A Better Way to Die

in travel •  4 months ago

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Last night as I tried so hard to sleep, I was reading this news about a troubled 29-year-old who was assisted by Dutch doctors to die. Euthanasia is quite a divisive topic especially in this day and age of suicide. Doctor-assisted suicide is legal in some countries. The woman's case was sanctioned by the state. She was not really terminally ill - she was just permitted to end her life due to her psychiatric illness.

After reading the article, I remained awake tortured by my raging thoughts. Thoughts about my life in general. Thoughts about the past and the future. People and things that I hate started to occupy my mind again. Rehearsing every single conversation in my head. Internally unleashing the demons and my repressed violent mood swings. This is just the case of a thirty-something female during the worst of her PMS days. Sometimes I just want to sleep. You know, that long deep sleep.

Look at this lady, she had prepared everything for her death and was even quite excited as the day of her death approached. She is from Holland where Euthanasia is fortunately legal. She must be really grateful to have the privilege of affording to pay someone else to give her a painless and dignified death. Grateful to have friends and parents to attend her wake. I think having loved ones is something to live for or be grateful for in life before death.

If I am still my previous self, I would probably judge this person for not trying hard enough. I used to be trapped in the stranglehold of my belief and culture. Right now, who am I to judge those who want to die on their own terms? As I get older, I realize that life can really be unbearable both for the privileged or not. Both for the terminally ill or not. If there's extreme hopelessness, die, why not? It is really up to people what to do with their lives. I know myself that life is just full of intense suffering. It seems that the question is what happens if you didn't die?

In other countries, people try to survive the war, try to cross borders to make a living, try to steal food from others and all the desperate ways to live. They don't try to die, they try to live. More human beings died without dignity, stripped of humanity. I do wish that Euthanasia is legal here, there's just way too many people now. Some are either suffering due to being deprived of basic necessities or are not contributing any goodness to the society. I think Euthanasia should not just be advertised only to those who have terminal or mental illnesses. The victims of a system that makes living more expensive and unendurable should be given the right to die too. I see people are massively desensitized to watch others suffering from a distance, why still capitalize and live off the slow painful death of others?

I think if you want to just die out of hopelessness despite having choices to live a good life, that lack of fear of death can be used to die in a meaningful way. You can even use that newfound courage to help others like taking warzone photography or volunteering in dangerous zones. Why not use that lack of fear of pain to actually go through pain to be useful to others? Though, I can understand that you wish to die straight away in the process and not having to live without body parts or dignity. In this case, assisted-suicide might help to finally end your life. It is just a kind suggestion. When you reach a point in your life that you really want to leave this world, it means you are free. Noone is stopping you to go through a more creative journey to death. You can do anything now so make the most of that freedom.

I remember I suffered the same hopelessness at some point in my life. Not the hopelessness of not being able to afford to live a decent life. Somehow, I managed enough to get out of childhood poverty. I know very well how it feels to have no purpose or to live a meaningless life. Time is just passing, it is a slow death. It was as if one day, I just woke up and decided to stop existing, to be not part of this whole shit anymore. I'm done. I didn't realize that the day I decided to die was the day I decided to live.

I didn't choose to stop existing in a boring, selfish and uncreative way. Like swallowing sleeping pills, jumping off a building, slashing wrist or God knows whatever attention-seeking significance-validating ways people still desire even until death. I said to myself, I will die happy. I wanted to use that lack of fear of death to just do whatever the fuck I wanted. I might even die in the process too. On the road, a local who gave me a ride asked me where did I get the courage?

Losing hope was really freedom. I didn't care about savings, career, retirement, material possessions or anything anymore. I quit everything. Mind you, it felt really nice. I didn't care about losing anything. It didn't make any sense to stay in comfort and security. If you really want to die, like really die, not a big joke or just one of your attention-seeking tactics, it means you are FEARLESS. You live up to your fearlessness. You are free to lose everything. You are ready to die anytime. That time, I booked a one-way flight to somewhere far and dangerous without a plan. Nobody really cared. It was that one suicide trip of a lifetime. I think that if you want to commit suicide, you might as well do yourself a favor and serve as an inspiration to others who also want to die adventurously.

