there IS hope.

Most days I sign into here and I often glance over how people have ‘found’ my blog. Its often by googling something, and then they land here. And often the things people type are relating to surviving abuse, depression, church, mental health, self harm amongst other things.

Sometimes people land at Fragmentz by typing something like ‘is there hope …’. Is there hope for … a self harmer? A depressive? A survivor?

My response to those people is YES. LOTS. And I really hope by stumbling across this blog that those people who are typing those things are able to find hope in this space.

And that those people are also able to find hope in the life they are living.

Because there is hope. Maybe it is small grains of sand shaped hope, and maybe it might be something bigger. Maybe it is something very quiet, or something very loud.

But however big or small, quiet or loud there IS hope.

Whatever it is you are facing, whatever storm you are in the middle of, keep hanging on to hope.

If you are unwell with depression or other mental health issues: there IS hope.

If you a survivor of abuse and/or rape: there IS hope.

If you battle with self harm: there IS hope.

If you struggle with suicidal ideations: there IS hope.

If you are fighting to stay above the water, for whatever reason: there IS hope.

I believe this for you, if you are a Christian. I believe this for you if you are not a Christian.

However some of the searches people have typed and found my blog with, related to battling issues and Jesus. I truly believe Jesus still loves you, whether you are depressed or not. Whether your self harm or not. Whether you battle with God or not. Whether you are a survivor or not.

He loves you. And has a hope and a future for you.

One of the most important bible verses when it comes to hope, and my own life, is this:

Jeremiah 29 verse 11 –  ‘I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for’ (The Message)

Please know, wherever you are, whoever you are and whoever you believe in,

you are precious. 

You are valuable. 

You are beautiful. 

There is a hope. 

There is a future. 

As I sat writing this blog, the last verse of a poem I wrote called ‘the whisper’  came into my mind. It is this :

As the years pass by, the scars never go, but begin to get lighter
She sits down, and watches life go by, and the sun getting brighter
And as she confronts all of the things in her life she fears
In the stillness the previous whisper of ‘I love you’ is all she hears.

I dont pretend there is an easy way for life to happen. There isnt. Life is tough. But please know and live in hope that brighter days can exist. That even though the memories never go, they can be lighter, things can be brighter.

Please know you precious, your are valuable, you are beautiful. 

You are loved. Loved. LOVED. 

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World Suicide Prevention Day 2012

‘What is it like to be accidentally alive on purpose?’

Someone asked me that on twitter last week having stumbled across my blog and some of the posts I have made.

What a brilliant question. Its been a little while since someone has asked me something that has felt so deep, something I so desperately wanted to respond to with an answer immediately, yet that I also had to go away and consider.

My initial response was this ‘scary yet wildly exhilarating and exciting’. And whilst I have tried and tried over the last few days to come up with something as deep in response, I have not been able to. The only answer I have been able to come up with, and continue to come up with is that. Its scary. Yet it is exciting and exhilarating.

The reason they asked that was because they read something I had written a bit back, that talked about ‘4 years since …’. Because 4 years ago, I wanted to die. Seriously wanted to die. In fact I was devastated that I didn’t when I tried to.

If you look back into my blog (you wont have to go that deep) you will find various writings which talk about that experience. That desire and longing to be dead.

That feeling of hopelessness, darkness and complete brokenness.

It was inconceivable that anything could or would change. My heart had broken and it felt like it would and could never be fixed, mended, put back together again.

Why am I writing about this again? Because today is World Suicide Prevention Day 2012.

You may have seen people tweeting about it, face booking, blogging. I have been truly moved by the many many different things I have read today. Peoples experiences, lives and families.

Every year on the 10th September is the World Suicide Prevention Day. And this year marks the 10th anniversary of that day. 10 years of research, prevention and education.

For more information on this and the organisation its ran by check out World Suicide Prevention Day

Here are some points made about suicide from their website:

* Data from the World Health Organization indicate that approximately one million people worldwide die by suicide each year.

This corresponds to one death by suicide every 40 seconds

* Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among the young

* Suicide is estimated to be under-reported for multiple reasons including stigma, religious concerns and social attitudes.

* Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others

In just those few things are some really worrying and sad statements. True though. And so today serves as a day to remember those who have died, those who are considering it, and those who have come through it. It is a day to remember and think about those who have been effected by it, even if they themselves have not attempted suicide. Because for every person these facts suggest, is a family. Is someone who loves them, knows them, has at some point been in contact with them, and therefor are also affected.

As I wrote several years ago, on this day, in 2010, before I ever got to a point in my own life where suicide felt like the only option, I had already come into contact with it. Already knew someone who, when I was a young person, and they were my youth leader, felt their life could not go on. And it didnt. They hung themselves. I’ll remember to this day, that day we got a phone call to tell us he had died that morning. I was a teenager. His wife was left, with two young children. His parents were left. His family, friends. It affects everyone.

Today serves to raise awareness. Of the issues. Of the fact that so many people out there live in darkness, real torment. A life of no turning around. No where to run. No where to hide. No where o seek solace. No where to find peace. No where to find rest. There is no choice for them. Actually, there is, one choice, the only choice. To die. For then may their souls finally be still.

We must begin to/continue to speak out about this issue. Not be frightened to address it. Not be scared to utter ‘suicide’. We must bring it to the forefront of conversation. We must not be scared to open up the ‘box’ so to speak, and to allow people to explore the topic. We need to be aware.

As some of you who follow my twitter feed may remember a few months ago I spoke in an evening service at church. And I was frustrated, and hurt more than frustrated by the criticism I received straight after by the minister for mentioning ‘suicide’. I spoke about a different theme but mixed in with that some of my own story, to which I bought up the fact I had wanted to die. He had felt in ‘inappropiate’ because some young people 15/18 year olds were in the room who have had a family member commit suicide when they were very young. The young people themselves were fine. The vicar wasn’t. My impression was that he was uncomfortable with it. Which has been my experience of church generally. Whether thats because they choose to be uncomfortable with it, or because lack of knowledge and understanding leads them into fear, I don’t know, but I do know it needs to change.

We must not/cant be afraid to talk about it. We must change perception and stigma.

And today is part of that. Its been moving to see people posting many things online, and to see a movement of people coming together with one focus in mind. To raise awareness or suicide and the prevention of it.

What we must make sure of though, is that today is not a stand alone day. That those people who have tweeted, written, talked about and passionately ‘involved’ themselves in the conversation continue to do so after today.

For people like myself, and others affected, it does not go away after ‘one day’.

I was really moved to see a friends picture of her wrist today. With many other people, she marked her wrist with the word ‘Love’. As a sign of solidarity. Thanks Jasmine for letting me share this here. So simple yet so moving.

Lets keep moving on with this issue. With trying to understand it, and working out how we can support those people around us who feel there is no option other than the final end.

Lets love.

The other thing I have seen today, which moved me incredibly, to tears in fact was this blog, which you can see below called Suicide isn’t Painless by a friend Andy.
If you can, please take the time out to read this beautifully vulnerable writing.
Below is an excerpt from his blog …
If you do not suffer yourself, please do everything in your power to be there for friends who do. They mostly don’t want clever answers from you, just to know that you are there for and with them. Pretty easy really. And almost impossibly hard.’
and this is also from his blog.
Today I thought I’d shove it all, Pull the plug and say goodbye.The pain I bore was much too strong, I had no tears left for me to cry.

I didn’t really want an end, Just a place to have a rest.
I couldn’t take another step, Convinced myself ’twas for the best.
A friendly face interrupted me, And spoke of love and peace.
And held my hand, and wiped my tears, And soothed ’til thoughts did cease.
Others have gone before me, and some have not come returned.
And others still will not make it, despite all that we have learned.
Suicide isn’t painless, and it doesn’t solve a thing.
It leaves behind all sorts of scars, and banishes hope of spring.
If you are or have been effected by this topic and need to talk, the Samaritans are a 24/7 service who will even call you back if you cant ring them and very worth giving a call to if you want an understanding ear, any time of day or night – 08457 90 90 90

The Tears Fall.

The tears fall,

Behind closed curtains,

no one would know,

the truth, as

the tears fall.

The tears fall,

mourning lost love,

her heart is torn in two,

life broken, as

the tears fall.

The tears fall,

the night goes by,

time passes,

a forgotten person, as

the tears fall.

The tears fall,

her soul yearning,

for nearness, once again,

something, anything as

the tears fall.

