Thursday, 31 October 2013

Suicide is Painful



For Paul 


I light a candle today not for a pumpkin though that is what I love to do, but for Paul my cousin.

Two years today I was stood looking at the autumn leaves fall it was Halloween, we were just slowing the car as we had spied Tintern Abbey, we stopped to take photos when my phone rang, it was my cousin in Ireland ringing to tell me our cousin Paul had died, the awful stop of heart that he had taken his own life. 

My thoughts of Halloween dropped as swiftly as the leaves around me, looking across the river to Tintern. I wiped the pictures off the camera of that beautiful place, I could not bear to look at them.


Paul had been the happy go lucky cousin I remembered. My memories of him giving me a back around a field on a motorbike, his love of horses and his always telling a joke, laughing and a twinkle in his eye. 

The last time I saw him not long before at my Nanny's funeral, it was not any different, he was full of life, laughter and not a clue to the pain he may have been carrying.

But does anybody know this, you cannot see it, I believe  most of us feel, that its considered weak to admit you are depressed. 'Pull yourself together', 'keep your chin up' 
If you are hiding a pain, then you are actually strong especially if you are here reading this, how do I know, because I hid mine too.
 

I myself suffered terribly in my teens and twenties, I thought about ending my pain often, had a few attempts, the last one a very close run thing. I  had the image of Granny, my faithful dog and a little girl who adored me in my head, how would she feel the woman who was always there for me, the child not understanding, my gorgeous dog, who followed me everywhere, she would pine. 

Now I could not at that time, even pick another family member, best friend of which I had a good few, who would or could not cope and move on.

I really struggled to see a purpose in life, the pain was unbearable, engulfing me, consuming. I was lucky I saw saviours who are to this day unaware. One I now care for so my purpose in life is seen. I married, had my babies,  decided to do a foundation in counselling which actually was self help for me, putting to rest doubts, low self esteem, black moments. I can count my blessings now, but some people cannot find one life blessing right this minute, this second. 

I am hoping this says something to one person, makes a difference, you may have even spoken to somebody and still feel its not helping, on medication that does not take it all away. Please please keep looking, it can be managed.


I know its Halloween and that is fun, spooky and scary, but what is more scary is the depression, loneliness and pain some people are going through. In memory of my cousin Paul who took his life two years ago today, I am sharing today, thanks to Paul's sister who has ran, fought and spoken to help put light and hope into others darkness, who says there has been enough pain and loss. 


Hope this speaks to people who think its all too painful,   to those who have lost loved ones how depression grips and to those who are blessed with never having suffered its curse, a little insight.

 You may be very clear that you want to die, you may be harming yourself by cutting, biting or burning your body, if you are take a read here. 
 Conor Cusack, an Irish sportsperson who talks about his depression, bullying and on his blog 'Depression is a friend, not my enemy' does this much more amazingly than myself. He is very honest and insightful, really knows the pain and what fellow sufferers may be feeling.http://ccusack111.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/depression-is-friend-not-my-enemy_28.html 

The youtube linky is here too to hear him talk in person about his years of battling.


Further help below including Console who have a great website and huge link list to other help. The below text is taken from their website, thanks to Tim for talking to me. 


Suicidal thinking is usually associated with problems that can be treated

Clinical depression, anxiety disorders, chemical dependency, and other disorders produce profound emotional distress. They also interfere with effective problem-solving. But you need to know that studies show that the vast majority of people who receive appropriate treatment improve or recover completely. Even if you have received treatment before, you should know that different treatments work better for different people in different situations. Several tries are sometimes necessary before the right combination is found.

Taken from Console 

 National Self Harm Network
0800 622 6000 
(7pm-11pm Thursday-Saturday, 6.10pm-10.30pm Sunday) 

National confidential helpline


If you are a young person at risk of suicide or are worried about a young person at risk of suicide:

HOPELineUK 0800 068 41 41


Mon-Fri 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.
Weekends 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Samaritans
  • 08457 90 90 90 * (UK)
  • 1850 60 90 90 * (ROI)

American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

39 comments:

