My “13 Reasons Why” …

Dear Fellow Warrior,

The other day, I wrote down the Reasons.

My own “13 Reasons Why.”

As I was looking at the list, I realized, my God, I had such good premonition 14 years ago when I predicted my life expectancy could be before age 40. That I wouldn’t be able to make it past 40.

And looking at the list, I have every reason to pull the trigger now. It’s the perfect combination of everything.

I shared this post on my social media, but I didn’t disclose the reasons. I’ll share just seven, among the 13, with you here. Because you are special.

  1. My faith has grown weaker.
  2. I feel “othered” and “abandoned” in my family, the only family I had.
  3. Nothing is moving in my academic life.
  4. Over the years I have lost friends and professional contacts.
  5. I have a mountain of student loan debt which could be canceled if I die.
  6. Nobody values my paintings or my writings.
  7. I’ve lost time in starting a family and fear it will be too late to try now.

It feels like the right time. I started this year with a strong feeling it was the right time to end my life, and I’m ending this year with the same feeling, but even stronger.

I also started to write the reasons I must continue to “Persist and resist” as Epictetus says, a Stoic Philosopher I often quote, and I stopped at just ONE.

I realized that many of the 13 reasons (including the 7 above) could also be reasons that have kept me alive, depending on how I look at it. For example, while nothing is moving in my academic life, there is a lot of work in progress, and there is that hope and drive to make an impact from what I accomplished during my doctorate. Another example is while my faith has grown weaker, it has always been a rollercoaster ride, but the love and faith in Allah is unshakable.

But there is only one reason that has kept me fighting all these years.

I’ll keep that ONE to myself for now.

It’s hard to be stuck between two choices. (As I noted at the start of my recent poem I shared at Open Mic at Busboys).

Whether it’s Red or Blue, Israel or Palestine, Coffee or Chai…. Or To Kill Thyself or not To Kill Thyself. ….

It is hard to be stuck between wanting to die and feeling obliged to live, and face the pain that the expression of this absolute undeniable truth is perhaps what is also legitimizing the 13 reasons why.

If I want certain reasons to be eliminated from that list, would it mean that I must silence my authentic truth? And that the likelihood of my survival is only possible if I remain silent?

It is hard not to see the connection to the Palestinian question. I have been drawing and noting the similarities the past three months now. It is uncanny.

I hope to share a piece I’ve been working on with you regarding this connection in the beginning of the new year.

It has been fascinating connecting the dots, in how my survival, resilience, and fight for freedom from this “Jihad of Suicidality,” has always been inspired by the resilience of the Palestinians.

The stigma and silence that permeates from both the issues of Suicide Prevention & Palestinian Liberation, in similar ways, and my personal connection and support for these two causes, feels quite overwhelmingly supernatural and in some ways, perhaps a “serendipitous synchronicity,” that could be added as Number 2 on the list of reasons for “why not…”

Please read my last post on The Inconvenient Truth About Suicide Prevention. There I state that I hope we can “make the stories of survival matter, before it is too late.

“No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.”
— Dr. Maya Angelou

Thank you for reading this post.

Solidarity, peace, warmth, and blessings,

Your sister, Dr. Elsa, Warrior KQueen

“She wasn’t looking for a Knight. She was looking for a Sword.” – Atticus

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