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The Suicide Victims Left Behind - There is ALWAYS a Solution

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In the wake of World Suicide Prevention Day, we would like to publish this incredibly honest blog by one of our consultants. He wishes to remain anonymous but we would like to thank him for his candid words and commend him for his strength. We would also like to note that if you or anyone around you is struggling with any issues discussed below - there is help available and you are not alone (see bottom of post)

Now this is a story all about how,
My life got flipped turned upside down,
And I'd like to take a minute just sit right there,
I'll tell you how suicide made me aware:

Not the line you were expecting?

Sadly, we are hearing about cases of suicide more and more. Although the reasons why can be hard to put into words, common assumptions are rooted in people feeling that alone, that much of a burden to those around them that they feel it’s the only solution… a solution to fix all problems. Those who’ve experienced losing someone to suicide or having thoughts to harm themselves this way will speak of voices that just keep going around and around, until eventually they become the only truth that can be believed. Voices that preach self-hate, unworthiness, shame, regret, guilt… the list goes on. And regrettably, the only way some feel they can silence these voices, or perhaps give them what they crave is to make that final, fatal act and take their own life. I know this, because I speak from experience.

So, onto the story of how it turned my life upside down:

A young man aged 15, living with his mum, his mum’s partner and his younger brother. Everything appears to be going absolutely fine, the occasional arguments which couples have, the odd disagreements that get brushed under the rug. But to the boy’s knowledge everything seems normal, life is just what it’s supposed to be, for the most part – happy and content.

Then, out of nowhere the young boy, his brother and mother find themselves homeless. How? An argument out of all those seemingly trivial ones that seems have been the final straw - an argument that starts a downward slope.

So, next, the family try to find a new home and fast, which isn’t so easy when you have no money, no guarantor to vouch for you so you can even let a property and when the council just don’t move quick enough to find accommodation. What else can the family do but temporarily split? The young boy of 15, living with a grandparent, the younger brother and mother living at a friend’s house. This seems the only option so that everyone has somewhere to live.

The mother is someone admired by others, working her whole life trying to provide something better for her kids…endless hours, endless sacrifices. A mother proud to be called ‘mum’ and a hero in her kids’ eyes. No matter how hard she tries, the mental health issues stemming from a difficult childhood, years of substance abuse (which only ever serve to make feeling better that much harder) and internal family pressures all continually weigh heavy on her shoulders, always there and never seeming surmountable. A wonderful, loved and compassionate mother, daughter, sister, auntie and friend tumbles into a spiral of dark emotion that leads to what happens next…

One day (maybe the 26th June 2007) that same young 15-year-old boy goes to school as he does every day. He pushes past the issues in his personal life and does exactly what he was supposed to do. The day goes by, just as every normal day would. Then the bell rings at the end of the school day, the young boy’s grandmother picks him up, ready to collect the rest of his family and have tea together as planned. They drive to the mum’s friend’s house and pull up outside. Then the scene changes. The younger brother runs to the front door screaming, crying, panicking, as he pleads for “HELP! HELP!” The rush into the house is the worst moment of the young boy’s entire life. Nervously stepping through the front door, he sees his mother laid out at the top of the stairs, having been just cut down from the belt she was hanging from. There’s no sign of movement, there’s no hint of breath.

So, that’s the story. My story, your story, so many people’s story. A life that felt normal, good and happy, torn apart by a single act. I can’t speak for the mother in my story or give an accurate account of why she chose to end her life this way. What I can speak for is the affect that act has on those left behind.

I’m not sure if she ever knew it was okay to talk about the way she felt or what she was going through… but if she had maybe I would be writing a slightly different blog right now. Mental health awareness and awareness of the struggle that can lead to suicide remains paramount. As it's been said a thousand times over, suicide does not just take away the life of that person, it starts a chain reaction that impacts on the mental health of those who struggle to come to terms with someone they love choosing such a fate over the life they have. To make this choice is surely to be facing the monster of all internal battles and we can’t wait until the act itself is the only thing that makes us aware of this fact of life. We must continue as a society to work together to encourage open discussion and spread awareness in the hope that even one person and one family’s lives aren’t turned upside down.

If you are affected by any of the issues in this blog - there is help available, day or night.

Mind - What support is out there? 
YoungMinds Crisis Text Service 
The Samaritans - Call free 24/7 - 116 123
Alliance of Hope - Suicide Bereavement Service


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