She says, by @mammapolitico
Not a topic that gets blogged about often is it, Suicide? Not a common subject for discussion around the dinner table, or something you chat to your friends about over a coffee. If the scary subject of suicide has ever touched even the edges of your life, I bet it was skirted around and then pushed away to the back of the drawer marked “Things that happen but we don’t ever talk about”
The door was barricaded from the other side. The bed or some other heavy furniture had been pushed up against it. This was the wrong way round, wasn’t it? I was the teenager going through exam stress, learning how to be a grownup. The ‘grownup’ was on the other side of the door, making incomprehensible and barely audible speeches. I could hear the pain in his voice and didn’t know what to do to help. I was frightened and angry at the same time. A voice inside my head tells me – Okay. You have to be the grownup now. Deal with this little lot:
An overdosing father who has drunk enough alcohol to kill an elephant.
A Mother in hospital having a bone marrow transplant.
Five younger siblings in a state panic – one screaming at you “I hate you, it’s your fault – you shouldn’t have said anything to him about his drinking”,
My littlest sister sat on her bed crying like her heart would break.
A few times more a similar situation arose.Years later, I got a phone call saying words like another overdose, A&E , in Resus. Then another phone call, another time. More harrowing – words like petrol, in the park, a lighter. I’m on the phone listening, slowly morphing back into that helpless sixteen year old girl on the other side of the barricaded door.
Suicide is a far from easy way out for the person who wants out. Attempting suicide is not an “easy way out”. It takes a whole heap of courage to make the decision to try cause your own death. I will never believe anyone who says that someone who attempts suicide is a coward. Let’s not sugar the pill though – the flip side to a “successful suicide” is a life long horrific, guilt ridden, survival for those left behind.
This is blogging in the raw isn’t it? Too hard for some people to read maybe and I understand that.
So why am I telling you all this? I’m telling you this because for me, blogging can be a powerful tool to make people think about stuff that is really hard to think about.
Suicide is such a taboo subject. Depression is something that just isn’t talked about enough. Right now, in your family, in your circle of friends or even in your workplace there might be someone who is thinking that the only way they can stop the pain they are feeling is to take their own life.
My father is a very brave man. He has fought on with masses of professional help and is a much loved part of my life. The memories of what I went through as a child don’t disappear but they fade and as I have got older I understand more about his illness. I know his suicide attempts weren’t a result of anything I did or didn’t do. I know to keep a watchful eye on my own children as depression and anxiety can run in families. I know that there is help out there should any of us ever need it.
So please, don’t mumble “I’m sure you’ll feel better tomorrow” and turn your back and walk away if someone reaches out to you for help. If yourself feel so unable to cope with what is happening in your own life, please reach out to someone and tell them how you are feeling.
Let’s not put this subject in the back of the drawer marked “Things that happen but we don’t ever talk about”.
That’s all I’m hoping for in writing this.
He says, by @ADadCalledSpen
September 10th 2013, was World Suicide Prevention Day, and this week has been, in the US, National Suicide Prevention Week. The idea is to inform health professionals and the general public about suicide prevention and the warning signs of suicide. By highlighting suicide in this way the campaign looks to reduce the stigma surrounding the topic, as well as encourage the pursuit of mental health assistance, and support people who have attempted suicide.
This week, on Monday, a friend told me they felt very suicidal.
I gave them my contact details again, I know they have them but I wanted to make sure that I was saying ‘please get in touch’ if they felt they could, and really that’s all I could do. The person is sensible and practical enough to know that there is assistance and support out there locally, from people who can help, but I’m a friend, and I know that this person has been under the most incredible strain recently.
I also know how this feels, as I’ve been in that situation, and have tried to kill myself twice.
I won’t go into the details here. I might leave that story for my own blog as it is quite personal, and long. But suffice to say I’ve felt that the only option to end the problems that I’ve been going through is to kill myself. They seemed insurmountable, and the sheer physical, crushing pain I was going through was too much to bear.
I couldn’t tell friends. I felt that friends would walk away. Stupid really because if I had managed to kill myself I’d be walking away from them, but I didn’t tell them. I know not everyone can handle hearing the word, hearing that a friend is in difficulty, and not knowing what to do to make them better. Some people have their own problems, get over them, and can’t see that this option is ever an option. I know from my experiences of depression some friends just don’t see why or what it is. Oh pull yourself together. It’s not THAT bad. Time heals. All that. Words designed to make me feel better, but words which sometimes feel like they’re mocking what I’m going through. I can’t pull myself together, believe me I’ve tried! It IS THAT BAD. And time heals? Well HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS HELL FOR? I’m running out of time.
I’ve felt suicidal lots of times. I guess once you think it once then you think it again, and again, when Life gets on top of you. I’ve thought it recently while my brain was frying and then I remembered.
I’ve thought about killing myself before but hey, I’m still alive. And I’ve tried it before and I’m STILL ALIVE. Yep. Life was shit and I thought it, tried it but I’m ALIVE NOW, and in between Point A, trying it and Point B, thinking about it again some time later when life took a turn for the shit, in between Point A and Point B there have been some wonderful moments. And there will be again. I know this.
I have two children who I love. And I know they love me. For them to ever think I didn’t, because I know whatever explanation I gave, it would still feel to them, at some point in their lives, that I didn’t love them enough. For them to ever think that I didn’t love them enough to be alive, well. I couldn’t ever put them through that. And I would never do it because they mean so much to me. However low I feel I think of them. I look at pictures and photos and videos of them. The sadness is still there but they keep me on track.
Yep. Life has been a bit shite at times, and recently especially, but I’ve got good friends, beautiful children and lots to look forward to. Hurt hurts, confusion confuses, pain is painful. But that was yesterday. Today, I’m looking forward and I’m still alive.
Unless I get hit by a bus after writing this.
And so, this week has been World Suicide Prevention Day. Not sure why every day isn’t really, but if you know someone going through a tough time, or spot signs that concern you, reach out a hand if you can. You don’t need to bear the full weight but a simple gesture might be enough to let that person know that someone loves them, even when they don’t love themselves.
Thanks for reading and please leave your comments and thoughts and experiences below.