View Full Version : keep hearing, suicide, the cowards way out

05-10-17, 07:30 PM
I've been around some talk of some suicides lately. No one super close , but one was a pretty good acquaintance. The common theme I hear when people discuss it is "he took the cowards way out" . But did they? When you realize or at least perceive that you will never again feel joy, feeling meaning, care for anything. When it takes every drop of energy to face every day, even when from the outside it appears you have things good. When your alone time is filled with agonizing thoughts and misery. Wanting to live like that is heroic?

Or is the few months of grief that others will face the real source of the cowardice ?

05-10-17, 08:13 PM
I was never brave enough to take "the coward's way" out.
Believe me, I thought about it. A lot.

05-10-17, 08:39 PM
I think that's an unfair and inaccurate characterization of suicide, something that certain people use to avoid engaging with reality, or to feel superior to the one who died.

05-10-17, 08:53 PM
I think that's an unfair and inaccurate characterization of suicide, something that certain people use to avoid engaging with reality, or to feel superior to the one who died.

I agree, just thought maybe it can be a way of turning sadness into blame or pseudo anger due to the resentment of having to feel it.

Little Missy
05-10-17, 09:01 PM
I believe making the decision to take your own life for whatever reason is a personal choice and should be respected as such.

05-10-17, 09:01 PM
Daveddd :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:

It's rubbish. I think peopleby default desperately want to live. It must take a lot to counter that natural instinct. A lot of sorrow and pain. I can't even imagine what someone mist be going through before they decide to commit suicide. If it wasn't hell or of it wasn't hell they were expecting I don't think anyone would do it.

Good to hear from you. Hope you've been good!!!

05-10-17, 09:11 PM
I also think it's rubbish.

I know 2 people that committed suicide. Neither was "cowardly". For both, the pain was too much, with nothing to look forward to.

YES! I was angry (one of them was my sister's fiancee, a few years after she was killed in a car accident). He NEVER got over her death. He NEVER was the same after. He was a shell of his former self. It was an awful, horrific thing.

05-10-17, 09:16 PM
Yeah. That bugs me big time.

I used to always wonder why all the adults would say whoever takes their life would be severely punished by god and sent straight to hell, then say in the next breath that they were cowards.

I thought it surely took some guts and amazing strength to go against what we'd been taught to fear so strongly and choose to buy a one way ticket to what sounded like the worst place ever.

Then I would wonder why in the world this loving being I heard so much about who supposedly forgave everyone of everything would punish someone hurting so badly. I was dismissed and hushed whenever I asked or brought it up, as usual.

Coward, my a**.

05-10-17, 11:34 PM
I think courageous vs cowardly is irrelevant to suicide - it's never either one of those.

I also think suicide is often (but not always) a very poor match with what the person intended to accomplish.

05-11-17, 02:33 PM
I was suicidal myself several years ago so I know from personal experience how painful those feelings are. I have also lost online friends to suicide so also understand how it feels to lose someone you care about in that way and be unable to help them as they edge towards the final action.

Johnny Slick
05-11-17, 03:15 PM
The Crime Writers On... podcast talked about this last week and (I think) touched on some interesting points, most notably that this idea seems to have come about in the 80s and specifically in response to teen suicide. I don't think it's anything close to a selfish act to kill yourself when you learn that you have terminal cancer, you have six painful months to live, and all that you'll end up doing for your family in that time is burdening them with debt. For that matter, I have a really hard time condemning Robin Williams' suicide as "selfish" either.

I do think that especially for younger folks it can seem like the best solution when it's just not. I was never quite suicidal but I had a rough time in high school and while I don't think I would have heard it if someone told me "it gets better", maybe if that message was all over the place maybe it would have? And hell, there even is that aspect of "they'll be sorry when I'm gone" that does go into some suicides and that does kind of make it selfish. But yeah, I mean, not all suicides, and probably not most of them from mature adults.

05-11-17, 03:20 PM
Any human being, in such pain from external factors or depression or mental illness, to the point of wanting to take their own life, needs every shred of compassion possible, as do the family and friends left in the aftrermath of such a terrible tragedy.

05-12-17, 04:08 AM
hey dave. good to see you xx

so, freshly out of a two-part inpatient stay, i am going to do my level best to reply to this thread without saying triggery things...things triggering for others or for self. but, that's the disclaimer because i try to do a lot of things and i don't always succeed.

I've been around some talk of some suicides lately. No one super close , but one was a pretty good acquaintance.
my experiences are my mother, my closest and dearest from this very forum...and myself.

