movies.

We celebrated his life, and said ‘the poor man!’ And only cared because he committed suicide. A girl with depression, yearning for others to notice them every second of their life, someone to see them and their pain sees this and sees the reaction the world gave to Robin Williams suicide and does the same thing, she overdosed, leaving a note with only a Robin Williams quote, and the words “Maybe they will notice me.” 

Do not celebrate suicide. The world didn’tgive a shit before hand. And only cared when it was too late. For many people suffering with depression, this will be the case. Reach out to somebody in your life and let them know you care. Love. Cherish. Because that CAN really be all the difference. Don’t wait too late to appreciate.

 

Dave Sherring