I didn't have a great 2011, most of it was blurred by depression and a relapse of PTSD and I found myself thinking a lot about death and how it would finally put an end to all the emotional pain and suffering I'e been struggling with for years now. I know that these thoughts and feelings will be ones that many of you will unfortunately be familiar with, and I wanted to say a few words about a wake-up call I had recently.
In November, our local news printed a story about a man who had been found "requiring medical assistance". It was like slow motion over the next few days; they released his age, then they confirmed that his injuries had been fatal and finally they confirmed his identity. He was a man I'd been friends with as a teenager, we hadn't been in contact for years as we'd gone our separate ways, but it was a shock. Eventually, through word-of-mouth, speculation and so on it emerged that he had committed suicide. He had been such a happy, cheeky, bubbly, popular character and it just seemed impossible that he had been so down that he had donw this. It made me feel really sad that he felt that he had no-one in the world he could talk his problems through with and that suicide was his only way out.
Since his death there has been an outpouring of love and support for his family, and from people saying that they wished they could have done something to help before it was too late. What a shame that no-one managed to say the right thing, offer the right support, or ask the righ question to help him to open up to them.
I've come to the point a couple of times lately where I've felt so alone, so desperate and so sad that I've thought about suicide. I've cradled the phone in my lap and found excuses for not calling every single person in my phone list in case they were busy. In reality, if I'd have called any one of those people and told them how low I was, they would have talked with me, stayed with me, done anything I needed to make sure that I got through the tough times. I know that at the time, it's almost impossible to reach out to people but please, if any of you find yourselves feeling this way, just pick up the phone to somebody, anybody. Even if you don't feel you can talk to anyone you know, there are helplines and there's no shame in ringing them. You won't be inconveniencing anybody and they won't mind if you can't speak for crying, they will be there for you. And, of course, there's always PWP if you want to talk to people here.
Attnding my old friend's funeral and seeing how many people were there, how many lives he'd touched, made me imagine my own funeral and how many people might be there. I realised that I couldn't put my loved ones through that and that they'd be devastated if I ended my own life without asking them for help first.
I hope that no-one ever feels as alone and in despair as I have, but please, if you are feeling this way, talk to someone and if you would like to, message me and I'd be more than happy to talk to you and offer any support I can.
Take care of yourselves, you are worth it.