The tears fall,

as early sunrise light

floods into the darkness

and another day arrives, as

the tears fall.

© Fragmentz

Childhood memories, God and I.

Spent some time last night reading my old blogs, something I do occasionally. And I also read an old journal, that I kept, mostly in 2008, and around the months when I was at the bottom of the bottom. Below is an entry I found and read. I spent a long time chatting to my beautiful Godfather on the phone yesterday, and he is only one of two people I know in my life now, who knew/knows my biological father. Its always thought provoking to discuss my biological father. Below is an entry I wrote, in 2008 about an incident when I was young. In fact, one of the tamer times really. My father was an abusive bully, who ultimately broke the lives of the people around him, and the lives of his children. Sadly my brother was to then take on the traits of him, as he grew up, and only knew how to deal with the pain with anger himself. That left me being being in the position of being abused by father, many different times, and in very many different ways,  but then as I grew up, also by my brother. 

Life really is like a box of chocolates isn’t it? You never know what your going to get, or be given. 

Most of the time we were at house ‘on holiday’. I dont really remember exactly how old we were but one week we spent most of the time in the garage with the babysitter, playing games. Or my stepmm would look after us. I think I was perhaps 10 years old and remember missing my mum so much. We were the other side of the country from her. I would cry. At some point I must have done this in front of my step mum, for her to simply say ‘wait until your Dad gets homes’.

When he got home, I was hiding upstairs. I dont know where my brother was. I remember him shouting my name whilst he sat on the the double bed in the spare room. He has taken off his belt and shoes, and I knew I had to go and endure the beating. It was better to go, and get it over with then endure ‘the chase’ so to speak, because then it would only have been worse.

Apparently I had upset my stepmum and disrespected her by missing my real mum. While being beaten reasonably black and blue with his belt and steel capped military shoes he kept telling me to never dare to cry again.

Maybe thats why over the years, crying became such a problem. I never dared to cry in front of them again, and in fact for many years never dared to cry again in front of anyone. In fact I never really cried at all full stop.

That same week my brother and I went skating around the base my father lived on. At the top of this huge hill were the armed guarded gates, and we’d always go to the top to say hello to the soldiers and show off our passes that said we were allowed to be on the site. Maybe we broke the boredom in their day, I hope so, but I know we enjoyed those moments. We would then skate down the hill as fast as we possibly could. Being a child at the time, the hill felt huge (it probably wasnt that good) and it was great fun.

Except for this one time, when I fell. Just by accident, it was no ones fault. Least of all my brothers. But he got the blame. He was made to sit on a chair, when we got back home, in the middle of garden whilst my father towered over him, shouting and berating him. This huge man standing over a very young, skinny, pale faced and scared child. I remember watching what happened, and yelling at the window, even banging at it. But I had been locked inside the house. What could I do? I dont know, but I should have done something.

I had dinner with my mum tonight, and during the conversation I asked her if my Dad had ever hit her. She said no. So I asked her why she thought he did us. Her reply was ‘because you couldn’t hit back’.

I believe my father did what he did to us, because exactly as my mum said, we couldnt fight back. Whatever he did to us, whatever type of abuse he endured on us, he was always the stronger person. 

But I am an adult now too. And I can have the ability to be strong too. I loved a quote by Gibbs from NCIS the other night where someone said ‘I am not a victim’, he replied ‘No, your not, Your a survivor’. 

And so through it all, I am starting to learn and believe that actually, despite his abuse, the bullying at school, the pain inflicted on my by my brother, the subsequents depression/selfharm and pain I inflicted on myself and then the assault in London which finally finished me off and led to what some would say a bit of a breakdown, that I am surviving. And I can survive. 

One of the most important lessons over the last few years I have learned, with regards to faith and God, was given to me by someone who I love dearly, and whose family have accepted me, and love me as I am. Not long after trying to kill myself, I spent some time staying with them, and we sat in the garden one evening and their garden table, talking about the universe. I was so so angry with everything and everyone, and my view at that point of God was that he was a sadistic Nazi (I know I know, I was very angry at that time!) … and I was also frustrated and fed up with people/Christians who would say ‘well, you know God has intended all of this for good to come out of it’. Honestly? Well if you look at it that way, or think off it that way, then how can you not think God is cruel? He isnt this kind loving thing if he deliberately causes alsorts of unknown pain on someone just so good can eventually come out of it can he. 

