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Between all the awareness days – RUOK Day, Suicide Prevention Day, Post Natal Awareness Day….what do we recognise? What do people post about on social media on a regular basis between the days where we feel obligated to ask our fellow person how they are genuinely doing?

Personally, I’ve noticed a common theme of “I’ve just cleared out my friends’ list of negative people – if you’re seeing this then congratulations” and other posts mainly aimed at dealing with avoiding negative Nancys.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say…

My own reaction to these posts is to make sure I only share positive thoughts and experiences with these people – and everyone really. I don’t want to be seen as all doom and gloom – and realistically everyone’s definition of ‘negativity’ is different so really more often than not it’s best not to say anything at all.

Where do all those bad experiences go though? If we don’t vent them, share them, talk about them- what happens to us internally? If we’re so focused on avoiding the fact that we are haemorrhaging emotionally, at what point do we just snap and what is the result of that ‘snap’?

Is it a breakdown of a relationship or a mental breakdown- or can it be more catastrophically horrific than these things combined?

Why Does It Happen?

Recently in the news I’ve seen far too many instances of a murder suicide – parents taking their children’s as well as their own lives – to where they surely must believe is a better place. But no one ever discusses what actually lead to that being the devastating end result.

WHY Were They So Sad?

More often than not you will read that depression played a part, I mean it has to have right- but WHY were they so sad? What was it more than just an imbalance of hormones that caused them to feel this way? Especially when it comes to the parents who managed to show absolutely no signs of there being anything wrong.

Once it’s over, after they’ve taken their children and left this incredible Earth, the hiding comes to an end and you know that something was most certainly not ok for them in their lives. But I feel as though we continue to create a social environment whereby we cannot discuss what’s really going on in our personal lives for fear of losing friends or followers or just being seen as a pessimistic person. We are brainwashed to believe that it’s imperative to our own health that we stay the heck away from those types of human beings for fear that their misery may just be contagious.

Is Sadness Catchy?

Has the phrase ‘misery loves company’ been taken completely out of context? Are we fearing that sad people are going to endeavour to make us feel the same way that they are with the fact that they are more than likely only looking for a shoulder to lean on? I know that no matter what my friends bring to me it doesn’t ever bring me down. Of course, I meet them where they are and my feelings definitely do dip, but I am more than capable of bouncing back because I’m not the one facing the struggle that they unfortunately are. More importantly I know that they aren’t intentionally trying to kill my happy vibe!

Life can’t always be completely wonderfully blissful. Thank God because honestly, my face hurts when I smile too much and as a mother of eight you can make me pee if I laugh too much. So yes, I don’t avoid negative situations. I greet them with the same respect that I have for happy times and I work through them.

My kryptonite is my in-laws. Just typing that caused one hand to leave the keyboard to cup my forehead in my hand – because they are a genuine pain! Thanks to them I can’t even laugh at shows like ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’- because it’s just too real.

I Try And Laugh About My Problems

Over the years to avoid being a burden on my friends by complaining about a situation that only I can fix, I find ways of making myself as well as others laugh about a problem which they too might be facing.

For Sale: Unwanted In-Laws

I’ve written (what I believe) are the most hilarious sales advertisements for my in-laws, listed them on different sales sites and received emails with the funniest encounters of other people’s in-laws, and we laugh together. One of my ads even made the news once and I was offered an opportunity to talk about it on the evening news (but declined). And when I’m feeling particularly cornered I go back to the article in the newspaper and I force myself to remember the funny side. I mean how many people make the paper because their in-laws are just such a pain in the backside hehehe!

Isolation

What if we are reaching a state of isolation where we feel we can’t risk bringing our problems to our friends for fear of losing them, or worse appearing less than perfect- and we can’t even make ourselves laugh about our challenges anymore.

Fake It…But Some Don’t Make It

What if we become stuck in a place where we truly believe we have to fake our own happiness and positivity to a point where we actually dupe everyone into believing that we are living our best life without a worry in the world.

What if the weight of pretending becomes too heavy for us to carry alone and we have no one that we trust enough to say “please can you help me lift this load even just for a little while?”.

Yes of course there are all those amazing helplines- but clearly people aren’t utilising them enough. Or maybe they reach a point where they feel they aren’t worth even burdening a helpline. Or is it something more?

What Would Help?

Do they want a real response- something which isn’t generic and something which only someone who knows them could actually give to them? Do they want to hear the voice of their friend agreeing with them, backing them up and bolstering their soul by swearing their mouth off in alliance with wanting the best outcome for them. Does it need to come from friends and family? A more personal approach? And are we taking that away from everyone by trying to numb ourselves to negativity.

I truly believe that although negative situations exist, we can’t be brought down to that level unless we allow our emotions to stay there. Yes, we can become burnt out and there is often that one friend who is always doom and gloom- but are they really an emotional burden, or are they merely just openly sharing their viewpoint which is different to the usual upbeat one that most people have?

