All that I am, all that I ever was…

I am more than my mental health. I am more than my homelessness. I am more than any one aspect of me. I am Addy. And this is…

World Suicide Prevention Day: Breaking the silence

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In 2000, I discovered that a wonderful human being I’d spent time with in Canada had taken her own life. Even now, twelve years later, I still think of the hole that Rachel left in my heart.

In 2009, I befriended a beautiful soul who had contacted me through this blog. She was searching for hope, someone to help her fight the demons inside her as all her friends had fled. Unfortunately, her pain overwhelmed her and she committed suicide. I’ve never forgiven myself for Stephanie’s death.

In 2010, a homeless man I had acquainted myself with decided to end his isolated, unloved life. He never revealed his hopelessness to me or anyone as he believed no-one cared. He was wrong.

In 2011, an acquaintance in a boarding house I was living in ended his life during a drug induced episode.

Suicide has touched my life far too much. Two members of my family have attempted suicide on multiple occasions, on at least two of these it was only good-timing that enabled them to get the medical intervention needed to save their lives. Close friends have attempted suicide; all good, beautiful, talented people who felt they could no longer deal with this crazy little thing called life.

The first time I considered suicide was during my teenage years. The first time I actively acted on these thoughts was in 2000, a few depression filled months after learning of Rachel’s death. In 2006, my desire to end my meager existence overwhelmed all rational thought. In 2007, I took both an overdose and, a few months later, tried to hang myself following months of loss, pain and abuse.

Since then I have done what I could to seek help before these desires overwhelm me, but that hasn’t prevented at least one attempt a year for the last half a decade; the most recent of these being at the end of last year. All attempts to gain support have failed, leaving me fighting these feelings alone.

Something no-one should ever have to do.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Today is the day I can’t stop thinking of Rachel, Stephanie, Gareth and Malcolm; of the losses that could’ve been and the surprise that I am still here to write these words. There hasn’t been a day gone by that I haven’t mourned the un-necessary loss of these radiant souls. Not a week where I don’t feel the river of tears that coursed my cheeks or the sticky wet blood that stained my arm.

Our society has a tendency to bury suicide with codes and cleverly worded articles. To a degree I understand this need for caution; this need to protect those most vulnerable. But fostering such a shameful silence only encourages people who need help the most to remain silent themselves.

Not once, before any of my attempts did I turn to family or friends first, terrified of the judgmental shame I had convinced myself would follow.

Every day in Australia six people lose their life by suicide. Every year, over 2000 lives are needlessly lost, leaving behind millions of family, friends and loved ones who will never be able to heal their broken hearts.

Forever left wondering what could have been had they known of the pain their loved one was in.

If they had just asked “Hey, are you okay?”

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Today is the day my heart goes out to all who have lost people to suicide. The day where I beg of you to think of those you love and show them you care. To raise awareness of suicide and convince the world it needs to be talked about.

Today is the day I urge you to end the insidious silence surrounding the most preventable cause of death.

My articles:

In memory of Stephanie: Her Grace, My Guilt
In memory of Rachel: Because you never know if today will be your last

World Suicide Prevention Day (conversingwithnovels.wordpress.com)
Suicide prevention a responsibility of all of us (napavalleyregister.com)
WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY – Sept 10th (thedepressedmoose.com)
The Funeral – world suicide prevention day (thedepressedmoose.com)
Creative not destructive – Suicide Prevention Day (radioadelaidebreakfast.wordpress.com)
World Suicide Prevention Day (gempayten.wordpress.com)
A deadly silence that has to end (theage.com.au)

In memory of
Rachel, Stephanie, Gareth and Malcolm

You will never be forgotten

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5 thoughts on “World Suicide Prevention Day: Breaking the silence

  1. Preventing suicide? WHY?
    Suicide is the ultimate expression of a person’s autonomy: http://andreasmoser.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/world-suicide-prevention-day-on-10-september/ That courage should be applauded.

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    • Suicide is what happens when someone’s pain outweighs their mechanisms for dealing with their pain. It is not an expession of a person’s autonomy and should never be encouraged in any way, shape or form.

      The vast majority of suicides are committed by someone with pre-existing mental health problems who are not in full control of their actions or thought processes. They are not making a logical decision to end their life as they are not thinking rationally enough to make such a decision. It is interesting to note that I could see no mention of mental health in your post as you choose to focus more on the euthanasia aspect of suicide whilst failing to realise the (albeit subtle) differences between the two.

      You state in your post “I won’t argue that we should have a “World Suicide Day” or that suicide should be actively encouraged” but this is exactly what you are doing. By applauding someone’s ‘courage’ to end their life you are encouraging people to take the couragious option and end it.

      I am encouraging people to seek help and talk about their pain, for 99.9% of the time, there is always a solution that does not involve death.

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  2. I may not completely understand what you’ve been through or what you maybe going through right now, but I do admire you for still choosing to be here. This is obviously the harder choice, and yet you made yours. And now you’re even going out of your way to help others. That’s amazing.
    I’m not exactly a religious person (I think I only know 2 or 3 Saints and that’s pretty bad considering I’m a Catholic) but I do believe that there’s someone out there that do watches over us. I mentioned that because I love saying, God bless you, to people. :)
    I don’t know if you’re a believer or non-believer, but I’ll say it anyway, God bless you for that strong and courageous heart that is continuously choosing to live and learn and help.

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  3. You just remember, you are strong enough to get up every day and go on. From reading what I read, I now you are. Not that suicide makes you weak. The world is better with you alive.

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  4. I typed into a search engine the words from a verse of a poem I was trying to find (All day I did the little things …) and up came this blog, and I shall return here often I can tell. Very timely discovery. Gratitude ♥

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