I have never, ever even considered responding to a node before now, but I think that a daylog is as good a place as any to do just that. iamkaym's daylog (just above this one) references a daylog I wrote a couple of years ago. It also makes me sound like an unfeeling bitch in a snide way, but that's sort of beside the point. I wrote that daylog because yes, I was tired of people being "so G.D. F'n selfish and inconsiderate" as to post their threats of suicide here. I stand by that daylog and everything I wrote there.
Look, I understand that suicide is a way out of extreme emotional pain. I also understand, probably better than most people, that emotional pain is just as excruciating as having your skin removed shred by shred with a rusty dull knife. It is real and debilitating.
I attempted suicide myself back when I was a kid in boarding school. Someone found me and I had my stomach pumped. If anyone in my life at the time had been paying attention, I was pretty obviously sick, but I was away at school and no one was watching closely. My father attempted suicide three times, and none of his attempts were "cries for help" by any means. He meant to die. The only thing that stopped him from dying were complicated variations of the right people being in the right places at the right times.
Maybe that's why I have so little patience for the selfish act of leaving suicide notes - or suicide threats - in the paths of relative strangers.
E2 is a community, true. But it's a community of people who communicate primarily through little glass boxes at considerable distances from one another. That distance creates a profound barrier to helping someone who is actively suicidal.
iamkaym, it is incredibly naive to compare an organization like Alcoholics Anonymous to E2. AA's primary purpose is to help fellow members with a variety of issues. E2's primary purpose is to provide a place for people to write stuff.
In AA, if someone is actively suicidal, there are ways to help that person beyond simply encouraging them to buck up. Other AA members can alert family members or call doctors or police. Here on E2, there is nothing any of us can do to help a suicidal user. Not only are they hidden behind fake names, they are often hundreds of miles from other E2 members.
Yes, nothing else matters when someone is in that much pain. Trust me, I'm aware of that. But a suicidal person who is lucid enough to post their suicidal ideations on a site like E2 is probably a lot more on the "cry for help or attention" end of the spectrum.
It isn't the job of the editors or gods to deal with potential suicides on E2. It shouldn't be anyone's job on E2 to keep a watch out for potential suicides. If someone is able to write about his or her desire for death here, that someone should be able to ask a person in their actual life for the help they need. It's simply unfair - and yes, selfish - to post that sort of shit here.
Let's say that the pain our hypothetical person is in isn't emotional but physical. He posts in a daylog that his leg has been amputated in a car wreck and that the stump is bleeding ferociously. He's near death. My question is this: what good does that do? If your leg is bleeding out, go to a doctor. Don't post about your horrible fatal injury to a helpless community of mostly young and distant people who can do positively nothing to help you.
If this makes me sound cold or harsh, so be it. As someone who deals daily with severe mental illness, I certainly hope that someone would jerk a knot in my chain were I to selfishly and inconsiderately begin writing daylogs about offing myself.