Anyway, Andrew told me this … God never intended the bad to happen. It was not His plan. In the world, or in people lives. But what He can do, and does so is somehow weave the chaos and the hurt, and eventually make something good out of it. 

I was so profoundly affected by that, and its stayed with me for a long time, and been a huge part in bringing me back to a real sense of God in my life. 

When I first started blogging, years and years ago, my very first blog was quite a faith blinded one. So full of life and a love for God – who was to know at that point my world would be turned upside down, and the very things then I knew i believe in would be broken. I for sure didnt. 

But right now, it feels like I’m coming back full circle, but as a very different person. My faith is growing. Deepening. Through it all, even the times when I could barely utter a word to God, or when I did they were just screaming profanities, I never didnt believe in God. 

So here I am. A survivor. A survivor who can now cry (a lot at times) but who is learning to live and love life, and God, again. 

its been exactly 4 years since i tried to die …

Its quite a strange feeling … being alive when your not supposed to be.

I guess some folk would say I am meant to be but the way I see it is I’m not.

Four years ago I took an overdose. People would say that people who take overdoses are not serious, and are only crying out for help. Maybe that is so for others but it isn’t for me. I truly wanted to die. And as far as I was concerned I had taken enough stuff, in a big enough cocktail to ensure that I did die. I didn’t plan on surviving. Its fair to say my state of mind was a bit irrational. Thinking back now, my mind was screwed (it still is) but back then it was screwed in a much bigger way.

It is really hard to describe the day, four years ago. In fact a lot of it is blurry. I just remember being so desperate for the pain to go, that I could not see any other way out. My life was never meant to have worked out the way it had.

Stuff that had happened was never meant to happen. When I was a very small child, I could never have imagined what was going to be ahead of me. When I was a child the things that happened to me that were wrong were normal. Wasn’t everyone abused? (It wasn’t until I got older did I realize the answer to that is no).

I have written before, a few times about the darkness, the pain, the hurt, the desperation. The no way out and no where to go feeling. The heart wrenching all hope is lost feeling. Because that is how is felt. I had nothing. I was nothing.

So what was the point in being alive?  I didn’t see any …

So I tried to kill myself.

Imagine the feeling of waking up, a bit hazy, dazy and realizing that instead of being somewhere else (I had no idea where I was going to end up, I think my head thought it would be a hotter kind of hell than living, because that would be what I deserved) however even that was the better option than actually being alive (does not make much sense really when you think about it does it, but then I didn’t (still don’t often) make much sense) …

I was devastated to be alive.

 But that was four years ago.

I keep saying four, because I cant quite believe it to be honest. Four years! It feels like it has been a long long four years, yet it also feels like it has flown by.

The biggest thing I cant quite believe, and would never have imagined in a million days would be the change since then … how life has moved on.

Yesterday I tweeted something on the lines of ‘it’s the day before the day I tried to kill myself four years ago and instead of smoking, drinking and self harming I’m getting ready to go to Spring Harvest – a Christian conference’ – (obviously it was a bit shorter on twitter!)

I have the honour and privilege of being at Spring Harvest this year, and I’m really thankful to the people who have made it happen. And as I was getting packed to come, I was thinking about the fact its been over a year since I last cut, I don’t smoke any more, and I have the odd drink, but that’s it.

Last year I arrived at Spring Harvest on the back of a bet with someone who reckoned I wouldn’t survive a week at a Christian conference, despite having already been to a few. Not only did I survive the week, I think I survived it quite well.

Everything I thought it was going to be, it wasn’t. The fights I was looking for didn’t happen, and I went away from the week realizing that actually, despite my protests and issues sometimes I am a Christian. Yes, I am a Christian.

I am still trying to work my way round, understand the true meaning of Gods love, and really get to a place of belonging. There is a heck of a lot that I don’t understand – a heck of a lot … but I am firmly on the journey of trying to understand.  I still need to learn more about why I am here, what the meaning of my life is and why the stuff that has happened happened. I know that there are no easy answers to any of these questions, and that they are things that I am going to have to explore.

This afternoon, instead of going to the seminar that I had planned on going to, I went and spent an hour chatting to someone from the Pastoral Team here at SH. It was something I was a bit hesistant about, but something that I felt my soul stir into doing and I’m pleased I did. I felt like I was given a little clarity to my thoughts and feelings about today. And how God fits in to it all. Because He does.

