Ending with dignity…

Anybody heard of the woman wanting to end her live with dignity, as opposed to courageously fighting to live as long as possible?

I support her.

I personally am not in her shoes, and I don’t think I’d make the same choice, but I support her in hers.

If you don’t know, here’s a summary: She has less than a year to live, terminal cancer in the brain, doesn’t want to live the last of her days in agony and suffering.

She and her family moved to Oregon, where physician-assisted suicide is legal.  She allegedly has the pill prescribed by her doctor to do the deed and carries it around daily, as a reminder of the power she has over her own life.  I recently read a blog post by Matt Walsh on The Blaze mouth-foamingly against suicide, or euthanasia.  I get some of his points, that someone mentally ill may not be in the right state of mind to decide this being one of them.  I had an interesting talk about this while driving my wife to meet her brother, who will transport her to our hometown where she will get another tattoo, and is slightly manic right now.  I had explored the idea that someone terminally ill, or someone with an extremely low quality of life, say, someone who suffers from a disease that immobilizes them but they have full feeling all over their body and communicate with their eyes.  A commenter mentioned a guy who suffered from depression and, although he was married and had kids, decided to kill himself and “leave his family to pick up the pieces”.  Suicide is being labeled as cowardly and selfish.

No matter who you marry, no matter how many loving children you have, at the end of the day you have to be happy and at peace with you.  The days when people slogged through something miserable, even though they weren’t happy, are over, and individuals are empowered to take control of their happiness.

Of course, bRaving said “so if I want to kill myself you’d let me?” and my response was no.  Having had time to think about it and process it, I still can’t agree with it, but I can see that someone who is suffering from a mental illness may eventually, and sanely, come to the conclusion that they cannot stand living life anymore and that suicide is a better option.

I have personally had suicidal ideations and a plan, at one point.  I was able to face it and come out stronger, knowing that what ailed me was temporary at the time and had nothing to do with me.

So, as a “haHA! moment, my wife just called me completely shitfaced.  She went to a party with her brother in our hometown, and was supposed to be the designated drive; she had one drink and couldn’t stop.

I’m on my 6th Budweiser Black Crown beer myself.

So throw one back and celebrate yourself!

The Mental Health Stigma is alive and well in the military

mh issue
This post graced my Facebook timeline today. It was made by a Staff Sergeant (E-6) in the Marine Corps. I know the guy, he’s the douchebag that got 2 people hurt so bad that one lost his arm and one with an extremely bad TBI. I digress.

The first comment is mine. The second comment is someone I’ve never met. If you think the military is doing a good job of erasing the stigma against mental health issues, you’re mistaken. It will take another 8 years before the NCOs and SNCOs (E-4 through E-7) have cycled out and are no longer in a position to treat Marines like this. Back in 2006 they still punished you if you had a mental health issue and couldn’t “fit in” like everyone else. Got demons and drink? NJP.

Clearly you aren’t responsible enough to take care of yourself, so fuck you, I’m going to take half of your pay, put you on restriction and extra duty. That will teach you to not have demons. I’m so sick of the zero-defect mentality; it is a delusion that kicking people out for these issues will make the Corps better in the short term or the long term. If you send the message that someone with a mental health issue, like PTSD, or TBI (TBIs do have an effect on the function of the brain, and can lead to depression, anger management problems, and cognitive errors) will be kicked out, those with the issues will no longer tell you because of the fear of being kicked out. This causes Marines to suffer for years, hiding their injury and living in shame that they are hurting and cannot confide in anyone. Their performance will degrade, and they may or may not spiral out of control. Ultimately their loyalty is not to the organization, it is to themselves-and why should it be to the organization when the organization would kick them to the curb because they were mentally injured doing what the organization asked them to do?

Have faith, however, because the 2nd commenter that I don’t know serves with the aforementioned douchebag, so there are people out there who will defend you if the shit goes down. Some people seek out the military because they get authority and they get paid to act like douchebags to people who cannot quit their job. The original poster is that guy.