Every year on the 10th of September organisations around the world get together to raise awareness about suicide prevention.
Unfortunately due to the teen suicide rise, many social media support groups are banning even the word suicide from their pages in an attempt to make sure their groups are not closed down. How are we supposed to prevent suicide if we are not allowed to even say the word ?
Suicide needs to be out in the open, it needs to be talked about, it is real, it is a choice that many choose to take, and it won’t go away unless it is recognised as a subject that does need talking about and sharing.
20 years ago whilst sitting at work on a ‘normal’ day in March, a few weeks before my 30th birthday my world was shattered. I saw my stepfather walk through the doors of my workplace. He was bringing the most devastating news I could ever imagine , my 27 year old baby brother Paul was dead, just like that.
Paul was married, he had 2 beautiful young children aged 6 and 4, that morning he took the children to school, and everybody who saw him said he was happy and cheerful, just his normal cheeky self. He then went home, drank some whiskey, took some tablets, and hung himself from the landing handrail. He had telephoned the police so that they would be the ones who found him, not his wife, but unfortunately the police had located his wife at work, and she and the officer tried frantically to cut him down and revive him. To no avail, the police officer had never attended a suicide,and had to have counselling afterwards.
Suicide shatters the lives of the people left behind, not just the victim.
Fast forward to June 2019, after many years of depression and suicidal thoughts, I myself had a huge mental health crisis and was one click away from ordering my suicide pack online.
I had had enough, the world was just too cruel to stay in it any longer. Everybody would be much better off without me, I was a drain on society, useless, worthless, and things were never going to change. Even though I have 3 children, 2 grown up who have given me 4 wonderful grandchildren, who worship me, and a 14 year old still living at home, with additional needs, I still believed that they would be better off without me, I wouldn’t he better off without them, but they would.
I was really scared at this point, and I knew I was about to take my own life. Instead of retreating into my dark world, I knew that this time it was different, it was real, so i started talking, to anybody who would listen, my family, friends, but mostly the crisis team and the Samaritans. I think the Samaritans even got sick of me ringing in. But it worked. 12 weeks later, I have written a book, I have started blogging about my life with mental health, and sharing advice to people all over the world. Although I am still a virtual recluse and rarely leave the house, I have found a way of communicating, and my pain and hurt is now being shared with thousands of people. I do not feel alone anymore, even virtual friends are important, you may never meet that person, but they may just say one kind word that makes you feel good about yourself, and that is priceless.
Sharing is caring, don’t keep your thoughts and feelings to yourself, they rot and fester, and eat you up from the inside out.
Be kind to yourself, and others love Betty