I am sick and tired of reading about death by suicide. Of self harm.
Because it’s wrong? Because god doesn’t approve? No.
I’m angry because it’s an indicator, an indicator of an individual’s distress. An indicator of the state of mental health both individually and collectively. Of broken hearts.
I’m sick of seeing homeless people on the streets of a supposedly caring and financially stable country, of child poverty in a privileged Western nation.
I’m not a professional in mental health but I have my own experiences and the stories I hear. My own suicidal thoughts and self harm have always been deeply entwined with shame…the internal voices saying I’m not enough, a failure, unlovable. My grandfather took his own life due to the shame of financial difficulties. Shame has driven friends to overdose, shame led me to overdose.
I struggle daily with shame and fear, that I’m not enough, that I’m a failure because if I wasn’t Given To Live would be a bigger ‘success’, I’d be fitter, slimmer. I’d be able to make the calls that terrify me, I’d stop freezing out of fear. We’re asked to succeed to be deemed enough. But what defines success? It seems to be money, achievement, looks.
For someone struggling with mental health success is often getting out of bed, washing, meeting a friend instead of cancelling, eating a good meal, sleeping, compassionate self talk. These aren’t small feats, sometimes it’s all we can do for ourselves. These are among many reasons that GTL works the way it does, works with mental health, works to honour and value the people we take to shows no matter their experience.
We need help collectively. Kindness, compassion, empathy. Why aren’t these part of school curriculums?
For those who take their lives today, who self harm, for the brutalised part of me that still struggles.
I’m heartbroken I live in an affluent country that loves to tell others how to live their lives but our streets are full of homeless humans, that has an absurd level of child poverty, that has its children taking their own lives.
I think it’s time we took care of our homeless, our children, our mental health, our suffering. Until we do that we really have no right to tell others how to live.