World Suicide Prevention Day 2016: Breaking the Taboo

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Suicide is something that people are too scared to talk about. Often the conversation can become difficult because people don’t know what to say, or don’t want to offend the person speaking. Of course it is a difficult topic, unless you’ve been at that point in your life where you can’t cope anymore it’s hard to understand why someone would choose to end their life, particularly if it all looks good from the outside. We focus so much on making sure that people stay alive but often we’re too scared to hear their reason why they wanted to die.

Recently the Basingstoke music community lost an incredibly talented DJ. She took her own life and a lot of us were shocked. I knew her from our college class, while we weren’t close I counted her as a friend, she came to a house party of ours and sat playing guitar and impressing people she’d never met before. That’s how I’ll always remember her. We parted ways after our final music performance 3 years ago and didn’t see each other after that. I followed some of her music stuff online and she was picking up speed in the industry. Unfortunately she passed away in what I can only imagine was a point of total and utter darkness.

I spoke in an interview with my university’s paper about being at a point where I didn’t think anything could get better. I was in my teens and just felt like school was never going to end. There was a part of me that feared I would ever feel better again, I would ever be the person I was before. When the piece was released some member of my family were shocked and upset to find that I felt that bad, that I hadn’t spoken about feeling that low. The thing is I wish I could have, I wish that I could have told my family, but I didn’t want to hurt anyone. When you’re at that point the depression is heavy and can muffle you wanting to speak out. I feel like I summed it up in the interview pretty well from the worst points to now;

“The doctor’s defined it as low mood, even though I had moments at school when I was suicidal. When you’re that poorly it’s very hard to talk to anyone else. I never want to get to that point again, it’s the most terrifying thing,” Metzger said. “If I can stop someone from getting to that point, or not feeling alone when they’re getting to that point I think I’ve made the best out of a really bad situation that I was in.”

I want to point out that I worked hard but was lucky to have the support around me, because not everyone has that. We need to work together to end the stigma, to make the fear around ‘saying the wrong thing’ lessen. If someone you care about seems low let them talk, be there for them. Sometimes talking to someone can make all the difference to how someone perceives the world. Let them know that what their feeling isn’t ‘selfish’ or ‘weak’, words that shouldn’t be associated with suicidal thoughts and feelings because mental illness can happen to ANYONE.

I didn’t want people to worry about me after writing this post. I know I have wonderful friends and family I can talk to now, I have coping strategies. I’m doing ok and I haven’t felt like that in a long time but I’ll use that experience to educate and help others and much as possible. This isn’t a post needed help, it’s sharing a story of my past and I encourage others to do the same.

Let’s break down the stigma.

And remember, someone loves you, someone needs and wants you around. You are not alone.

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