  1. I sat here trying to think of how to say what I want to say and find that words are hard to come by right now. I had a neighbour quite a few years ago now, who tried to commit suicide, I found her and I think that was her intention. Not a friend at all, or even someone I really liked, it had a huge effect on me. A member of my extended family has, for the last few years been trying to kill himself, the last time Christmas day last year and then two years ago my brother's best friend hung himself leaving behind a baby and girlfriend, family and friends in turmoil.
    I'm so sorry for your loss Jo. I think that suicide is such a hard thing for people to deal with as it leaves so many questions, that unfortunately can never be answered. I hope that this post will touch one persons life and make a difference. Keeping you in my thoughts! x

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    1. Thanks Erica, its hard to write a post like this, being honest is pretty tough on a blog, going out to the world.
      People have so many views about suicide and a lot of them are pretty negative. The pain that somebody feels is terribly crippling and can be fatal, just like any other condition of us humans.
      I am glad you found the neighbour, I hope they found a way through it, I can sort of imagine the huge effect on you. I was shocked to read the biggest cause of death in men under 35 is suicide. We have to look for the signs as much as we check other health concerns.

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  2. I agree, it is a very taboo subject in society for some reason. Maybe if people were more open it would make a difference.It is awful to think that someone feels they have no other way to deal with things and so sad.
    I read an article a while back, it stuck with me. Someone did a study talking to people who had attempted suicide by jumping from the Golden gate Bridge. The study found, that every single person who survived had the exact same thought about halfway down, that things can always be fixed. I was surprised to read that.
    There should be campaigns to help other spot the signs of severe depression and so on, much like there is for cancer or other illnesses.
    I have shared your post on Twitter etc in the hope it will reach someone who needs it.

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  3. Thank you Erica, the bit that really grates me is when people say its selfish, I think like all of us we are to a certain degree looking at self. Its a terrible place to be that you feel there is no other way. That is not selfish, that is tragic.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  4. total respect for you i suffer like this constantly and no one believes how desperate i feel one day i fear that they will regret their apathy i need love and help not chastising

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    1. Oh Laura I feel your pain, probably not in the same way, I remember somebody saying to me Oh snap out of it, come to a party with us, I was sat sobbing at the time, feeling so low and vulnerable and the last thing to do was stand in a group of strangers feeling that way. I truly hope you keep going, find a way to live with this and even get the better of it.

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  5. This must have been so hard to write, but I have so much respect for you sharing this. I hope someone finds something that helps from this

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  6. It's great to see someone talking about this so openly, especially since it's so close to your heart. Well done on doing this - I'm sure it will help so many people out there to read it :)

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  7. Thank you for writing what must have been a very difficult post, I'm so sorry to read about your cousin. His sister is very brave to try and raise awareness.

    I'm ashamed to say I didn't spot the signs in my sister who committed suicide when we were 17. I just thought she was going through a phase and would snap out of it. I was not understanding towards her and acused her of jumping on the band wagggon as 2 boys I was in school with had recently comitted suicde.

    I will always have to live with the regret that I was not compassionate towards her and I wish schools would try to raise awareness or people were more willing to talk about it in order to bring the topic more out into the open and reduce the stigma.

    I'm from a small town in the Highlands where sucide is more common than it should be for such a small place especially in men under 35. 1 of my parents neighbours is a retired nurse and all 3 of her sons committed suicde. I always feel that if more awareness and help was available maybe the number of deaths would decrease.

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    1. Oh Laura its so hard sometimes to spot the signs in teens, what may be normal hormones and ten angst and what is real black feelings. Yes I think like the stroke advert there should be a depression ad too.

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  8. This is a really brave post - I really appreciate the way that you are willing to open up difficult subjects. Thankyou.

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    1. Thank you don't feel brave just wanted to open it up a little. Thanks for your kindness in commenting.

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  9. What a bitter-sweet mailing to get. Am truly sad for your loss, but glad you can use it for something positive like this. Don't really know what to say, but felt that I wanted to add...something. XXX

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    1. You did so much in taking the time to be here, read and then more leave your good wishes, thank you xx

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  10. What a thought provoking post. I have come close to suicide several times and it is really hard for people on the outside to understand how desperate you are. It is very brave of you to raise the issue. I am so sorry for the loss of your cousin Paul x

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    1. It does really make me think, so many people are not well with this unseen enemy. Its tough to go through, hard to admit and then can be a battle just to get the right help.
      Its most brave of you to say this too. I really thank you for being here and speaking, maybe even for the voices of so many who have not yet spoken out.

