This is not going to be a post that quotes a lot of facts and figures about the suicide rate in Jakarta. I do not claim to be an authority on the subject and neither have I done the research to pretend to have a claim like that. This is more a general commentary on suicide in light of a story I read in today's Kompas Newspaper (page 27).
I would imagine that if you asked most people whether they had thought of suicide or not their answers would be "no". For me this is kind of like asking men whether or not they masturbate. The answer to that question is almost universally no too. Yet, the majority of men lie on this one and I think the majority of people lie on the suicide question as well.
Thinking about suicide does not mean that you are desperate and thinking of figuratively biting the bullet and ending it all then and there. To the contrary, when I think about suicide it is almost always regarding how does one do it. I, personally, have great difficulty in the idea of ingesting something to stop me breathing or putting a shotgun in my mouth and blowing the back of my head out or getting in a car and poisoning myself with carbon monoxide.
The difficulty for me is trying to picture my life being so bad that I would rather be dead. To date I have not been able to do that. I have often thought that people who commit suicide are to a certain degree, cowards. However, as I have aged, I know longer think that suicide is necessarily the easy way out. I can not pretend to understand the pain that must precede a decision to end it all, but I think I would find myself rationalizing that pain against the pain that I would leave behind if I did kill myself.
The story that put me to thinking about this is about two students who gassed themselves at Pantai Karnaval at Taman Impian Jaya Ancol in North Jakarta. The news only relays their death and the manner in which it occurred. Unfortunately, it does not tell their stories. It does not tell us how two young adults in their early 20's reached the decision that they did. How was it that life was so bad that they no longer had the desire to live? At 21 and 22 you have your whole life ahead of you! If it is at a low point or even if it is at the lowest of low points then the only way to go is up! Life will get better.
Anyway, just some personal ramblings from someone who has seen friends choose the ultimate option and still to this day never fully understands why!