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Sure my trip was not for everyone. I was quite reckless. I tried adrenaline-pumping activities without a slight care. It was like fulfilling each item on my bucket list. If I decided to die along the way, I might as well try everything in life. I was hitchhiking alone going into even more dangerous places. Meeting people along the way and who knows if they are dangerous or not? You will never know if you don't go out of your way to meet them. The journey restored my faith in humanity. I was exposed to both the harsh realities and the goodness of people. I slept outside, alone in dangerous parks. Walked on dangerous streets. Walked alone. Cried alone. Laughed alone. I was homeless by choice. Ran in unknown highways to catch a truck. Argued with the police. Basically, I was doing things as if it was my last. I've been to a lot of places, even to those strange corners of the world people would not even dare to go to on their own. I ate what the locals ate. I'm not one of those fragile travelers worried about food poisoning. I wanted to be poisoned. I was busy trying to die that I didn't realize, I was trying to live.

After 4 years of that madness, after putting myself deliberately through a lot of dangerous situations in foreign countries, the sweet tragedy is that I didn't die along the way. What happens if I didn't die? I live. I actually enjoyed the whole process of dying that I want to die more. I might still have more time to plan yet another adventurous death ride. It's quite funny that in the process of dying out of hopelessness, I actually found some hope. I've picked up some purpose along the way. Here I am now, writing to tell you that there's a better way to die or a better way to live.

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I always thought it strange that we are comfortable with the idea that an animal should be euthanised rather than be allowed to die slowly in pain, yet when it comes to people many would rather commit them to suffering than allow them to go in a dignified way.

I'm glad you had your adventures and maybe you have many more to come. If we live in too much fear of death then we end up not living anyway. So what better way to die than by truly living.

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It looks like we are made to suffer.

If we live in too much fear of death then we end up not living anyway.

So true!

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It's interesting how you say it looks like we are made to suffer. That would appear to the be Catholic and Protestant ethic prevalent in our societies. Don't quote me on that, as I've never been a Christian, so I could be being unfair to the religious.

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That first paragraph, yeah, I think the same thing. Really bizarre. Some might say it's because we judge animals not to be as "human" as us. But most people, treat their animals as humans, and in fact better than they treat most humans.

I didn't realize that the day I decided to die was the day I decided to live.

And selfish old me Is so glad for that decision! :-)

This is such a difficult topic... I think most of us go through periods in life when we feel like giving up, question what's the use of all that suffering and pain. I know I have. Never thought about actually ending my life though, and I'm glad for that to.

I live in The Netherlands, and it's good that it's legal here to get help with leaving this life if you really want to, but I'm glad you live elsewhere ;-) Thanks for writing this, @diabolika; as always, you manage to talk about such difficult, personal things in such a natural and easy going manner. I'll resteem this to, as I'm sure there are lots of people who need to hear this <3

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but I'm glad you live elsewhere ;-)

Aww you are really sweet! I really appreciate the resteem. Thanks for the kind words.

A better place is here to enjoy and die in love

"Losing hope was really freedom." I had a friend who got herpes and afterword he said that he felt relieved because he didn't have to worry about getting herpes any more. It is a pretty similar concept but the way you say it is much nicer and less grimy lol.

"It's quite funny that in the process of dying out of hopelessness, I actually found some hope." It is strange how that works but I think there is a lot of truth in that. There is a very specific kind of freedom that comes with not caring about the self. I think this might be the same reason that experiencing "ego death" on psychedelics can be such a positive experience , come to think of it.

Anyway, I am certainly glad that you decided to stick around a while longer.

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It seems that when some horrible thing happens to us, it's like great, we no longer feel so bad for other horrible things that might happen.

It is a pretty similar concept but the way you say it is much nicer and less grimy lol.

lol thanks.

Anyway, I am certainly glad that you decided to stick around a while longer.

I'm also glad I did.