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  11. What a brave post!!
    So sorry for your loss x

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  12. I completely understand Jo - I have been in that deep hole many times and have attempted suicide several times too.

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    1. Love to you xxx Never give up you are loved x

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  13. Thank you for your post. The Samaritans are a wonderful organisation. Rang them once about someone else and they were just great.

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    1. That is good to hear.
      Though its important to know there are so many ways to get help and each person is unique so may find thy need to keep looking for the right path for their needs.

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  14. I hope that loads of people read this! It's brave, honest and true. The Samaritans are such a great helpline for people. Sometimes, it's easier to talk to someone you don't know down the phone than it is face to face xxx

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    1. Thank you Steph. Yes the hardest part is starting to find your way through it, an listening ear and anonymity is sometimes the first way to start the journey.

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  15. Thankyou for your post. It hit a nerve with me. I had two uncles (dads brothers) who committed suicide. One i didnt know, but the other i did. I myself have also tried a few times, but i realised if it didnt work then i got end up in a much worse place than i am now.

    I'm so sorry for your loss. This post has helped people to open up.

    many thanks x

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  16. Thank you for coming here and reading about my family's pain and I also just want to say, thank you for opening up here too. It is so hard for people who battle and the very fact you are contemplating maybe being in a worse place after an attempt is so painful to hear. I really hope with all my heart you find peace and a way through your own pain too. Don't leave us, your voice is needed. xx

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  17. This is such a beautiful post. I agree with every bit. I am so sorry for your loss and I hope one year, at this time, you can smile and remember all the good times. Lots of love xxx

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  18. A subject close to my heart, thanks for sharing and giving such helpful advice.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Thinking of you.

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  19. Hugs I lost my friend to suicude

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    1. So many people have lost somebody. Hugs to you too Claire

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  20. Depression is an awful illness. Thank you for this post, it must have been so difficult to write. I have worked with people with me mental health problems and I have experience of family members suffering with depression. If you had a broken arm you would get more sympathy, it's a strange world in which we live.

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    1. Yes I agree, people suffer in an awful silence and many do not know what they are going through. Thanks Mellissa, for being here.

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  21. I'm not proud to write that I can utter the words 'the first time I tried to kill myself'...as if it is so commonplace, but for me it has been. Up till a few years ago it was an ever present visitor whispering in my ear and offering me a way out of my pain. I am very lucky to be here, but unlucky to have lost many family members who were devastated by the last time I attempted suicide, and they were called in to say goodbye as I lay in a coma. I understand their feelings but they can never understand mine. That's just the way it is. I have a marvelous quote from Patrick Rothfuss:
    “Perhaps the greatest faculty our minds possess is the ability to cope with pain. Classic thinking teaches us of the four doors of the mind, which everyone moves through according to their need.

    First is the door of sleep. Sleep offers us a retreat from the world and all its pain. Sleep marks passing time, giving us distance from the things that have hurt us. When a person is wounded they will often fall unconscious. Similarly, someone who hears traumatic news will often swoon or faint. This is the mind's way of protecting itself from pain by stepping through the first door.

    Second is the door of forgetting. Some wounds are too deep to heal, or too deep to heal quickly. In addition, many memories are simply painful, and there is no healing to be done. The saying 'time heals all wounds' is false. Time heals most wounds. The rest are hidden behind this door.

    Third is the door of madness. There are times when the mind is dealt such a blow it hides itself in insanity. While this may not seem beneficial, it is. There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind.

    Last is the door of death. The final resort. Nothing can hurt us after we are dead, or so we have been told.”

    I am very fortunate to be in recovery, and trying to forget all that made me hurt. To make peace is impossible, but to forget, to put it in a box, as the quote says, is a way to survive.
    I think you know who I am Jo - always here if you want to talk x

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  22. It's difficult to find the words to say, but thank you for being so brave and open. So many suffer in silence, and posts like this do touch hearts. xx

    Yaya
    Expat Frugalista

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  23. A really heartfelt message, thank you for sharing it. Sadly, anyone in the depths of depression is blind and deaf to such strong and important messages, but as family it is our job to do what we can to try to help them.

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