The common theme I hear when people discuss it is "he took the cowards way out" . But did they? When you realize or at least perceive that you will never again feel joy, feeling meaning, care for anything. When it takes every drop of energy to face every day, even when from the outside it appears you have things good. When your alone time is filled with agonizing thoughts and misery. Wanting to live like that is heroic?i think that of those i knew, and i knew my mother suffered mightily and she did it when i was at school...but my father keeps her privacy that she wanted in life...he keeps her privacy in death as well. i don't know what he know and i'm not asking. if anyone suggested she took a "coward's" way out...i'd know the person was either 1. ignorant on the topic most likely and ignorant of my mum's struggles most definitely; 2. wanting to "other" her and what she did. she's a coward...that person is brave...she's a failure...that person is a success.

sometimes we mark out who we are by standing i opposition to what we believe we are not. someone concerned with being weak...with being "irrational"...or "cowardly"... is probably projecting his/her own ******** or some seriously authoritarian parenting s/he grew up within.

with esh...there are a lot of things i could say. i could explain how he suffered. i could explain how much the means he used hurts, a lot, and that he suffered so massively from psychotic depression and lost hope when found treatment resistant that he certain was not a coward when he made adjustments and used those means to complete. he was also raised very religiously...he left with i wish for heaven but an expectation of hell. but a belief that he was an evil and detriment in the world and only leaving could save those he loved, much less be the act that redeemed him and delivered him in grace.

and then there's me. my primary diagnosis has a number of criteria associated with it, blah blah blah... and there's suicidality from engaging in activities that could be trying to remove things from inside my body (certainly, i'm not afraid to do what needs doing in those moments and far from being a coward, i'm fighting the good fight to overthrow those plotting and manipulating me and my experienced thoughts and perceptions. it's never to "kill self" when lacking insight. but...then insight happens and the post break/post hospital slump leaves me with more insight and i lot more guilt and self loathing that i am a detriment to all those around me and i must remove myself for their sake. and, i can't just run away because my heart couldn't stand to be apart from (nowadays) my small girl. before her...i just want to do the right thing and ensure i don't put out a net negative into the world. and i also freak out when i fear i'm incapable of not acting on my intrusive thoughts (from a different diagnosis) as they can be quite violent.

if i were a coward, i think i would be too afraid to take action to secure the happiness and lives of my loved one. but the coward/easy way out thing is quite a slap in the face. it's not easy to say goodbye, oh wait..psych! that was a trick challenge, because you don't really get to say goodbye. not really. it's not easy to know that your child will grow up without you, and hopefully better, but you've also scarred her for life in a different way because now she's growing up with a parent who left. and, not to graphic...but i would suspect those who call it cowardice or the easy way out...maybe they[re envisioning some bottle upon bottle of pills. that's...well not easy if you're looking for success. the means that are 90% or more's gonna hurt like hell and if you survive...then you're super ****** because you've ruined you spinal column or part of your head or potential quadriplegic for dislocations...i mean....

i have to stop now or this is going into too intense a place for me, what with being all freshly out and so forth. but i hope i've made my's not cowardice in anyone i know who has attempted or completed. and,tahnks to my mental health situation...i know quite a few.

am i a coward? have i been a coward? it is "easier" to leave.

well...i'll be blunt: it's harder to complete than you think. a lot of things must go right and access to lethal means can take some scrappiness to obtain and some skill to execute. i've never even planned, much less rehearsed or gone for it from a place of being too cowardly to live. more...that the only way my life makes sense and i can save those around me is to end it. that i'm dragging others down and that they will live lives horrible, brutish, and short because of me. i also feel i'm a burden sometimes and, finally, i fear not being able to die. that's maybe the only cowardice bit i can find. i'm afraid, less so presently, but without reservation and not un-susceptable to falsification, wholly afraid that things have been done to render me unkillable. that i'm not human properly but human corrupted and unable to be part of the circle of life and death...and as the finitude of life gives it particular meaning that it be lived at all...i would be robbed of that. and i would be something i can't type about here.but it's not good. and i would rather be certain i can die and will avoid that so when i'm unable to set those beliefs aside...i test it.

i don't really see "easy way out" or acting from "cowardice" in my experiences, first and second hand.

i do think that maybe if someone were afraid of living through prison after having committed heinous order to avoid having to confront committing them...maybe that's less than brave. or, if someone had embezzled a bunch of money and was about to be found out and empire crashed and so forth...and completed out of fear of facing the consequences or being unwilling to endure trial and so forth...

i don't know. even then..."cowardice" doesn't quite fit.

