Turning Out The Lights

Last night I had a dream which some people would find pretty disturbing but I can clearly see the difference between a dream and reality and on the whole I don’t look for hidden messages because my understanding of dreams are that they are pretty much safety valves to get rid of the built-up junk that congregates in our brains. However, this dream which centred around suicide is a kind of re-occurring thought but not for one moment am I saying I’m suicidal because I’m not as I have way too much to live for.
In this dream I had some kind of terminal disease but I can’t remember what that was supposed to be but it was enough for me to feel the need to end my life. I remember walking towards the sea and having to make a decision on which way should I face as I waited for the early morning tide. The intention was to remain in control and I think that is another theme that seems to run through my dreams if not my life. The memory of the dream is quite vivid as it was only a few hours ago and I can remember choosing to sit down in the shallow water and face the mountains, my thoughts were that I really wanted my last few moments to be looking at the thing I love most about the landscape and mountains have always called me.
There was not much reflection in the dream only that I was choosing my moment instead of the illness deciding that it would switch the lights off for me. I do remember that I could see the sky changing as daylight began to break the night’s hold on it and thinking that it was going to be a good day for those left behind. Writing this down now makes it all sounds so morbid and depressing but it was not like that at all in the dream as it was far more about release and control.
I do wonder if someone who is contemplating taking their life feels the same as I felt in the dream or if we could even imagine how someone feels. You often hear people say that suicide was the easy way out or that it’s a selfish act but I don’t go along with that because I think it takes a huge amount of courage to say this is it I can’t take any more. Plus, I also think that in many cases the person committing the act is actually trying to protect their loved ones. I do understand that every case would be different but I could see huge percentage fitting into this category.
I had a friend once and I will not mention his name here because it is possible that someone might read this and recognise him from it, and that might cause some grief to his family. It was a long time ago but he was the kind of friend that would call round my house only in trouble times. He would always thank me if we chatted and always said he felt better after we had a discussion, and nearly all of his issues were not really serious matters for the most part but we have to remember that how we perceive someone else’s problems is often not how they see the problem.
I had not seen him for a few weeks and then suddenly bumped into him in a local club, he seemed cheerful enough and our conversation was brief but warm and friendly. The next day I heard that he had walked from that place and straight to a railway track where a train finished his life. I can’t help sometimes think back and wonder why at that moment he never chose to talk to me. I can only imagine that he had made the awful decision sometime before.
So suicide does affect many other people of course but I do not think it’s fair to say the person is being selfish or taking the easy route out. These are just statements that are made by people who’ve heard those things before and are just repeating them or they have never been in a position where nothing seems like it could ever change.
My own dream as disturbing as that may be to some people in no way reflects upon how I feel. I personally have an enormous amount of life to live and because I’m aware of my own mortality I need to get on with doing just that.
The dream did have one moment where a new surge of energy coursed through my veins and it was a moment when the water had dragged me back and I was under looking up and catching glimpses of the brand-new day and I thought it’s me that switching the lights out and not you.

Andy Beveridge

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