This one was in my idea book for the longest time but I knew it needed some tweaks in the dialogue and I forgot about it. Recently I went back to that idea book to look around and I saw this strip and I could finally get the right words out.
What many people do not realize is that people who are considering suicide are already feeling shitty about themselves and the last thing they really need are more reasons to feel shitty about themselves. Like all human beings, we tend to have biases in how we understand other people that fit our worldviews, and if you already think the world has a negative opinion of you everything everybody says will somehow fit it.
For many, suicide happens because the sufferer has convinced themselves that the world would really be a better place without them. Comments that can be twisted to fit this view only make this worse. In the last panel, it shows how the selfish comment can be twisted to encourage suicide. As I said, we twist things to fit our own worldview, it’s how we work.
I’m not trying to say which is right or wrong. I recently got an angry mail about what this character said in an earlier strip, and how his thought patterns show disservice to the ones who lost one that they love through suicide. Although losing a loved one through suicide is a tragedy, this strip is not intended to make people feel better, it’s intended to shed light on how people think. It may be uncomfortable, it may be hard to read. Maybe we want people who consider suicide to regret their actions, to know how hard it affects others. But I can tell you as someone who has been there, it is difficult to imagine the sadness of others when you’re being crushed by the depression in your own skull. When your pain is great and inescapable, it’s hard to comprehend the pain of others, like trying to be sympathetic to other people’s headaches when you yourself are suffering from a migraine.
Recently I’ve been considering adding character descriptions on the site. One of the major reasons why is that some people have interpreted this character as dying several times, like in Groundhog Day. That’s never been the intention; in his story he dies once and all the strips show the things that happen before and after his death, the strips just don’t follow chronologically. There is another character who died in her first strip who follows this same pattern in that you see what was happening to her before she took her own life. With over 300 strips, it might be time for some tidying up.
You can see the strip here.