Or is the few months of grief that others will face the real source of the cowardice ?i wasn't afraid of my mum leaving, but that's complicated and overmuch for her.

i WAS afraid of esh leaving.because i'm selfish. i didn't want to not make new memories each day with him. i didn't want him to go before he had accomplished more that he wanted.i didn't want him to go when he felt like an awful blight-failure on the world who would only cause pain to those around him and could do nothing about it because of the somatic symptoms his psychotic depression made manifest.

i was afraid not because i was afraid to grieve (though, frankly, i should've was rough years for me there). i was afraid that he would go and even if only for a second, that he would undertake this supererogatory act to do what i believed was the ethical/moral/just thing for him to do....and as he did everything to spare others and ease his pain and the suffering he put into the world...i was afraid of how consciousness would leave him and what amount of pain his body would endure as it happened. but that's MY cowardice. that's my wanting for there to have been another way....for there to have been a guarantee he wouldn't feel that pain he felt the first time he tried, but failed and lived another year...and we had an incredible year.

the thing that makes me most afraid of leaving at this point is that i have a small girl.and i believe she knows me at this point and loves me and depends on me. it would have an impact on her to grow up with a dead mum.especially given the stigma surrounding that kind of dead mum. but...if she were able to know the meds i've taken over the years, the treatments, the appointments, in PHP stints and IOP stints and the revolving inpatient door and med side effects and that THIS IS *HELL* for me....a lot. when i have violent intrusive thoughts...hell yes i'm terrified. i'm reassured those with such thoughts due to ocd don't act on them i'm not willing to take that chance. it's not's preservation of the one i care about most.

something to consider:

1. the desire to frame it in terms of "cowardice" is flawed if that's the end of the sentence.

the think about battles and how these are largely invisible to the eye and often undetected by the average non mentally ill person. those "cowardly" ways out are not the first battle, or the best one you makes no sense to so the "cowardly" way out might've been the last battle..and the first one truly lost...the only one others got to "see", but in the days and months (years...sadly) makes the logistics of fight versus presentation of fight makes it sound like the person who left abandoned the fight early. like...certainly when faced with anything challenging and possibly at the slightest struggle. in other words, you just turned and ran without even trying to meet those challenges. that is seriously NOT the story of anyone i know with mental illness. however, if that's attributalbe to those of us with MI, then those without can present selves as the antipode to that trait.

people often focus on the one final act of a war someone has waged...five...ten...almost twenty for me...more for many...years. cowardice is not engaging in the battle at all. and i suppose maybe that's technically possible for someone to be in that situation. but people with mental illness fight the battles undetected on many days, unappreciated for the true battle being fought and won when you endure another day, and, sadly, unknown for those battles that were won daily because defined by the one, the ONE battle they lost.

so i guess, i'm rambling. but all of that is to say that, yeah...cowardice plays a minimal,if any role, in those experiences i'm closest to. and i'm grateful for that.

every person and situation and type(s) of battle(s) and outcome can, and i suspect does, remain a mystery to those who'd call it an easy way out/cowardice. why do i say that? because those who believe it easy haven't ever endured it or haven't been let in when a loved one endures it. I say that because being let in, or being present at times of crisis, be they more or less visible... when you let someone see you fighting these battles, winning sometimes, defeated routinely, i find it hard to believe those persons i doubt would say anything about the cowardice of laziness/ease of wanting to get out. to know that much, if anything, about the "invisible battles" found against our "invisible"illnesses on the daily. that

05-12-17, 03:55 PM
"unappreciated for the true battle being fought and won when you endure another day, and, sadly, unknown for those battles that were won daily because defined by the one, the ONE battle they lost."

yes, very good

this is i think what i was almost trying to think

also I think sometimes you win battles just to realize you are fighting a meaningless war

05-13-17, 01:45 AM
When someone says suicide is cowardly, I consider one of the following:

They've never felt the level of pain that can bring someone to that moment.
They're struggling; this is their coping mechanism.
They've struggled in the past and lack the understanding that suicide can't be generalized.
They're hurt/confused because they know someone who died this way.
They lack empathy.
They're ignorant.

07-05-17, 12:28 AM
It actually takes a lot of courage/balls to kill yourself. I Kinda think assisted suicide should be legal for certain people, like if you are constantly suffering/getting worse and in too much pain to where you don't want to live.
The only thing stopping me is my family, Im not going to ruin their life

07-14-17, 03:04 PM
I've certainly heard this sort of cliche, but I haven't taken stock of what sort of person says these things. Probably not brave people, though, or people with any sort of credibility on the topic of cowardice.

Even if they are personally against suicide (like my retired firefighter friend), the few certified brave people I know tend not to be very judgemental on what other people should or shouldn't do.

Personally, I think suicide like most other human actions can be viewed as noble or cowardly depending on circumstances. Moreover, I consider I have the right to end my own life for any reason or for none, and while I would probably want to be considerate of the feelings of a few important people, I don't think anyone else can make that call for me.

Come to think of it, slogans like this--so one-size-fits-all and lacking in compassion--really sound a bit cowardly in themselves, don't they?

