It’s been a while since I posted a blog… but some recent news has compelled me to write something. How many times have you heard these phrases… “life of the party” “everybody’s friend” “always there for you” “always had a smile” followed by “such a tragic loss”
I’m writing this post with a great sadness on hearing that someone I knew, only really by reputation, has taken their own life. That reputation has been described, many times, with words like those above. I can imagine it came as a huge shock to those close to them as well as those who’s life they’d touched only briefly. What saddens me most though, is that I wasn’t shocked. I’m saddened by the fact that this person felt so empty inside, and so afraid to ask for help. I’m sad for those close to them, who will be putting blame on themselves, wondering how they didn’t spot the signs, wishing they could have been there for them more. It’s not their fault, it’s not really anyone’s fault. If the blame were to be put anywhere, it would be on the society we live in.
There is a great deal of work being done to combat the stigma associated with mental distress, but it still exists. The truly unfortunate thing is that it exists strongly in the minds of those who should feel able to seek help.
I’ve been there. It’s a pretty horrible place. Waking up in the morning and putting on ‘the face’ so you can get through the day without anyone noticing. You can become very good at acting, hiding behind that smile that everyone knows you for. Sometimes it even seems easier to hide… that way you don’t have to try and explain how you really feel… because you can’t explain it, you have no idea why you feel like that, you look around and assume that nobody else does and you just wish it would stop, that everything could just… stop, and be quiet.
Last Monday, 10th September, saw the 10th anniversary of world suicide prevention day. Every day should be suicide prevention day… what can you do to prevent it? 2 things:
1: Be there for your friends… I know you are always there for them… but just make sure they know that. If you’ve not spoken to them for a few days, give them a call, arrange to meet for a coffee and a natter… you don’t need to probe deeply to look for darker problems within. If there are any, they may not want to talk about it anyway, but being there will remind them that you’re there to listen if they do.
2: Know that your friends are there for you… and that there’s lots of people, seriously, lots, who have bad days, bad weeks, months… who sometimes really struggle with simple everyday life. Life is hard, but it’s worth the effort… you’re worth the effort. but you don’t have to do it all on your own.
If you think maybe you should be talking to someone about thoughts and feelings you’re having, then there are people to talk to. It may be hard to talk to friends and family… They won’t judge you, they won’t think lesser of you…. but if you’re uncomfortable with it, then that’s ok too… go see your doctor, or call the Samaritans. Mostly, just talk. Every day is an achievement, remember that.
Take care people.