I genuinely hate suicide. I don’t mean those that die from suicide but the thought, the act, the plague on a person’s mind that suicide is. I understand why people kill themselves, as much as I wish I could stop it. F#@k suicide!
This year I’ve lost people to suicide including two hugely influential musical figures who I had no personal relationship with. I say I’ve lost them as I have used music as a source of therapy for as long as I can remember. Their music being particular sources of strength.
Losing all of these people to the disease that is suicide shook my foundation a bit. I’ve been tearful at the mere sound of their music as what was once a source of strength now sounds more like a cry for help. Mourning not just their deaths, but also the way in which they died is hard. All of these people were also major influences in my identity as I turned 15/16 years old. They helped shape who I am today.
If hearing of someone who means something to you has died isn’t enough, hearing that they succumb to an invisible illness makes it all the more harder. Particularly when it’s one you’ve battled with.
Having battled my own suicidal thoughts through the years, knowing that the people who I have looked to for strength died this way… It hurts. I don’t feel free of suicidal thoughts, I’m just not thinking them now. F#@k you suicide.
I carry a certain amount of emotional turmoil/pain every single day. It varies from day to day in its severity but it’s NEVER not there. How I manage that is really important. Who I share that burden with and how, is really important. It affects my thoughts and relationship with the dark cloud that is suicide.
Having kids doesn’t seem to stop the damned thing following you around. Chris Cornell had 3 children, Chester Bennington had 6, I have 2. I’ve said before that I choose to live not just for my kids, but for myself. But they are my safety net. My self worth and self perception goes up and down very regularly and I hope that no matter how I feel about me they would be enough. No matter what goes on in my head I hope that my love for them is stronger than any darkness that can exist.
I fear that if these people couldn’t make it through, then can that happen to me? I fear suicide, i fear it’s hold on people. I don’t see it as a strength vs weakness thing. I won’t survive based on being stronger than them. They weren’t weak. They just couldn’t carry on. The thoughts, the pressure, the pain became too much to take.
I’m not writing this because I’m looking for help or reassurance, but to echo the many sentiments of ‘you’re not alone’ that I’ve seen this week online.
The one thing that makes me feel better about any situation is knowing that I’m not alone. This I know because whether it’s face to face or online through FB, Twitter or Instagram I make an effort to connect with people. I make a point to be open and honest about how I’m feeling and where my head is at.
I rarely post but reading others’ stories on the ‘Dads Dealing With Mental Illness’ group or the community feel of ‘Dads are F**king Awesome’ always gives me a lift. Both are closed groups so just request access.
SO… FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. If you have even an inkling that your friend is feeling depressed or worse, TALK TO THEM. Tell them you’re there. Ask them how they are doing, be available, be vulnerable with them. Give them your time.
And if you are the one who isn’t doing OK just now, please for the love of everything that is beautiful in the world reach out. You’re not alone. Say ‘F#@K YOU’ to suicide.
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