A second old friend that I had regretfully lost touch with has taken their own life just THIS YEAR.
This is so unacceptable that two lovely, kind, necessary people in this world felt like they had no other option but to end their own lives.
This year has been challenging. It is a transforming year, meaning many people are being confronted by things they don’t want to be confronted by. This happens so that we are forced to take a look at our lives and change what’s not working. It’s happened to me, and many, many other friends this year. 2014 is kicking some asses and it’s been hard, for everyone.
I have no idea what happened with each of these friends and it’s not my business, but I know because of the tough year that I’ve had dealing with depression following the death of my beloved Mum that sometimes you can go to a bad place where you think that the world would be better off without you. That you honestly believe that nobody would miss you or mourn your passing. That you think your family would be better off because you ruin everything you touch.
No matter how low you get, I can say with 100% certainty that this is categorically NOT the case.
As the lovely Michael Wheeler posted today: ‘YOU are a source of joy to others. You are here on the planet at this time for very special reasons and a real purpose. You are a source of joy to others and your life is important.’
The world would not be better off without you. Your family would definitely not be better off without you. We would miss you, the world would miss you. You are here for a reason and you are important.
For all of those lucky enough to not be feeling this way, maybe now is the time to take stock of those around you. Even someone you haven’t had contact with for a while. Even somebody who you think is surrounded by enough love and support that they could never feel that way.
We as human beings have an instinct for this kind of thing but we stop ourselves from reaching out for fear that we are wrong, or that we’ll be embarrassed. Well, better we’re wrong than we lose even one more person to suicide. You could be the difference between a life lost and a life saved. Your reaching out could turn the tide for the better.
Depression is not just a low mood or feeling a ‘bit down’. It is not something that will pass on its own. In fact, left alone, it gets worse, because the feelings of being alone are reaffirmed. It is not something that people can just ‘get over’. It is not a case of just ‘sucking it up’. Depression is living a life without hope or joy. Ever. It is where everything you do feels pointless and you can’t imagine ever feeling happy or excited about anything ever again. It is an all-encompassing blackness that becomes so consuming that sometimes you just want it to end, one way or another.
So take a moment and ask someone if they’re ok. It means so much to someone who is questioning why they are here or feeling alone.
As for the friends who felt that had no other choice but to end their own lives: I’m so sorry you felt this way and I had no idea. I’m sorry that I didn’t get in touch or reach out when I could have. I am sorry for you and so sorry for your families, because your loss is massive and will never be okay.
There are also some great services on offer here, which are free and confidential, details below. It is not a sign of weakness to admit you need help, it is an act of strength. We all need help sometimes. But these feelings pass and with help you can find joy in life again. It is there just waiting to be rediscovered.
*Lifeline. Lifeline.org.au 13 11 14.
*Beyond Blue. Beyondblue.org.au. Loads of good support services listed on there, for depression sufferers, as well as their friends and family. Or call 1300 22 46 36