I know that process isn’t going to suddenly become easy, but then I’m used to not easy.

But it’s a process that has now started.

One of my new years resolutions for 2012 was to spend more time concentrating and focusing on the future. Thinking about where it is heading, trying to ascertain the pathway I’m meant to be on, career wise, spiritually and personally.

And so, I supposed you might read this blog and think it is not doing that. Which is true, kind of.

I want to keep moving on wards, forwards, and part of that process is to process the past. I know I have spent some time talking about the past, four years ago in fact, I feel I have to. I have to mark it somehow. And the marking it somehow is more about celebrating the fact that I am alive . Its about remembering where I was, thinking about the years and the journey I have been on because that’s all so important when it comes to thinking about the future, my future.

I feel like I am marking it by writing this blog. Short of shouting out to everyone here, at Spring Harvest that It has been four years and I want to celebrate life right now the only way I know how to mark it is to write.

 IT HAS BEEN FOUR YEARS, AND I AM ALIVE, AND THAT IS GOOD!

What has happened is a part of me. I can not erase the past. I can not erase the scars that my body bares, and I can not erase the torture that sometimes haunts my mind.

But I can use some of those experiences, exactly how I don’t know yet.

But I want to look to the future.

I want to talk about it. I want to share my story.

I want people to know my story because more importantly I want others to know they can survive too, and that can happen by me sharing my story.

goodbye 2011, hello 2012 (a belated Part 2)

I guess it is fair to say that 2012 is now in full swing, being the middle of January. My end of year review has been quite late this year, usually its at the end of a year, as it should be, not the beginning of the next one. Hey ho … I am also quite late in writing a Part 2, as i felt Part 1 had gone on long enough so I though I would split it into two parts.

so, below is the last thing I want to mention about 2011 …

* I was just back reading a blog which had something written in it that has stunned me. Alot actually. In Feb 2011, I wrote ‘It has been 10 months since I last self harmed’. That in itself was massive. To now be able to sit here and write that its been over 20 months is even more massive. I dont know who reads this blog, and its fair to say I dont know your experience and your thoughts on things like self harm, however for me, it has been a very big part of my life. For a long time a very secret part of my life, something I never wanted anyone to know about, and was  very careful to make sure no one did/could see. Once or twice in a few crises moments would ‘seen’ places such as my arms be affected, but on the whole I self harmed in places no one could see. It was not about attention. It was not about people knowing. It was a personal private thing. And so very hard to try and explain the release, physically and emotionally self harming gave to me. Its fair to say it hasnt been easy. Theres been some close moments! It still isnt easy, because when things get tough its often the first thought that comes into my head … maybe because it was a coping mechanism for so long … and dont get me wrong I’m not saying i’ll never go back to it. I hope i dont though. So, as to how that relates to 2011 … I’ve gone a whole date wise year without self harming. Wow.

I wanted to share the above with you because i see as being something that reflects how 2011 has been for me. There seems to have been very little ‘drama’ throughout the year, which is unusual, but what there has been in a steady continuation of the journey that I guess i could call recovery, or moving on, or whatever phrase you want to use to be honest.

Its fair to say, and I am sure I have written this before somewhere either on here or twitter, that 10 years ago I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams that life would turn out how it has done so far. I could never have imagine how tough it would/was going to get. Dont get me wrong, I was not stupid, or naieve, I knew life wasn’t a bed of roses from an early age, but equally so, I didnt think that when things were already tough, they would get even tougher, and more tougher on top of that.

I never imagined that once id been crushed into tiny little pieces, that Id then get trampled on, and turned into even smaller bits. Fragments into more fragments until there was nothing left. Who does? But it happened …

however, here I still am. And somehow surviving, and dare i say it … almost thriving?

I am on a road, a long road which i am sure is going to throw out more blows no doubt, but a road which has some sunshine on it too … i am starting to enjoy life, enjoying learning how to live again, how to laugh, how to love.

