A few days ago I wrote a post about some of my darkest moments. In the history of this blog, I’ve told you about my life and many of the aspects therein. If you follow me regularly, you probably know more about me than you ever wanted to know. Maybe I’ve made you laugh, or smile. Maybe I’ve made you think. Maybe I’ve simply entertained you for a few minutes while you waited for the commercials to get over. Whatever it was that made you read, I thank you for doing so.
Several of you have written to me with words of encouragement or prayers in the last few days. I thank you for those as well.
Two people have contacted me with the same suggestion: if the basis of my suicidal thoughts are rooted in student loan debt, why don’t I look at gofundme, or something similar? Why don’t I seek help? My main problem rests in the smallest loan of $14,000. People have gotten more than that from good Samaritans in the past. Why don’t I add my name to that list?
I’ve thought about this pretty heavily for the last couple days. As such, my mindset has teetered from despairing to hopeful and back again several times. I suppose that there are two things stopping me from trying. One is simple and easily worked past. The other… the other is harder.
The first reason: Pride. It seems weird to me that I would still have pride as I talk of suicide. If I think my life is worthless, how can I still be proud of it? I don’t think my life is worthless, though. I think it’s trapped. Imprisoned. Buried. I only want freedom of this dark cloud that hangs over my head and (if my math is correct) will continue to hang over me until my death—whether that is now or in 100 years. I think that’s one of the reasons why suicide has seemed so favorable. Right now, my husband and I must both be consumed by the debt-cloud, and we will both be consumed forever. If we ever have children, they, too, will suffer under its darkness. In the state I live in, however, my student loans are not passed on to my husband in the event of my demise. So, if I die now, he at least can be free immediately. In some dark way, it seems logical.
The idea of crowdfunding would free us both from this, without involving my life’s end. We could both be liberated and happily, and I could continue teaching (which is the only career I ever wanted. It kills me to think that I may have to give it up because of finances). However, it seems so… wrong to ask money of other people to pay for my mistakes. I was the one that went into the education field even though I knew, I knew, I couldn’t afford college. Even with all the sacrifices I made at the time, I always knew it would catch up with me, eventually. So how could I ask other people to help me fix the mess I made?
I guess if I did end up killing myself, though, then that pride won’t do me any good, anyway. A proud dead person is not worth much more than a live humbled one. Therefore, I think I could work past the Pride and feel gratitude. Humility. Love.
The second reason is harder. If you ever read my post “Faith: What I *Really* Trust” then you know that above God or deities, above karma and a great universal justice, above myself and all of the things I believe may affect the world in positive ways—I have faith in People. In Humanity. I believe that people are the driving force behind all the greatness in the world. It’s people that look after others—people who save those who are hurting, who help those who have less than them. The world is a bright and beautiful place—and that is one of the reasons I choose to keep living every day. But the world is not bright and beautiful on its own—it’s wonderful because of the people that inhabit it.
Sites like gofundme and a hundred others have proven this. No matter what happens in the world, there are always people willing to help. I believe that. I know that the world is filled with more good people than bad and that they would be willing to try and save a teacher who only wants to keep teaching.
But what if I’m wrong?
Setting something up on gofundme or anything else would be the greatest act of faith I’ve ever committed. Not faith in God or Knowledge or Justice. Not in Truth or Science or anything else that’s out there. Faith in People. In Humanity. In that thing that keeps me going every day, that makes me smile and empowers my speeches. That makes me sure that life is worth it.
What if I’m wrong? What if Humanity isn’t as great as I have convinced myself it is? What if the world really is as dark a place as the other people in my suicide-prevention circles say? Would I be able to keep going after learning that? I don’t know. And I am afraid.
So, I guess I turn to you, Dear Readers. What would you do if you were me?