Following is a story. It may well be fiction, yet many of us know only too well that it is borne out of an uncomfortable truth.
It is a truth we do not want to become familiar with and a truth we need to eliminate.
If there is one reason to justify my participation in March With Me 2017 it is this. If my taking part can inspire directly, or through the work of Love Me Love You, to stop even one young person from taking their own life and leaving a trail of devastation behind then it will have all been worth it.
No one person should travel their journey alone.
You come home from school one day.
You’ve had yet another horrible day. You’re just ready to give up. Finally, once and for all, give up.
So you go to your room, close the door, and take out that suicide note you’ve written and rewritten. Over, and over, and over.
You take out those razor blades, hidden from sight. You cut yourself. For the very last time.
You grab that secreted bottle of pills. You take them. You take them all. For the very last time.
Laying down, holding the letter to your chest, to your heart, you close your eyes. For the very last time.
A few hours later, your little brother knocks on your door to tell you dinner is ready.
You don’t answer, so he walks in.
All he sees is you laying on your bed. He thinks you’re asleep.
He quietly creeps back to the kitchen, not wanting to wake his best friend. He tells your mum you are sleeping.
Your mum goes to your room to wake you for the usual family dinner.
She notices something is odd. Something is not right.
She takes the paper from your hand. She reads it. Disbelieving, she reads it again.
Sobbing, she tries to wake you up. She’s screaming your name.
Your confused brother runs to tell Dad that “Mummy is crying and sissy won’t wake up.”
Your dad runs to your room.
He looks at your mother; crying, holding the letter to her chest. Sitting forlornly next to your lifeless body.
It hits him, what has happened, hits him like a dagger through the heart.
He screams. He screams and throws something at the wall.
And then, falling to his knees, he starts to cry.
Your mum crawls over to him
They sit there, holding each other. Crying.
Life will never be the same. Never.
The next day at school, there’s an announcement.
The principal tells everyone that you had died overnight. He tells the whole school about your suicide.
It takes a few seconds for it to sink in.
Once it does, their world and everyone goes silent. Everyone.
Everyone blames themselves. Everyone.
Your teachers think they were too hard on you.
Those mean, popular girls, they think of all the horrible and hurtful things they’ve said to you.
That boy that used to tease you and call you names? He can’t help but hate himself for never telling you how truly beautiful you really are.
Your ex-boyfriend, the one that you told everything to, the one that broke up with you? He can’t handle it. He breaks down, starts crying and runs out of the school.
Your friends? They’re sobbing too. They are wondering how they could never see that anything was wrong and wishing they could have helped you before it was too late.
Your best friend? She’s in shock. She can’t believe it. She knew what you were going through, but she never thought it was this bad, that it would come to this.
Bad enough for you to end it. To take your own life. To take your life away from her, from your family, from all of your friends.
She can’t cry. She can’t feel anything. She stands up, walks out of the classroom, leans against a wall for support and sinks to the floor. She begins shaking violently and screaming hauntingly. Yet she could shed no tears.
It’s a few days later, at your funeral.
The whole town came. Everyone.
Everyone knew you. That beautiful girl with the bright smile and bubbly personality. The one that was always there for them, the shoulder to cry on. The strong one.
Lots of people talk about all the good memories they had with you, and there were a lot, a hell of a lot.
Everyone is crying. Everyone.
Your little brother still doesn’t know you killed yourself, he’s too young. Your parents just said you died.
It hurts him. It hurts him a lot. You were his big sister, his hero and his idol. You were supposed to always be there for him.
Your best friend, she stays strong through the entire service, but as soon as they start lowering your casket into the ground, she just loses it completely. She cries despairingly and she cries desperately. She does not, cannot, stop crying for days.
It is now two years later.
Your teachers have all quit their jobs.
Those mean girls have eating disorders now.
That boy that used to tease you cuts himself.
Your ex-boyfriend doesn’t know how to love anymore and just sleeps around with girls.
Your friends all go into depression.
Your best friend? She tried to kill herself. She didn’t succeed like you did. But she tried.
Your brother? He finally found out the truth about your death. He self-harms, he cries at night, he does exactly what you did for years leading up to your suicide.
Your parents? Their marriage fell apart. Your dad became a workaholic to distract himself from your death. Your mother was diagnosed with depression. She just lays in bed all day, as if paralysed.
People care. People really care. You may not think so, but they do.
Your choices don’t just effect you. They affect everyone. Everyone.
Don’t end your life, you have so much to live for. Things just can’t get better if you give up. They can get better if you speak up.
Please if you feel like this, as if there is no way out, before you do anything else, speak up and start the conversation. With anyone. Me, a special friend, family, a teacher, a coach, a doctor… ANYONE.
There are far too many young people killing themselves today. Young people with so much to offer, and with too much to leave behind.
Help can come from an unlikely source. Anyone can help you, don’t be afraid to tell someone. Anyone. It might just save your life or another’s.
#MarchWithMe2017 #lovemeloveyou #youth #mentalhealth #wellbeing #suicideawareness #suicicdeprevention #younglivesmatter