The words on the home page are the opening words of the preface to Thinking About Suicide, which is the title of the book that this website is based on. They still feel like the right words to welcome you to this website.
Hello and welcome. I’m David Webb and Thinking About Suicide includes the story of my own history with suicidal feelings. But it is not an autobiography, nor is this website a blog about me. Rather, Thinking About Suicide is an invitation to think and talk about suicide in a new and different way.
After I finally let go of the urge to die, way back in 1999, I still wanted to make sense of what I’d been through. So I went and had a look at what people were writing about suicide and was taken aback by what I found. Perhaps I should have stayed with Shakespeare and the great novelists but instead I wanted to know what today’s “experts” on suicide were saying.
The first thing that struck me in all this scholarly, expert literature (and there’s a lot of it) was that whoever these experts were talking about, they were certainly not talking about me. I could not find my story anywhere in the literature of Suicidology, the “science of self-destructive behaviour”. At the time I found this odd as I didn’t believe my story was so uniquely peculiar to me.
My curiosity (and dismay) about this became a PhD and the first version of Thinking About Suicide was written as part of this research. Today, I still find it odd that most of the current expert thinking about suicide is so out of touch with the reality of feeling suicidal. But I do now understand much better how this has come about.
The preface of Thinking About Suicide is titled Let’s Talk About Suicide. Our blog here has the same name. The most urgent need for a better understanding of suicide and suicidal feelings is for us to talk about it – openly, sensibly, honestly.. Suicide remains a potent taboo. In particular, we hardly ever hear from those who know suicidal feelings “from the inside”, those experts who know so much about the urge to die through their direct experience of living it.
The suicide experts, along with many in the community, dismiss our knowledge of the lived experience of wanting to die based on the prejudiced assumption that we must irrational or crazy. But this is very poor science, as we know from every other field of research where the lived experience is recognised as important knowledge.
The scientists of Suicidology also deny the validity of what in the end set me free of my suicidal madness. After all the medical and psychological “treatments” failed (and sometimes made things worse), I finally found peace through what I now call “spiritual self enquiry”.
So Thinking About Suicide is also about sprituality and how spiritual ways of knowing can help us understand a suicidal crisis as often a spiritual crisis of the self. For many of us, it can also help us find a path out of such a crisis.
Having said this, let’s be clear that I am not advocating spirituality as some universal panacea for suicidal distress. I don’t believe there is any single “solution” to the vastly complex and deeply mysterious urge to die that many of us feel. But I know that I am not the only person who has found deep inner peace and the will to live again by walking the spiritual path. It really is quite obscene that the scientific experts of suicidology have banished this option from their research based on their scientific prejudices of what constitutes valid knowledge.
Finally, given the well known hazards of spiritual zealots, I also want to be very clear that the spirituality in Thinking About Suicide is not at all evangelical or even religious. There are many spiritual paths – some religious and some not – which all have the potential to comfort and guide us through difficult times. In Thinking About Suicide I share with you the spiritual self enquiry that set me free.
So welcome … and let’s talk about suicide in a way that respects the suicidal person as a whole person rather than as someone who is crazy, irrational or sick …
If this is your first visit, please click the About link on the top menu, which gives you an overview of what you’ll find here.