And i cant not say thank you to everyone who has been involved in my journey. People as i mentioned in my previous blog whom I dont think I could ever express truly how grateful i am to, for their love.

as for 2012 … who knows what it will bring? I dont for sure …

however, as i think about the year ahead, i think about the three new years resolutions I have made (something i never normally do )  …

they are :

1) to lose weight ( see my blog titled My name is fragmentz and I’m fat (no really I am) to see why this is SO important to me! It is something that I am going to spend alot of 2012 focussing on. My first goal is to lose 2 stone by Easter, which is roughly 2 pounds a week, and by eating sensibly, going to the gym and execising more and the help of Slimming World, I am sure i can achieve this. The bigger goal is way to huge to think about all in one go … as ideally its about 6/7 stone … i dont think i’ll reach that by the end of the year but If i could be well on the way, id be pleased.

2) to continue moving forwards … to spend more time looking into the present and forwards instead of backwards. this one is simple in words, but maybe not to simple in actual practice. My past is part of who I am . Its part of who everyone is. And i disagree hugely with the pastor who once told me that if i became a Christian my past would be erased and i’d forget it. Unless you took my brain away, or erased my memory entirely, then that aint going to happen. And why would I want that … because despite some of the horrific memories, and the things that have happened that haunt me, and even to this day appear in my sleep sometimes, why would I want to erase some of the happy memories? I dont want to erase my past. and some of the experiences are shaping who i am becoming now … shaping how I am able to support other people in their lives. For example, there is a situation with someone who I chat with regularly to, who I would not be able to walk along side and support in the way I do, if i had not experienced what I have (if that makes any sense). So, although i dont want to ‘forget’ my past i also dont want to spend more time dwelling on than living in the present or looking towards the future. I want to spend more time focussing on the here and now, and the things to come, then what has been and gone. Its something i am going to try anyway!

3) to somehow get closer to God/to learn more about God (I have no idea in what shape or form this will happen). This is a biggie. For me anyway. As I wrote before, I had some interesting experiences in 2011, including Spring Harvest. Those experiences have made me come to terms with the fact I am a Christian. Yep. I am. Even on the dark days. I am. And actually I have been for some time. But Ive just chosen to sway between good and bad days and ‘yes i believe today’ and ‘ no i dont’ … so, for 2012 I want to be more committed. To God. I dont know how this is going to look. What shape or form this will play out. But I am going to give it a go. I want to learn more about God. I want to get to know more about Him, and more of Him. I want to understand more of His will, and why He came to die, and forgive. I want to learn more about his nature. I want to continue my relationship with Him … and deepen what I already know. This is tied in with Number 2, about looking forwards and not backwards too. I want to do the same with God. I want to try and come to terms with my past and the role god has played in it, but also then to look forwards more. As i said, who knows how this will play out … maybe it wont at all. But I hope it will.

So, thats me done for now … thinking about 2012 and what its going to look like.

love

Fragz x

i wanted to die …

my name is fragmentz … and as well as being fat (see a previous post) there was a time in my life when I wanted to die.

A few times in fact … but one very clear time that I will never forget about … when there was no other option than to die. That one time was more than ‘wishing’ or spending time planning or thinking about … this one time was about acting on that wish to go.

obviously … here i stand, by the grace of God if you believe in Him (which I do) or by sheer luck or fortune if you dont. So for me, it didnt work. And at the time … I was gutted. Devastated. Some people have the view that if you dont ‘successfully’ kill your self when you try then you didnt really mean to do it, and that you were just crying out for help. I disagree with that whilst acknowledging that for some people that may be the case. For me it wasnt. I had tried the call for help. Numerous times. I had tried many many things. I had gone beyond wanting help. I wanted release. The end.

Why am I writing about this? Again, some of you may say, as I have written one or two blogs over the last few years about my experience. The reason is because I can. And for that, now, I am thankful.

Why am i writing about this today/tonight? That would be because since Sunday all day and today I have been reading some very beautiful writings by some beautiful people about a beautiful person. Gary Speed. A former football player turned manager. Who sadly committed suicide so it would seem over the weekend. I dont know Gary, in fact I know very little about him, other than his job role and family status, oh and the fact it would seem there was something very dark going inside of his life that not many if any people knew about. This past week has also seen the apparent suicide of Angie Dowds, a celebrity fitness trainer, known for her role as a joint trainer on the UK version of ‘The Biggest Loser’ … a determined, strong and inspiring person to many. She also, for some reason, and who may ever know the real reasons why, felt there was no other option left to her other than to die.

