Monday, 10 September 2018

World Suicide Prevention Day

This post won't be a long one. I just had to write a little something on the blog today because I've been so stuck for things to write for a long time, but now, I feel like it's time for some feelings to come to the surface. 

I've been finding it so hard to put how I've been feeling into words that I have several unfinished posts in my drafts in which I've tried to explain everything and failed each time. I'll just keep this one short and say that I've been feeling unhappy, unfulfilled and lethargic. I'm in an awkward place where I feel as though I certainly don't want to die, but I also don't really want to live because I'm not satisfied with my life right now, and I don't know where to start with changing things. I'm not sure how to deal with something like that, and I've seen it manifest itself in weird ways over these last few weeks. 

I'm nervous about writing this because I've already been on a bit of a deleting spree after tweeting about my feelings a day or two ago and regretting it, but I'm determined to put this out there because talking about mental health is so important, and I feel that by putting this into words at long last, it'll make me feel a little more sane, and also will remind me that I'm not alone. I shouldn't be afraid to put this out there, because I feel like speaking my truth is more important than how others view me. It's made my heart grow three sizes seeing people tweeting about World Suicide Prevention Day and especially seeing the Instagram poetry community out in full force, writing their messages of encouragement, hope, and affirmation. 

Which brings me to the main point of this post. For a long time now, I've been stuck for subjects for poetry, and I've had no energy or motivation to write, but today, I came across a little challenge on Instagram started by the user @throughrosecoloredeyes. The challenge is to write a poem inspired by the prompt '13 reasons why I stay', encouraging people to write about the ways in which life is worth living and the reasons that they stay alive. Having been swamped with negative thoughts over the last wee while, it was almost cathartic to remember that there is a lot of positivity in this world, and there is plenty to live for, even when I don't think there is.

I'm lucky that I have understanding friends and family as well as a wonderful hypnotherapist who all try to help me out when I'm feeling low and slipping back into a negative mindset. Not everybody has the same luxury, but everybody should remember that they are loved and that they have a place in this world, no matter who they are. It's also more important than ever to be kind towards others because you never truly understand what is going on in someone's head. Somebody could seem perfectly fine on the surface, but could be crushingly depressed on the inside. Mental illness cannot always be seen, it doesn't discriminate, and it should not be such a taboo subject. When people find it difficult to speak out when they are struggling, it often pushes them further into the dark. Talking about these things and bringing them into the light is one of the best things we can do as a society. 

From now on, I'll be making more of an effort to check up on my friends and loved ones, and I encourage everybody reading this to do the same. Even people who seem like they have it all and are doing fine may just be putting on a brave face or pretending because they think that they won't be taken seriously if they speak up. It's okay to say something if you need help. Talk to someone you trust. Call a helpline. Make an appointment with a therapist or a counsellor. Remember that you are an essential part of this world and that you have every reason to be here today, tomorrow, and every day after the fact. There are so many things in this world worth living for. Look for them, and drink them all in.

Below is my '13 reasons why I stay' list poem. The full photos are on my Instagram if the writing is a little difficult to read here. If you're currently in a dark place - especially if you're a creative writer who is feeling stuck and lost because of it - I encourage you to write your own. It's not easy, but it's certainly helped me today. 


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