Random Drivel from your Average Tosser

...with your host, Binty McShae - whether you like it or not!

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Our friend Anti-Barney has just posted a fascinating and thoughtful piece on suicide (it’s also slightly disturbing - one hopes it should not be taken as any kind of sign…) and in my attempt to reply I decided that maybe I should air my thoughts on home turf instead.
In another reply to AB’s post (Update - the replies have been posted at a different entry - click here to see them and scroll right down) Kim Ayres is adamant that suicide is a selfish act, and he’s right. The thing is, however, it is rarely (if ever) done out of a perceived selfishness... the perpetrator surely believes that what he is doing is in everyone's best interests. In truth there are very few truly selfless acts – any charity or supposed self-sacrifice usually has the added side-effect of feeling good about oneself – and, yes, ending your own pain may be a huge factor in taking your own life but for the most part the desire to cease being a burden on other people is the massively motivating factor.
Let’s get it out in the open - I have been there, and seriously, when I was 16. We're not talking 'cry for help' or anything. In fact I took great pains to keep my plans to myself. It was never going to be anything as fallible as pills or a razor, and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to get hold of a shotgun. The high cliffs where I had gone on holiday with my family seemed like the perfect option… and so I planned it all – the best time to go out on my own, when there would be no-one else around; the highest point with no random ledges that might break my fall too soon; even down to wearing the oldest tatty clothes I had so I wouldn’t ruin anything decent that could be passed on…
I have often thought about that strangely surreal night, when there was an almost full moon much larger than I remember seeing before or since. I can still picture it clearly as I walked with purpose to the spot. The plan was simple… keep walking until about a hundred yards away and then start running – and just don’t stop. Except the one thing I hadn’t expected somewhere so remote at such an ungodly hour… someone in the way.
It was that sheer chance meeting that kept me from following through. Instead of instantly running I stopped still for a moment. The stranger called out a hello and walked toward me. And talked… I don’t even remember what about. It was just one of those clear pure voices that kind of lulls you, calms you. For a mere three or four minutes, that’s all, although it seemed longer. And then she said a goodbye and walked off. The opportunity to carry out my plan had arrived but the desire had gone – in fact, the very idea seemed to have left me.
And that was what stopped me from killing myself - not cowardice, but a random stranger who gave to me much more than they will ever know. I saw her again over the last two days of my holiday, just to nod too from a distance, but I still think about her from time to time and wonder if she even had the faintest idea of what my intentions were that night?
It’s taken me years since then to reconcile my actions and the feelings that prompted them. I frequently still feel like a burden to others, I still suffer from the same problems that haunted me back then. I often still come across like a complete twat to people I meet because of a degree of social ineptitude (I’m sure that’s why I love blogging so much… it’s nice to have a safety barrier) but now I find other ways to deal with it. Back then I thought my mother’s life would be far easier if I wasn’t there to fuck things up. Now I know that even though it’s actually true my mother would be so devastated that any good would be more than outweighed.
It’s so easy to see now, but it really wasn’t back then. Selfish or not, those who commit suicide will always be pitied by me, not scorned. Because I have genuinely been there, and at times like that you really, truthfully, cannot see any other way…
Cheers m’dears!

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At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 1:56:00 pm, Blogger Sarah said...

some people that commit suicide are beyond reasoning. the chemical imbalance in their brain prevents them from seeing anything beyond.

i've lost 2 friends to suicide. another let herself die. that was just the same as suicide, but it was masked by the overlying medical condition. she knew what it would take to end her life and she followed that path.

(sigh) i miss them all.

the gaping maw that is created by the sudden loss.. is unlike any other.

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:06:00 pm, Blogger Kim Ayres said...

Once again Binty, you have got me writing a great long comment only to take it, re-edit it and post it as a blog entry on my own site. Thank you for revealing this part of your life.

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:27:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

Thanks for the comments guys. I was quite uncertain whether to post this at all as it is something that even those closest to me in the 'real' world are largely unaware of.

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:30:00 pm, Anonymous brinxllb said...

I, too, have been there. I remember thinking "At least my missis will get the house, now", pulling the thingio out of the back of my hand in the ambulance, and bollocking the paramedic for not letting me die. What kind of tosser do you have to be to be a failed suicide ? I feel only pity for those who succeed. ECT ; every pill and potion known to medical science and the occult ; and I'm still a depressive.

Don't think I don't feel for those left behind - I do.

At Tuesday, February 28, 2006 7:34:00 pm, Blogger Binty McShae said...

brinxllb, we just crossed in the ether...

I would disagree - Failing at suicide does not make you any kind of tosser. It probably doesn't help your self-esteem much though. I knew a bloke once who had to go to hospital pissed up and was in a waiting room with a guy who had deliberately OD'd, but just not quite enough. This acquaintance of mine was a bit of a cunt and mercilessly took the piss out of him for managing to fuck up his own death... I don't know whatever happened to the guy, but I still can't help feel sorry for him.


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