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YOUR VOICE: Let’s Stand Side By Side

Alex sent us the following blog post along with a powerful video he’d made in which he’s filmed speaking to his mate via video call. We were so blown away by it that we added it to a YouTube playlist of videos, all with the same message: Don’t Be A Statistic. Check it out…

I didn’t want to prepare much of what to say because, well, can we really prepare for depression? Who can prepare to know one day you’ll feel so low you won’t want to live anymore? That right now I can be fine, the next I’ll feel so numb to the point I won’t be able to move; that feeling of worthlessness, emptiness?

No one, but we can be ready and by ready I mean aware, knowing what we have and working towards getting better.

My hope is that one day every school in the UK will hold a discussion in class to bring awareness about suicide and depression, it is so vital. And that every single teacher in a school must be trained when it comes to mental health; they could potentially spot something early and prevent someone taking their life.

When I was in school, it was never discussed and I believe that if it was I would have been aware of my experience and worked towards seeking help so much quicker. I’d have recognised that feeling of numbness, knowing you can move but physically can’t.

As controversial as it sounds, I feel like when I used to get down I used to feel sorry for myself. And feeling that was actually a good feeling. It felt good. I became addicted to it and I feel that is what got me even more down. Nope, it wasn’t bloody right, wasn’t bloody right at all but it started to feel normal. I felt like there was nothing wrong with me, but deep down I knew there was. I didn’t know what depression was. I am not saying everyone feels sorry for themselves. I am saying I just felt as though feeling sorry for myself, as much as it is a negative thing, it kind of felt good. It felt really good to feel sorry for myself and the more I’m feeling that the more down I’m getting.

I started to feel comfortable being down, I felt comfortable not being able to be happy. It’s not right its not right at all, it’s not well.

Let’s not be afraid of the term depression, the term suicide. Let’s not be afraid to discuss this subject. Yes, we all make mistakes and can say the wrong thing, but we must learn from that and not let it take away from what we are trying to do here, that is making a change for the better.

I read something that really got to me the other week; suicide is the biggest single killer in the UK for men under the age of 45. Here’s another statistic: 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with a certain type of cancer in their lifetime. I am simply asking for this society to treat depression in the same way as we treat diseases like cancer. Why do we have to visibly see pain to know someone is suffering?

In our society there’s always a time when we find it hard to show our emotions. We have all been brought up to keep our emotions to ourselves. As a man, I have been taught by society to deal with them on my own. But there will always come a point where you will blow…

I think it is so important to feel what you are feeling at that moment in time; it’s like having paperwork, if you don’t do it as soon as you get it, it will just build and build and build until it’s bloody hard to sort out. We must deal with things as we go along in life.

It is upsetting that the day we heard the news Robin Williams lost his life to suicide, people were questioning: How could he be down? He seemed to be always happy? That tragic event is what brought so much awareness, and it’s unfortunate that we had to wait ’til something so tragic, so upsetting, happened to realise what is happening here right now.

I use Robin as an example, as he was known worldwide and was seen to be the man to always make people laugh. We must seek to look deeper within the people around us in our lives. A friend calls me telling me he or she is suffering from depression and doesn’t want to live anymore? I try to seek help for them, only to be told they will be put on the waiting list. This has to change. This must be a priority. Government backing or not, let’s work towards making a change, being aware, being there for one another and fighting together.

To anyone that is suffering right now, treat it like a flu; you must accept you’re ill and work towards getting better. As alone as it can feel, you aren’t. Don’t be afraid to admit what you’re feeling. Let’s all stand together and demolish status, demolish pride, demolish the thought of expressing emotions as a weakness. It’s okay not to be okay. Let’s stand side by side.

If you’re worried about someone, click here; if you’d like to talk to someone, click here; if you’ve been bereaved or affected by suicide, click here.

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