There are a few days in the year that are more difficult than the rest. They are the ones that stir my emotions and I don’t look forward to them. Even when I’m trying to be more positive, I’m still glad when they are over. Today is one of those days as today is the anniversary of Dan’s passing. Six years ago, Dan took his life and left a big hole behind for his wife, son, parents, family and friends. There has been a lot of water under the bridge over the 6 years, but the pain remains.
When you lose someone close, people will tell you that the pain will ease over time but in my experience that isn’t the case. The pain is still there. It’s never far from the surface and it doesn’t necessarily take much to bring it back. It could be a song, a rainbow, a picture, there are so many things that remind me of Dan. I miss my friend, I miss speaking to him, laughing with him and that the triplets haven’t been able to get to know him. His passing has left a hole in my life and my heart but it also keeps me going. There are times when I could have given up but I kept going as I didn’t want to let Dan down and go back on the promise I made at his funeral. It’s a fire that keeps me going.
There will always be the feeling that there was something I should have done. I will never forget the last time we spoke or how I felt when I heard the news. My biggest hope is that Dan found his peace that day. Dan was one of the kindest people you could ever meet and he would have done anything for anyone. I’ll always count myself as lucky that I could call him my friend and that I still have the memories of all the happy times we had together. I would have loved for the kids to get to know him and for them to know he was there like I always did. He helped me through some of my most difficult times and I just wish I could have done the same for him,
Suicide is still a subject that no one wants to talk about even though it is the single biggest killer in men in the UK under 50. Every day, 12 men take their life and men account for 75% of all suicides which are both shocking and saddening in equal measure. Why are men more likely to take their life than women and what can we do about it?
Suicidal thoughts and feelings are more common than people would like to admit. Many people will have them at some stage in their life but will not admit it due to the stigma that surrounds it and the fear of being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. On the outside everything can look like life is going well but underneath the veneer, there are several things that could be producing those thoughts. It is more likely to be a combination of factors, which may include:
- A major loss, trauma or set back in your life. This could be losing your job, losing someone close to you or having financial difficulties. These can make you feel like life is not worth living but most of these problems can be tackled and addressed, especially if you seek out some help as you don’t have to deal with them alone
- Someone close to you has attempted or died by suicide
- Drug or alcohol problems. If you are a heavy drinker or drug user, this may influence your view of the world
- Bullying or rejection. They can leave you feeling worthless especially when they are happening continuously over a longer period
- Depression or other mental illness. You can be depressed even if nothing sad, traumatic or stressful has happened in your life. There is much more to it than just feeling sad and when you constantly feel unwell, it can leave you upset and angry.
- A combination of any of these and other factors
It is fairly common to feel like there is no reason to go on. This often happens when people panic at the situation that they find themselves in and the thought passes through that ‘everyone would be better off without them’. If the feeling passes and doesn’t last for long, then that’s ok. When the feeling lasts for an extensive period or becomes obtrusive and overwhelming, this is when it can cause problems. Talking about how you feel can help as if you leave the thoughts unchecked, they can run wild and become dangerous. Talk to a friend, a family member, your GP, the Samaritans or another help service.
Men tend to be more at risk of taking their life for the following reasons:
- They can feel under pressure to appear strong and can feel ashamed at showing any signs of weakness
- They can feel like they should always appear in control
- They can feel like they should be able to provide for their family
- They don’t feel able to talk about their problems and how they feel
Most suicidal people just want the pain to stop and to get out of the unbearable situation that they are in rather than wanting to die. They feel like it’s the only option as life can feel hopeless. Even if you feel like everyone else would be better off without you, this is never the case as suicide has a devastating effect on the people left behind such as friends and family.
Even if suicide seems like the only way to deal with the pain, there is always another option. Finding that option might seem daunting so don’t try and find it on your own. Talk it over with someone and tell them what you are thinking and why. If you’re feeling worthless, without hope, that no one cares about you or that the world would be better off without you, please get some help. There lots of places to find help and some are listed on our Resources page.
You are worth it and we care. Look after yourself and those around you.
Onwards and upwards