Shirky has some wonderful observations for the rest of us. Having been in a position of contemplating ending it all — and realizing that its just not my modus operandi, I found the article helpful in understanding why I didn’t.
Suicide is not hard to understand, not intellectually anyway. It is, as Jeff Atwood says, the ultimate in ragequitting. But for most of us, it is hard to understand emotionally.
I didn’t because, while depressed, I am not suicidal. That’s the partial explanation. The other part of the explanation is tied directly to the fact that I do have that vital connection Shirky identifies — people who care deeply and tell me this — often. But there is something that Shirky I think glosses over. That something is the very real fact that if I had chosen suicide I wouldn’t have consulted anyone about it. I’ve stared into that abyss. Its not that hard to cross over. And this is something nobody, except someone who has been there, can begin to grasp.