I remember when I was sixteen, I was working at the same florist I do now. Except back then our store was smaller and next door t it used to be a second-hand store. It was a family run business. A husband and wife team. They were lovely people. The husband was there mostly and I remember chatting to him on my sneaky smoke breaks out in the back alley a couple of times. (I know terrible right, smoking when so young. And I know what that sounds like, but don’t be filthy you bunch of weirdos, I was already with my future husband by this stage and, remember, I was only 16)
One morning, I got to work and went to head outside to wash the buckets (and have a smoke) and the door was still locked. I looked over to my mom/boss to ask for the keys. “You can’t go out there,” she said.
“But the buckets …”
“We can’t go out there … Did you not notice the police?”
I hadn’t noticed all of the police and ambulance and such. I would get off the train with my head in a book and walk the entire way without looking up from the pages.
He had hung himself out there in the back alley.
His wife had found him.
I can’t remember his name.
“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Roughly 80 people commit suicide in Australia alone every DAY. Every day, 80 people can’t take anymore. Their life gets too much or not enough. Their demons win. They lose the fight. Deaths by suicide in Australia occur among males at a rate three times greater than that for females.
This blog post is not new. This isn’t new information. But almost every week I hear of someone that I know knowing someone who lost their fight.
Last night, I cried when I heard the news of Chris Cornell passing. I found myself hoping it was drugs, wishing for it to be accidental. I didn’t want it to be another great artist taking their own life. Which, my pretty little weirdos, is a strange and horrible thing to hope for.
I can’t help this odd feeling of responsibility towards these people that have lost their will to fight for themselves. I can’t help feeling that our “suck it up” “Man up” “She’ll be right” “get over it” society is too blame.
We don’t like it when people, especially men, show their feelings. Feelings make us uncomfortable. When it is more common for someone to fly into a rage for being cut off in traffic than for someone to go see a therapist, something is wrong, right?
I once posted on social media “If you don’t or never have experienced either of these things (anxiety and depression) then you are a very lucky person. Depression is the vampire that sucks all that you are out. And anxiety is the bugs that crawl under your skin to take what is left…” I stick to my guns on this description. Anxiety and depression are not just problems that can be cured by drugs, they are not something that you should try to deal with on your own. But the trick is recognizing this before it is too late and doing something about it.
Depression is serious. It can and will affect more than just yourself.
If you know someone with depression and anxiety issues, please reach out to them. Don’t try to fix them. Just make sure that they know you are there. And stay there…
And if you have depression or anxiety yourself then stay strong. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let people help you back up the spiral. If you feel that you don’t have anyone to turn to there are lifelines to contact in most countries. Utilise them. They could save your life.