R E M E M B E R is an event founded by me, James Harley, and a group of mates who are passionate about raising awareness of male suicide. It is an issue that has affected all of us, and is very close to all our hearts for a variety of reasons.
I have had my own personal struggles with Bi-Polar Disorder and without speaking up and seeking the help of friends and family, I’m pretty sure I would not be here today.
Unfortunately over the past few years, as a group, we have been affected by male suicide on a number of occasions through our friends and extended network.
The dance music scene in London, where most of the REMEMBER team met, is like an extended family where everyone knows each other, so the effect when something terrible like suicide happens is felt deeply and widely amongst the dance music community. It’s like an earthquake that spreads instantly, the ripples destroying everything in its path.
Two years ago we felt that pain more than ever when our dear friend Ben took his own life.
Eddie, one of the REMEMBER founders, bravely puts pen to paper to tell Ben’s story
There’s nothing in the world that can prepare you for how you feel the day you find out that one of your best friends has taken their own life. I can promise you this, from first-hand experience. One of the biggest tragedies is that there will be a lot of people out there reading this who understand exactly what I am talking about. It seems that the more people I talk to, the more I realise how common this problem is.
As you hear your friend tell you what has happened, an empty feeling takes hold in your stomach; your heart sinks through your body; you move into a state of uncontrollable shock. You experience feelings you cannot control, as an important part of your life comes to a sudden end. You breathe deeply as the tears flood and realisation of the awful truth kicks in. You begin to ask yourself why? Time seems to stand still.
As news of the nightmare begins to spread amongst your family and friends the group is inconsolable. All you can do is stick together as days turn into an alcohol-induced blur. Thinking weed will ease the pain backfires, inducing a state of uncontrollable panic. Only family and loved ones can ease your pain now as you try to stay strong.
A week’s gone by now and you know that you need to sober up. Thoughts take over your mind and you begin to question yourself: did I do enough? Is there anything more I could have done? You remember the times that your best friend reached out to you. You knew things were sometimes bad but you never thought it would come to this, but it has. You tried to help. And although leading up to these terrible events you didn’t feel as close as times before, you still question everything. I think I always will.
As the weeks pass the pain remains as raw as the day it happened. I heard that time was a healer, but it seems like there’s nothing on this planet that can compensate my loss. As I clean my car outside I realise what beautiful day it is. ‘Today is a beautiful day’ I say to myself. The sun is shining and there isn’t a cloud in the clear, winter sky. I take a deep breath and feel blessed to be alive. I’m lucky.
Although it might seem easier for me to say this, because I don’t have to deal with particular demons, but when things are really bad and you can’t see a way out, I just want people to know that there will always be another day. Tomorrow, or next week, when things don’t seem so bad, when things are better and you can take a fresh perspective on things.
If I had known about the CALM charity and their work, I would have pointed one of my dearest friends in their direction. I think it would have been the help he was seeking. Maybe they would have been able to help him, maybe not, but at least we could have tried another angle. CALM are a charity that specialises in a subject that, more often than not, gets swept under the carpet.
There’s no shame in talking about depression, suicide and definitely no shame in reaching out to one of your closest friends if things don’t seem so great. It’s ok to talk, and as men sometimes we feel we can’t, or shouldn’t. It really is the best way to deal with your problems, get things off your chest. I learned the hard way. If things really are that bad please don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to the guys at CALM, who are trained in dealing with this very sensitive subject every day.
In launching REMEMBER, we strive to create awareness of male suicide, support CALM and get people talking.
R E M E M B E R.
The aim of REMEMBER is simple: to put on nonprofit events to get people talking about men’s wellbeing in an environment that’s not sterile but, instead, tied inn with enjoying the things we love: music, food & art. We want to spread the message that its OK to talk about your problems and ask for help if you need it, and to support the outstanding work CALM are doing. We are not a charity, we are group of friends who want to make a difference and have a good time along the way.
REMEMBER means many things but, in short, REMEMBER those you’ve lost for they will never be forgotten & REMEMBER that there is always someone to talk to. Reach out, don’t be afraid, we are all in this together.
On the 5th March REMEMBER will be transforming iconic clubbing destination fabric London, into a hub of music, art and food as we come together to raise awareness of suicide in a positive and engaging way.
Come and join us as we showcase some of London’s finest DJs, foodies and artists. It’s going to be a fantastic night, guaranteed.
We don’t REMEMBER days, we REMEMBER moments.
Buy Tickets for REMEMBER HERE
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