Suicide, Depression, and Cowards

Depression, Suicide, and Cowards

Taking a quick off-ramp from the food to talk about something that is important to me. Dealing with the homeless and with at-risk and abused kids, we see our share of depression. Personally, I see it in the mirror every morning, just before I take that little “happy pill” that keeps my brain firing the way it should.

Saw another comment yesterday about Robin Williams being a coward for committing suicide and, frankly, it pisses me off.

People who suffer from depression don’t make thier choices from a lack of courage, strength, or moral integrity. They make choices based on the fact that depression has disengaged their ability to care.

If I take the battery out of your new car, and it won’t start, is it broken? Is it a “worthless piece of shit” (a phrase I’ve seen used more than once in reference to suicide) that’s only good for the junk yard?

How about the soldier who takes a bullet in the spine…is he weak? Is he a coward for not getting up out of that wheelchair and walking? Does he need to just suck it up? Be a better man?

Of course not.

In both cases, something vital to the end result has been removed from the process. It doesn’t matter how hard you turn the key, or how many times, the car’s not going to start with a missing battery. It doesn’t matter how brave or strong the soldier is, he’s not going to stand up and walk.

He CAN’T, because something vital to his ability to do so has been removed from his control.

This is what depression is like; it removes your ability to care. It clips the red wire and disengages hope.

Can’t you understand? To you, the decision to commit suicide WOULD be cowardice, because YOU still have the ability to CARE. Your high-handed, sanctimonious judgement and dismissal of the victim of depression, is on par with me assuming my 1992 P.O.S. mini-van is more valuable than your brand-new Lamborghini, because someone stole your battery and now it doesn’t start.

When you call someone a coward for something they have no control over…well there’s an old saying that “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt.”

And frankly, anyone who would put down a victim is nothing more than a school-yard bully…and everyone knows who the biggest coward in the school yard really is…

-Chef P

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