This evening, I watched Choosing to Die, Terry Pratchett’s documentary on assisted dying. Aside from the poignancy of his visible deterioration, I found this very difficult to watch, for the question of whether we have a human right to choose.
In January, a tsunami-like depression swept me away with no warning (well, that’s how it seemed at the time- with hindsight, the signs had probably been flashing neon bright for a few months…)
I’ve been depressed before. Maybe time has kindly wiped the worst of the previous episodes from memory, but this was the first time I understood that depression kills. Living was too hard. I didn’t want to make that effort any more. Not even for my children (and that’s a killing sentence to type.)
I remember the Thursday morning when I finally dragged myself into the GP’s surgery, and blurted out that I wanted to die. That man probably saved my life. He managed to convey that he believed me, that he took what I was saying seriously, but he didn’t pressure me into any course of action. He gave me options. He spotted when I was beyond decision making, and steered me, but never coerced.
Writing publically about your own suicidal ideation is a tricky one. I’m only putting this out here now, because I finally feel sure I’m writing about it in a definite past tense. S’OK, no cry for help here. I chose to keep on living. And finally, almost half a year down the line, it’s mostly not so hard. The last month has definitely been more good days than bad.
Depression is probably where this blog sprang from, and why I’ve spent the last week furiously posting words and pictures about how and why I choose to live. I create, therefore I am.
(Normal service, with hills and knitting will resume shortly, but at least now we all know where I’m coming from…)
And yes, I believe we all do have a right to choose. But perhaps not always the mental capacity to make the best choices.