I’ve been quiet for a few days as a sudden and sharp bipolar downturn combined with my Borderline Personality Disorder firing at its worst left me more or less non-functional. I scheduled an emergency session with my therapist in order to protect myself from myself. When I am both depressed and self-multilating, the probability of a particularly bad outcome is much higher than zero. Triage was applied and I’m doing better now, but the whole reason I bring all of this up is due to one exchange in particular that she and I had.
She mentioned that in the future, that possibly we could avoid such emergency sessions if I was truly resolved to stay alive. She reiterated that if one is committed to staying alive, then any challenge can be faced and any amount of time can elapse without intentional death being a possibility. She seemed perplexed at my response to such a passing mention, however. I am not resolved to living under any circumstances; in fact I fully plan to avoid the aging process in full by ending my own life near my fiftieth birthday should I live that long. I want an option to avoid pain and I cherish the fact that ultimately I hold the power when determining whether I live or die (for the most part). It’s interesting however, I hold her stance when it comes to the psychopath exercising restraint: the psychopath that vows to remain (mostly) prosocial has no need to fear consequences for their status in a society that does not punish thought crime. I have little sympathy for those that wish to allow themselves antisocial chaos just as my therapist had little sympathy for my insistence that I keep suicide as an always-present option.
Just as I – most likely – will make a suicide attempt one day because I am not resolved to live, the psychopath that is not resolved to remain in society’s good graces will likely push the envelope with behavior that is contradictory to the will of society. By allowing any option to remain open, the odds of that option being executed must be non-zero. I can stare at my wrists, razor in hand, for hours only to eventually relent and sleep, but because I allow myself the possibility of slashing those wrists, the probability that I will one day do such is not negligible. The psychopath that eyes up another on the street, imagining her blade in their back faces a similar possibility if they do not separate fantasy from possibility. In this sense, my disconnect between my own willingness to die and another’s willingness to commit crime is realized. I can’t understand why one would allow any possibility of being thrown at the mercy of the justice system, just as my therapist cannot fathom why I simply won’t contract with living.