simon, everything is really shitty and i genuinely have no one to tell but you and i want everything to end and the only thing stopping me from offing myself is knowing everyone will be disappointed in me, do you know anything i can do to make anything better??

I am sorry to hear that you are struggling.

I have been contemplating how to reply to you, and every time I write it out, I realize I can say nothing to help you, except to sympathize. At least not yet.

You see, there are only three ways out of suffering: to put a stop to whatever thing is causing the upset, change your expectations so that the thing does not cause upset, or remove yourself from the situation entirely. I could possibly give perspective on any one of these, had I more information, or enough of your trust that you felt comfortable messaging with me directly. I can only endeavor to demonstrate that I am listening, that I do care, and that I want to help.

As it is, any comfort I render is superficial at best. I cannot know how bad it is, what sort of suffering you are enduring. All I can do is give you general wisdom and offer you my perspective.

You may know, if you have followed me a while, that I have considered dying on many occasions. I have even tried to die. But it has always been a half hearted attempt, and always tangled up with a deep philosophical argument. It took me several iterations, several reckonings, several increments of understanding to obtain my final position on the subject – one I’ve discussed before, when approached by similarly worded asks.

Perhaps it will benefit you now to hear it, perhaps not. I cannot tell because I have no immediate interaction with you upon which to gauge my reply. But here it is, for better or ill.

Death is an ending. In my experience there is nothing after, what you are ceases to be, but even if there were an afterlife, there is no way to move backward. No matter what a person believes about the other side, it is irrelevant. There are facts that cannot be debated, to wit, when you leave this life there is no returning, when you leave this life, you cease to be as you are now. Cognition depends on the bodily senses and the brain, and without them, you cannot argue that you simply carry on in the same way. Everything changes at death and it is a permanent change.

The only assurance is now. The only guaranteed conditions and outcomes are those we understand, and those are here.

If you die, nothing changes. Do you understand what I mean by that?

If you die now, by your own hand, the things that made you suffer still exist. They don’t stop because you didn’t put a stop to them. You simply stopped yourself. You won’t be able to “sit back” at that point and say “Thank heavens that’s over with” because you won’t be you anymore. In my beliefs, you cease utterly, but if I am wrong, you change completely and therefore, you still cease to conceive of reality in the same way. Death SOLVES nothing. It isn’t a release, because there is no such thing.

Life is a constant bobbing sea, and there will never be stillness. The only way to survive its storms and enjoy the tide, is to learn to float.

Our only possession is this moment, this chance, this instance of existing. All our perception, or philosophy, and indeed, our suffering, comes from living. You’re only able to contemplate death because you were alive in the first place. If you let go of this possession, then there is only one assured outcome – that you have lost an opportunity.

Perhaps I’ve lost you with this existentialist digression. I know your pain is far more immediate, but all I have are my words. All I have to offer you is this wisdom, because I cannot speak to your circumstances.

All I can do is offer you my ear, and whatever my long life has taught me. I can give you both of those, should you see fit to seek me out. Anything said to me is kept in confidence, and shall not be shared without your consent.

I am very sorry you are suffering.

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