The Point of no Return

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View of my flat from the gardens

The photo above was taken from the gardens of my flats. My flat is the one on the top floor.

The window on the top right is where I lean out off and smoke. It is the window I stare out of and think, sometimes deeply, about my life. It is where I watch the foxes with their new cub, the pigeons and the squirrels fighting over the bread we throw out.

It is also the most important window in my life!

It is the window I considered throwing myself out off during my darkest days and on more than occasion! On the last one I had one leg up on the window sill and was ready to go but something pulled me back, what it was I do not know but that night was the day I decided to see my Doctor and get help.

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The open window

Lots of people with depression get suicidal thoughts or impulses. The feelings of failure, self loathing and worthlessness are hard to shake off! At my worse I thought Sheryl and the kids would be better off without me, that my depression was eventually going to make me lose them and that the only way I was going to get better was by ending it all.

Of course the reality is different but no amount of people telling me to “snap out of it”, !things can only get better” or the one that annoys me the most…. “there are lots of people out there worse off than you!” Just to make this clear there are no people in this world who wishes to live my life or who think “if only my life was like Garry’s” Ok rant over!

Do you know someone who has used the threat of suicide? I have experienced both sides of the coin with one friend who threatened suicide who indeed took their life and someone else who threatened but didn’t go through with it so I know how difficult it is to judge the seriousness of the situation.

It is a hard subject to deal with but I want to share the myths and facts about depression as you could well save someones life.

Information is taken from Samaritans.org

  • MYTH: You have to be mentally ill to even think about suicide.
  • FACT: Most people have thought of suicide from time to time and not all people who die by suicide have mental health problems at the time of death. However, the majority of people who kill themselves do have such problems, typically to a serious degree.  Sometimes this has been recognised before the person’s death and sometimes not.
  • MYTH: People who talk about suicide aren’t really serious and not likely to actually kill themselves.
  • FACT: People who kill themselves have often told someone that they do not feel life is worth living or that they have no future. Some may have actually said they want to die. Whilst it may be the case that some people talk about suicide as a way of getting the attention they need, it is very important that everyone who says they feel suicidal be treated seriously.
  • MYTH: Once a person has made a serious suicide attempt, that person is unlikely to make another.
  • FACT: People who have attempted to kill themselves are significantly more likely to eventually die by suicide than the rest of the population.
  • MYTH: If a person is serious about killing themselves then there is nothing you can do.
  • FACT: Feeling suicidal is often a temporary state of mind. Whilst someone may feel low or distressed for a sustained period the actual suicidal crisis can be relatively short term. This is what makes timely emotional support so important.
  • MYTH: Talking about suicide is a bad idea as it may give someone the idea to try it.
  • FACT: When someone feels suicidal they often do not want to worry or frighten others and so do not talk about the way they feel. By asking directly about suicide you give them permission to tell you how they feel. People who have been through such a crisis will often say that it was a huge relief to be able to talk about their suicidal thoughts. Once someone starts talking they have a greater chance of discovering other options to suicide.
  • MYTH: Most suicides happen in the winter months.
  • FACT:  Suicide is more common in the spring and summer months.
  • MYTH: People who threaten suicide are just attention seeking and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
  • FACT: People may well  talk about their feelings because they want support in dealing with them. In this sense it may be that they do indeed want attention in which case  giving that attention may save their life.
  • MYTH: People who are suicidal want to die.
  • FACT: The majority of people who feel suicidal do not actually want to die; they do not want to live the life they have. The distinction may seem small but is in fact very important and is why talking through other options at the right time is so vital.
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Looking down from my window

If you know someone who talked about suicide, who feels like they would be better off dead and can’t see the point of going on DO NOT DISMISS IT. It is not an idle threat, or attention seeking but a CRY/SCREAM for help. Talk to that person and seek medical help!

As for me? You will be pleased to know that I no longer have these thoughts! Since seeking help my marriage has never been stronger and being able to talk openly to Sheryl is a godsend!

Funny how this window that could have ended my life turned out to be the window that saved my life!

Related posts

Depression and me

Depression 2 

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Useful links

Befrienders.org – Befrienders centers work to reduce suicide worldwide with 31,000 volunteers in almost 40 countries

Samaritans.org – for the UK and Ireland

17 comments on “The Point of no Return

  1. This raises some really important issues and is a reminder that talking about suicide, although uncomfortable, is really important. Good point, well made.

    I completely understand that it is frightening to hear someone you care for talking about taking their life but just listening is often all you need to do to help them save it. I don’t think many, if any, suicidal people really want to be dead – I’ve been there so I’m not talking out of a hole in my head.

    Meanwhile, in other news. Just how many lighters does one Depressed Moose need for a crafty fag out the bedroom window?!

    WeeGee xx

    Like

  2. I really like this. I have had friends who have had suicidal thoughts, and I also used to work with people suffering with extreme mind states. I like the idea of respecting and coming to action when the person expresses any inclination. It’s true that you never know how “serious” it is, but the fact that they are saying it makes it “serious” enough as a call for help, a call for attention, a call for respect. That is a good reminder to be there for people and to always be kind to strangers because you never know what they are going through. Your smile could be the thing that tips the scale of their day onto the “good” side and not the bad one.
    Also, I hate the “there are people who have it worse than you” method of helping as well 🙂

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    • always easier said than done when your dealing with someone in that situation though. My uncle (who is mentioned in this blog) used to tell me he would take all his tablets if I didn’t go around there straight away and although I made a point of mentioning this to his Dr and staff at hospital I wish I had been more forceful in demanding help for him.

      Like

  3. Hi Garry!

    Sorry it’s taken me forever and a day to make my way to your blog. I look forward to reading more. Your thoughts on suicide are very insightful. I had a friend who committed suicide about a month ago, and it was very hard. Especially for my partner, whose actual friend it was, someone who she had known for eighteen years. I hate that I never reached out and never said anything. I knew she was suicidal, but since she was more of my partners friend, I just felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea. Now I wish more than anything I had. I also wonder if things had been different if she’d started to blog. I’ve found such tremendous support here, and know others have as well. And she was a phenomenal writer, or at least from what I hear.

    Sorry that was me having a tangent!

    I’m glad you’re here, I’m glad you’re writing, I’m glad you sought out help, and I’m SO glad you aren’t having those thoughts anymore. And as I know you Brits often say, Well done!

    😀

    Like

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  6. This is a great post that does raise some interesting points surrounding the issue. It’s a huge credit to you that you were able to confront it at the last moment. Do you think that was when the fear and realisation really set in, as you were ready to jump?

    When I first received a text from a close friend asking me whether she should do it and if the world would be better off without her, I felt sick, with a shiver down my spine. I was also angry at the person who’d made her think this way. I told her what she meant to me as a friend and how much I thought of her and she turned around. She was so apologetic but, she didn’t need to be, for the fact that she was able to open up to me.

    I mentioned this to my counsellor not long after we started and they informed me that, if someone’s determined to kill themselves then, no-one can stop them. My mum told me that I ‘don’t need this’ (a fear and lack of understanding, I guess) but, I could never walk away from a friend who’s in need.

    I’ve had suicidal thoughts many times and have even considered plans and methods of doing it. But, I’ve not come close to attempting it and I can’t see myself doing that, for as long as I have people in my life who I feel close to. That always seems to be the way; these thoughts are at their worst when we feel isolated and alone.

    I’m glad you’re still with us, Garry, and that you’ve been able to achieve so much recently. 🙂

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