People squirm and start freaking out when you mention ‘Suicide’. But why? Yes, it’s an uncomfortable topic to talk about, but one that needs to be talked about.
Statistically speaking men are three times more likely to commit suicide than women, why, I don’t know! But suicide in women is increasing rather rapidly. Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day and the Samaritans teamed up with 70 other charities to help raise awareness for suicide by hosting events across the UK where people can go and learn about suicide and help bereaved families. But why should this only happen one day a year? It should be talked about every day.
People have their own views on suicide, each to their own, some are more closed-minded than others. A lot of people think that people who commit suicide are cowards, selfish, attention seekers etc. What people don’t think about is WHY the person decided they couldn’t live in this world any longer.
Suicide doesn’t usually happen over night. For me, it started with my depression, I was miserable and low. Then the suicidal ideation came along – the thoughts about suicide, what it would feel like, what would happen. Then the suicide planning – how I was going to do it, how I wanted my funeral to go, writing a will etc. Then the suicide attempt. I was incredibly lucky that my parents both physically stopped me from taking my life (my Puppa chased me down the street as I was running to jump in front of a train and then my Mumma held me in her arms until I gave in and gave her my pills). To me, suicide wasn’t taking the cowards way out. I was in pain; physical and emotional pain. I was a burden to my family (so I thought), I was a disgrace to my family (so I thought) and I didn’t want to put them through any more pain. To me, suicide was escaping the pain that I was in and the pain I was causing. In my own head it was the least selfish thing I could be doing. Staying on this Earth and continuing the way I was going, was going to cause more destruction and hurt for those I loved.
When I decided that I wanted to end everything, I wrote out what songs I wanted played at my funeral, where I’d like the few valuable things I owned to go, a charity retreat created in my memory, where I wanted my ashes scattered and the people that I wanted my family to stay close with. I knew how I was going to do it: overdosing on pills and booze or jumping in front of a train. I still have this list saved on my phone, just in case. I am stronger now so it shouldn’t have to come in use, touch wood, but it is also there as a reminder of where I have been and where I am now.
I know people who have committed suicide, and I’ve seen how it affects families. It’s horrible and heartbreaking to see. We all need to talk about Mental Health and Suicide. The stigma still needs to be stamped out and those feeling suicidal need to be supported. When you’re suicidal it is easy to think that you are on your own and no-one will have ever felt the same way as you do, but there are so many other people out there who are suffering the same amount or have suffered that same amount as you but have been saved. It is so hard to tell someone that you feel suicidal. It took me years to admit it and when I did admit it to my sister it just came out from out of the blue. I wasn’t planning on telling her, it just came out. The relief of telling her actually helped eleviate the pain a bit. For so many families feelings aren’t talked about and for me to tell my sister that I was suicidal really opened her eyes and my family’s that I really was ill and desperately needed help, which I then got.
If you are feeling suicidal you can contact the Samaritan’s (www.samaritans.org or call 116 123) if you can’t tell someone close to you. The Samaritan’s will be able to talk to you and offer non-judgemental support and love. If you can, please try and take that huge but incredibly brave step in telling someone how you are feeling. It can make the world of difference, at least it did for me. When you feel like you are at the bottom of the heap just remember you can get better, but you have to take that first step.
If you are a family member or friend that has been confided in, please support the person who has come to you. You can’t change the way they feel or stop them from doing anything, just let them know that you are there for them and that you love them. Don’t guilt trip them, that’s not going to help anyone! Just be there, listen to them, look in to how you can help and support them.
Please don’t let anyone suffer alone. We are all on this Earth together, our time here is limited anyways so please help those in need to live as long as they can.
Don’t forget: you are beautiful, you are enough, I am proud of you and I love you.