I wrote a post one time on mental health. This could be viewed as a sort of sequel. I think.

I’ve danced with thoughts of taking my life. Weighed it on a scale which was unashamedly biased in my favor. I’ve wondered whether death is as scary as people make it seem. They say to live be art or art be life. One of these two. But is it possible for one’s death to be the same? One at least gets to have some sort of control over the way one gets to die. The art of death. Has a nice ring to it.

I don’t like pain. I try to avoid pain that is in my power to be without. A lot of people are like me. Others don’t mind in the slightest. On the pain scale, death ranks in the top three to them. It’s a moderate pain. You hear a person decide to take his or her life. You hear further that the person had planned the death consciously for a while now. You call the person a psychopath. The person is bound for hell. The person is so selfish for leaving behind people who care for his or her wellbeing. You say this in the comfort of your comforter in bed sipping tea (I don’t know why it’s tea in this scenario), while reading the suicide story online.
You feel so good. So wonderfully holy. You’ll never think of taking your life. Your family loves you. You have amazing friends. Why don’t people cherish these things?

I have one word for people who are “you” in this instance: Shut up.

If you play video games on your computer, there are buttons you have to press to walk, jump, fight, crawl, and so on. If there’s a time limit in the level, you have to press these buttons continuously in a rush while battling obstacles. Life is like a video game that spans thousands of cities. You might get power packs in the form of friends and family and such. You might step on the wrong cobblestone and wake up in the hospital bed with total paralysis. Was it your fault? No. Life just likes to keep things interesting.

I don’t think one should take his or her life. This is not on a moral basis. A lot of us aren’t even morally inclined to begin with. We hear stories of people that get knocked out in the middle of the game. They take the wrong power ups, press the wrong buttons and they’re knocked down. Sometimes, they just have to fall into depression and they’re knocked out. Any mental illness will do. But we hear stories of these same people that did something, not when they were standing but when they got knocked down. They continued to move.

This is where the pain scale comes in. No friends, no family, suffering from a manic disorder, gets judged by strangers, no money, no nothing. In this person’s eyes, death doesn’t seem so bad. So, this person takes his or her own life and suddenly everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks this person should have gone ahead living. Others can handle the pain. Why not this one?
But this one is not you. The pain scale varies with yours. You put your own standards on this person. You are you.

When someone asks me what I would do if this or that happened, I always reply with an “I don’t know”. Why? I don’t want to assume my reaction in a situation that I’m not in. I don’t know what I would do if I was raped and got pregnant. Despite my Christian background, abortion would look really good then. But it’s murder to most. So what? I don’t have the right to judge people who take either side in a situation because I don’t know the struggles, the tears, the anguish that resulted in that decision. Whether good or bad.

So I simply say, “I don’t know”.

I didn’t take my life. Obviously. A lot of us are loners because it’s ostensibly cool. It’s not. Friends that are with you till the end of the line (geeks would appreciate this reference) are worth finding, worth having and worth keeping. Family is a beautiful thing. Blood or otherwise. The pain you would feel if a loved one left you? Just try to imagine a strand of that immeasurable pain. Not possible. Now, this loved one left willingly. It hurts.

I don’t judge people. I don’t live your life, didn’t grow up like you, so I can’t. Don’t use religion as a shield. Life is fragile and sacred. But the sad truth is that we will all die eventually. So, before you pull the trigger or take the pills, remember the pain scale. On a scale of one to ten, how bad is the pain? If it’s a one, keep moving. A ten? Find those power-ups and decide. There are power ups everywhere as you progress through the levels in life. You just have to keep pressing those buttons.
Till next time, keep musing.

5 thoughts on “THE PAIN SCALE”

  1. A perfect tutorial on how to say, “There’s no good-enough excuse for taking your own life”.

    Splendid read.

  2. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful piece I’ve read regarding the subject of suicide lately. You’re an extraordinary writer; I wonder why I’m just noticing. Big-ups Zikanni.

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