07-15-17, 07:42 AM
Certain people are big giant A-holes.

07-15-17, 10:44 AM
Certain people are big giant A-holes.

Yes. ^ Yes, they are.

07-30-17, 04:04 AM
Life shouldn't be a guilt trip. It's about living. Why would it be the cowards way out? Cowardice from what?

It seems like, when someone says that, they are saying life should be awful, that you should expect it to be bad.

To me, Life is just a bridge. We cross, we go, we move forward, but bridges do more than just help people cross. Bridges bring people together. In my mind I see the places that I want to go, and the places that I will go, but there are so many wonderful people in life and I'll miss them if I get to focused on racing from one thing to the next.

I feel like it's this need for short cuts through life that can really make you feel alone. Sometimes you have to slow down. Most people don't. But that doesn't make them cowards.

07-30-17, 06:54 AM
odd i make this thread and a few weeks later have a really close friend kill himself

anyway, he wasnt a coward

08-01-17, 02:50 PM
It's not the cowards way out. I've thought a bit about this saying because I opened up to someone once, and this is what they said back to me.

I think what they were trying to say, in their stern way, ' we'd miss you if you were gone '

That's what I thought they meant anyway. I guess from reading this forum I've learnt that one of the tricks is to keep in mind what's valuable and appreciable and don't live by others values live by your own.

Then your always on the right path.

08-15-17, 02:08 PM
No, I don't think it's cowardly at all.

That being said I feel extra troubled when I read that a child or teen commits suicide. They are not able to really understand what they are doing as the situation will eventually change and they will grow up and have a different life.

But, an adult who has struggled for a long time and done everything that there is to do to and has been able to look at the situation from all angles then makes that choice, that is different.

08-15-17, 03:14 PM
condolences, dave. xx

08-15-17, 05:16 PM
Dave so sorry!!

08-25-17, 01:25 PM
I am a survivor of suicide. I lost my mother when I was 14 and my half brother (by another mother) also when he was only 21 and I 32. Yes, I had anger towards them. That is a normal part of the grieving process. I would try to comprehend the magnitude of pain they must have been in but, I always figured it was some sort of "mental illness" I just could understand. It was something I hadn't ever dealt with. Anyhow, I started ADHD treatment in January and felt great for about 3 or 4 months, then things changed. I became obsessed with why my medication no longer worked as it had before. I hated the way I felt. I woke up each day praying that the feeling was gone. It was almost as if I had no feelings at times. I felt flat, sad, unmotivated, worthless, hopeless. It crossed my mind one night "I wonder if this is how my mother felt?". Needless to say it scared me to death. I reached out to my dr and he added a SSRI. Point is, you can't judge someone else's situation nor is it right to call anyone suffering from a mental sickness a "coward". We don't call people who die from cancer cowards. Just my two cents.

08-26-17, 05:22 PM
Ive never considered it as cowardly umm.. hmm... now i think selfish that's a hard one because i think that might be more to do with circumstances rather then all suicides. I think context matters and you cant label all suicides as cowardly or selfish or what ever it is because until you truly understand the motive behind that persons actions. I don't think you can generalize such a subject like suicides.

09-02-17, 05:26 PM
if i was brave enough long time ago, i wouldnt be alive now(thankfully i wasnt)

Commiting suicide needs really massive braveness, a coward cant do it. it is really hard thing to do.

it is non sense cliche

09-03-17, 02:07 PM
To say that suicide is cowardly is, quite frankly, so callous and cruel. However, I feel like those who say stuff like that are trying to protect their own ego and sense of identity more than anything. I mean, having to empathize with someone who feels suicidal means having to imagine being that person, which means you may have to challenge your self image. You might start asking yourself if you really are as resilient as you once thought and possibly even confront the fact that you yourself struggle with depression. That's a difficult reality to face, especially for older generations. For them, it's a lot easier to otherise and dismiss the suicidal as "weak" and "cowardly" than to actually feel emotions. It's kind of tragic to think that those people are probably way more fragile and broken than those of us that actually have the guts to admit that we have issues.

By the way, I'm not attacking older people nor am I trying to suggest that there aren't any merits to the stoicism of the baby boomers and so on. But you have to admit, being afraid of your emotions is a huge downside to that kind of simulated invulnerability, isn't it?

In any case, cowardice is totally irrelevant to the topic of suicide, mostly because it doesn't make sense. To take your own life comes from a place of immense hopelessness. You aren't avoiding crappy things in your life - you are ending your life entirely because, to you, it makes no difference whether you are alive now or alive ten years from now. If you're a coward it's because you have something to lose. What do you have to lose when life is meaningless, nothing matters and you are nothing? That's what suicide and a depressive mindset does to you. That's why the whole "coward" thing makes no sense.