So, the internet has been awash with tributes/tweets/blogs/reflections/thoughts. Its been over the news, over facebook, over the twittersphere. Famous people, celebrities, friends, family, fans and other folk have all come out to pay their respects. To give humbling and heartfelt reactions to the deaths of people who meant much to them.

And of course … the topic of mental health … depression / suicide has been bought to the front of peoples minds. Its been very interesting seeing it happen. Seeing the discussion, the empathy, support, the kind thoughts, and well meaning comments to the families effected by these two peoples passing, but also the whole on the topic of people wanting to kill themselves.

I whole heartedly advocate talking about it. And it feels uncomfortable to say but it has been heartwarming to see the responses of such tragedies. People not shoving it under the carpet.

I was touched hugely by the article Stan Colleymore released via his twitter … click here to read his thoughts . A very brave peice and I admire him greatly for putting it out there.

A few years ago, there was a documentary on the television about depression in the sporting industry and I remember writing at the time how indiscriminate mental health illness truly is. How indiscriminate depression truly is. How at any time it can surround any person. Rich, Famous, Poor, Not Famous, Fat, Think, Black, Green, White, Mothers, Daughters, Professionals, Sons, Fathers. Anyone. The list is endless. It could be anyone. It could be you.

It was me. And how life changing has it been. I am never going to be as poetic and eloquent in my words as some of the other blogs I have seen and read over the last 48 hours whatsoever, I am not even going to try. I dont think right now its needed particularly as so many other people are doing such a good job of describing their experiences.

I tweeted earlier on today this ‘Some really beautiful blogs and tributes bring written since the sad news of Gary speeds death … But please please don’t just move on from  The topic of depression/suicide/mental health as soon as it leaves the front pages coz his family/friends and anyone else effected by the Sadness and life changing/wrecking illnesses won’t. They don’t and won’t go away for the many millions out there who suffer daily’

And I suppose that is what is on my heart/in my mind this evening as I write this … depression is such a far wider thing that what we sometimes imagine it to be. It effects more than the person who has the illness. It effects so many different people, and even after maybe the final act is committed, for those people that isn’t the end. At I guess part of me feels that right now, this topic is being discussed hugely, probably because its effecting the famous the publicised, the people who make it into the papers (I am not intending this to offend whatsoever so apologies if it does to anyone) and that no doubt, as the headlines fade away so will the discussion … or the majority of the discussion, because for some of us there is always the discussion (there are some amazing mental health bloggers/writers out there).

But it doesn’t fade away for the millions of people who are out there struggling tonight. as I write this, it does not fade away for the people who go to sleep this evening wishing that they didn’t have to wake up in the morning.

It does not fade away for me. Yes, I am alive, yes I have come a long way from what is almost four years ago, from the time when I went to sleep having hurt my self significantly to not wake up again … (trust me, it was a shock when i did).

And I am glad I did. Wake up. I am glad that I have amazing people in my life who stand by my side as I walk this journey of learning to live again, learning how love, how to laugh, how to enjoy life. Some days are good. Some are not. The not days however are not as bad as they were. For now. But I live under the cloud .. all the time, as do many millions out there … the cloud of depression, of mental health illness. The cloud of being precariously balanced on a ledge of normality waiting for it to spike, to go into overdrive, or waiting for it to tilt the other way into a pit of despair that one can only claw to try and get out of … its my hope and prayer that I never have to experience how bad life was then again … but who knows? Because its so much more than just ‘being sad because …’ or ‘having a bad day …’.

I really want to encourage people who have been moved by the death of a sports personality, or anyone and RIP dear Gary to have the courage to continue the thinking of mental health, and how you see it. How you are affected by it. How you engage with it?

Keep the conversation going … because it needs to be talked about. It needs to become less of a stigma and the only way that can happen is through awareness and people continuing to speak out, write about it, be honest/open and make it the very real thing that it is.

Please.

 

If you or anyone you know is struggling with depression/mental health illness or thoguhts of suicide, please please get help. 
The Samaritans are a 24 hour talk line for people in distress, and a service I have used and been very grateful. You can find them at http://www.samaritans.org or phone UK 0845 90 90 90 ROI 1850 60 90 90 (check out the link on the site for interntaional ‘befrienders’ information’