I think it is the first time I read whole article like this long.
Because English is not my first language, so hard to explain what I am thinking of your article. But I sympathize with your story and view and way of your thinking.
It was great to read your writing and start following you now. :)

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Thanks for dropping by.

Coming from the country where this is al legal, I have to say that I am quite proud of it. People should deserve to have the option to die if their want to. And why not be open about it, that will make it so much more better understandable for the loved ones.
And remember, euthanasia is not like a lot of people think, going to a place and dying two seconds later. That is process with loads of doctors, witnesses, and talking about it. You have to be sure that you are thinking straight that youreally want this. I think it is a human thing, and should be available everywhere.

Your journey sounds really like a search for the meaning of life. And it is cool that it brought you so much on learning about yourself and humanity. And there is always a better way...for everything!

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People should deserve to have the option to die if their want to. And why not be open about it, that will make it so much more better understandable for the loved ones.

I agree! People should be open to this idea these days. Anyway, there's always the option to cancel the decision during the process.

And it is cool that it brought you so much on learning about yourself and humanity.

True, it was a life-changing journey. Thank you!

This is the most beautiful thing I've read in a while. I for one am happy you're still here and feel much the same. I'm sure I never was truly alive until I released my fear of death.

I'll be returning to Peru in the new year and if you want to take an adventure I'll be happy to come along. Maybe we die together... Maybe we have just another adventure. Anyway, thank you for sharing.

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Thank you for the kind words.

I'm sure I never was truly alive until I released my fear of death.

Yeah to die is to live.

I had a really great time in Peru. Quite a bittersweet journey!

To listen to the audio version of this article click on the play image.

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Wow, great post, D. This is classic @diabolika! A real stimulating read. I've spent my fair time thinking about suicide, both from a philosophical point of view and a personal view (as someone with mental illness). I really empathise with this post. I always used to say that if I was to commit suicide, I'd just walk off into the wilderness (either literal or metaphorical) and keep going till I couldn't go any more. I'd never thought of it, though, in the terms you express above about that point of freedom from fear of death. But reflecting on it now, I do still have a twisted desire to face death. I want to know how I would react, and I also have a dark desire to know what that moment feels like when you know you are going to die. I'm thinking situations like facing someone with a gun etc. And reflecting I think this is that same freedom you talked about above. That freedom to stop caring absolutely. I think this would be the only time in my life that I would be truly free. Although, I think I might get close to that if I was to attempt parachuting out of a plane. I think functionally the fear would be too great for me to jump, but in the end you'd just have to let the fear go and do it. Fuck paying that much money to pull out at the last instance... ;)

And finally, this line

I didn't realize that the day I decided to die was the day I decided to live.

Wow! such a insightful line. You could base a philosophy around this (there's probably one already). And it reminded me a bit of a Soundgarden song, who's lead singer you might or might not know recently committed suicide. The song ends like this:

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs

I woke the same as any other day you know
I should have stayed in bed

The day I tried to live
I wallowed in the blood and mud with
All the other pigs

And I learned that I was a liar
Just like you

Just to be clear, I'm not saying you are a liar here. ;) The lie is the life that 99% of Western's lead. I'm glad I've given up that lie (and you have too I'm certain), but I still need to come to terms with the existential emptiness. In a sense I have, but it's the fucking boredom that's doing me in. I don't need a purpose. But fuck I'd love one... ;)

After reading the comments now, it seems this post struck a chord with everyone else as well. Definitely one of your best posts. I reckon you could even look to getting it published outside of steem if you wanted to.

I might also use this opportunity to add something I didn't get around to in my first reply. As someone who has suffered mental illness and thought about committing suicide, I really empathise with those who say they are feeling suicidal. And it's because of this reason that I find it hard to say to people "No, don't commit suicide, blah blah blah". I sometimes think only people who've never faced such darkness really believe someone shouldn't commit suicide. I wonder if they would tell them to just leave their leg in a firepit because one day the fire might go out, instead of throwing themselves fully into it and ending the pain.