*Before you begin reading, this is a little note to warn you that this post is about mental health and suicide, and contains content that can be quite upsetting to read (it isn’t anything too graphic) but I totally understand if you would prefer not to read. I would encourage you to read it, as it is an important subject, and one that I strongly feel needs to be talked about more, but I understand that not everyone expects to read about it in blog posts, so if you feel you will be offended, then please just read the paragraph in bold above the picture of The Cat in The Hat and the text below it!*
Recently there has been a lot of press around celebrities, royalty and famous people all stepping into the media and being open and honest about their mental health and/or suicide. This is SO IMPORTANT and so I wanted to share a little bit on my blog about what I know, and what I have learnt from some of the things I have been through. I hope this blog manages to help at least 1 person, in some way or another.
As I have briefly mentioned on this blog before (see the post here), last summer we lost my Grandad to suicide. To cut a very long story short, we got called by the police to go to Grandad’s house, and when we were there, the police woman told us that he had taken his own life. That in itself was incredibly shocking and upsetting. But the next piece of information truly tore me up. We were informed that Grandad’s body was still in his shed outside, where he had been found and had had to be cut down from. He was still in there as the police needed to finish their investigation to make sure there were no suspicious circumstances.
It was at this point that I honestly had no idea how I would ever be able to get over it all. To me, that was such a horrifying thing that was only mentioned in horror movies, and in documentaries about how people had been punished historically. I remember watching a documentary in a GCSE history class of how people used to be hung and I cried at the brutality of it. So to then have to imagine that someone I actually knew had done that, by their own choice, and that I was sat metres away from where it had taken place just a few hours earlier, was traumatic to say the least.
I had no idea at what to do, and was battling with the shock at what I had been told, sadness at how terribly mentally ill my Grandad must have been to do that, and the heartbreak I felt at seeing my Mum so completely and utterly broken.
That day will (sadly) forever be etched in my memory.
But it is an event in my life that I am determined to turn into a less-negative one. (I am aware that seems absurd, but hold on!…) I want to use what we all went through to remind me that suicide is not the answer; when things get too much, it is MUCH BETTER to ‘trouble’ someone temporarily with your negative thoughts and worries and problems, than to permanently scar them by taking your own life and leaving them with the million and one questions that they will inevitably be left with forever.
The above quote is a reminder that the people in your life that care about you, will not mind one bit about you going to them to talk or rant or ask for advice; they won’t be embarrassed to talk about feelings and things in your life that are difficult right now. NOTHING is ever too small. Please remember that. No matter who you are, it is expected that some point in your life you will need help. We were all brought into the world as tiny babies, who constantly needed someone there to look after us. Just because we grow up, and many of us become more independent, we still need people there for us now and again. And there is no shame in that. No shame at all.
What we went through will always be a traumatising event. There will forever be a piece of my heart that is broken from finding out that news, and everything that followed; the questions, the ‘trying to understand why (and how)’, the tide of emotions from sadness, to anger, to guilt, to shame, to resentment, to sadness… everything.
But some of the most important lessons I learnt from it were:
- to never take things for granted
- to always talk, and seek help before it’s too late
- to talk more about mental health and suicide prevention
Lots of love to EVERYONE, and I am always ready to listen to anyone who may need me.
I often try to smile more, and spread a little bit of happiness and love around each and everyday. Often, the little things mean the most.
I will end this post on one of my little ‘mantras’:
Go out of your way, to make someone smile each day 🙂