Admit It!

Of course I’m not suggesting that we all look for and share the miserable things in life. If you LOOK for it you will see more and more of it. However, if you’re struggling, call it. Say it to whom ever you want to and if they stay, they were genuinely meant to be your mate- but if they go, perhaps they were trying to conceal their own load which was simply too heavy to carry on their own and they couldn’t possibly help you lift yours whilst trying to hide theirs.

The main thing is that we are honest and that we don’t reserve supporting others just for special occasions like the days these issues are recognised on. And maybe if someone brings us a problem at a time when we are struggling ourselves we could just say it- “hey I can’t help you with this right now because I’m stressing out about my job/partner/kids”. Not only does it give your friend the opportunity of seeing that you too are vulnerable, but it just lightened your own load by sharing your problem.

There’s no use in feeling bad once someone we care about has moved on. We need to be able to show them how we feel now so that they realise exactly how wonderfully worthy they really are.

Peace Is Here!

I truly believe with everything that I am that this is heaven here on Earth. We are supposed to be living it right now. And if someone wanted to share with me why they feel their piece of heaven is less heavenly than expected, then I would want to know- because I don’t want anyone packing their emotional bags and leaving to find their peace elsewhere. It’s here, it’s always been here! And I want you to share your Kryptonite, because I don’t want anyone to feel like they have no other option but to find an alternate route to heaven.

What can we do to help prevent these tragedies from happening? Share your thoughts and tell us in the comments below.

  • Have been in this situation many years ago – but hated the thought that if I didn’t die in my suicide attempt that I would be a burden on my children. Had the tree picked out that I would drive into at speed, but if I didn’t kill myself, what would they endure with a lousy father and a crippled mother. It took a long time, but eventually I was able to walk away from a horrible marriage and my children are aware of my love and stay in touch and I have had a new and wonderful relationship ever since. It is a very hard road and I used to belong to a women’s group that helped other women out of their horrible relationships without realising how caustic my own marriage had become. Doubt that all the legislation by governments will help – it will be the clubs like Apex, Guides, Scouts, etc. that will be able to help the most. Oh how I long for an Utopian existence sometimes.

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  • Its just awful that there are people who are so sad they feel that suicide is the only way to end it, even more tragic if they think they need to take others with them. So much sadness and devastation left behind after suicide

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  • Very heartbreaking, mental health is so vital.

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  • I don’t understand how as a parent you can take your own child’s life no matter how mad or depressed I am I could not even think about it. It makes me incredibly sad that these people feel like there is no where else to turn.

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  • We need more laws around social media. Personally I’m not really on them much, but it is a massive problem in today’s society and we are feeling the effects of it

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  • It’s a hard one for many who suffer so deeply with their mental health, and the stigma around it is huge which is why so many suffer in silence without another knowing.
    I feel deeply for these people because it’s a dark hole that they need to pull themselves from and without the right mindset and support it’s a damaging battle.

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  • I think everyone need some trust about their religion no matter what.It will calm your mind.

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  • I must admit I’ve been like this over the last couple of years and I’ve always managed to hide it from everyone. About 6 months ago I was ready to take the final step but instead I saw my GP to get my regular medication. He asked me how I was doing and I tried to act normal but then I just burst into tears. I felt so stupid and went to leave but he made me sit back down and just talked to me. I told him how I’d been feeling and he organised a councillor for me and made me promise to make another appointment for a weeks time or earlier if I was finding it hard to cope. I still find it hard every day but just knowing that someone is there for you and doesn’t consider you a nuisance can make a lot of difference. I find I can’t tell my kids or that would just upset them. I hope anyone who is feeling down can find someone they can talk to freely and not have to hide their feelings which, quite frankly, does make it harder to cope.

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  • No matter how depressed I was or what I was going through I would never, NEVER take the life of someone else! I just don’t understand this.

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  • We need to talk, to observe and to listen. We need to notice if there’s a change in a friend, in their tone, their absence, etc. and then ask if they’re okay. But then listen to the response. We live in a world now where a lot of talking is automatic. “Hi, how are you?” Response: “Yeah, good. Fine.” That tells us nothing. Was there a look in that response, a pause, a different tone. I think social media, screens, etc. has made us become less observant. We need to pull back, stoip, talk, look, listen.

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  • Everyone needs to help make the world a kinder place with their actions.

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  • I think we need to keep trying to be an open and welcoming community, and remember what we were taught as young children, to be kind to people, not exclude them and help them if and when they need it.

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  • Probably this article is close to us all as we all have feelings and emotions and to care for our inner health is important for us all.

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  • Be kind ☺️????

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  • I always lived by the moral that you should always be nice because you don’t know what someone else is battling…but it can be very draining


    • I agree with this there is so much judgement and nastiness out there towards others, when you really don’t know what someone else is going through. That could be all they need to push them over the edge.

    Reply

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