Why aren’t you listening?

It seems right now that every week there is a news story about someone commiting suicide. Tales of grief, heartbreak and we should all talk more.

I don’t think the problem is that we don’t talk. Look around the internet, you will find thousands of people like me talking and talking about mental health. We talk of dark days and suicidal thoughts, we talk of loneliness, emptiness and cries for help. We speak of the friends we have like us, those who struggle, we all know someone with something, we’re talking.

We don’t want to listen. Those silent cries for help and worse, when someone is fighting. In stoic British fashion, we ask how are you, and if the answer is anything other than fine we stare angrily at the person for breaking protocol. That’s not the rules, that’s not how it works. You say you’re fine, you’re fine, I’m fine. Can’t even go the other way either just in case you’re wondering, can’t answer the question with “I’m great actually, spiffing.” You’ll get the same response, who is this weirdo breaking all the rules.

Back to the point in hand, we’re talking but who is listening? Those like us, those who know the torment but are not afraid to speak out. We’re talking out loud and we’re listening in a closed membership club. It’s rare I come across someone normal in my comments section, someone without a mental health disorder and when I share the links, it’s only those directly affected that click.

The problem isn’t that the talk isn’t there, we educate, we speak out. It’s that people don’t want to listen, we don’t want to hear how shitty someone else is feeling because it isn’t us. We want to pretend that it doesn’t exist, we can’t relate to the black dog or thinking you’re a paedophile, so we’ll just pretend it doesn’t exist.

Even in the last days before someone commits suicide, there will be someone that comes out and says either ‘they seemed so happy’ or ‘I just wish they had talked to me’. Maybe they had talked, it’s unlikely to have been as blunt as I’m thinking of committing suicide but it may have been something, tiny, but we didn’t listen.

It’s difficult, I understand, we’re all guilty of it, wanting only the pretty side of life. But it starts with us, us that struggle, to shout louder, higher and harder because I’m done listening to suicide stories.

Should you wish to chat feel free o reach out on the ‘Contact’ tab however I am not a mental health professional. If you would like professional support there is some information of organisations that can help on the ‘Support’ tab.

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