Suicide Prevention Day (September 10th)
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
I think suicide needs to be talked about , as we know the figures for suicides are rising in 2017 there were 6213 suicides recorded in the UK and Republic of Ireland(Samaritans, 2018). In the UK men are 3 times as likely as women to end their lives. The highest suicide rate in the UK was men aged 45-49.
To help raise awareness of suicide , i have asked on my facebook page for people to share their experiences of suicide personally or proffesionally . I will add a story a week to the blog , the ones i have recieved already have come straight from peoples hearts. If this blog can stop one person ending their life or changing their perception of their life , it is a success.
I recieved this as part of my blog for Suicide Prevention Day , the stories i have recieved have come from peoples hearts. I am very priviliged that people are able to share their personal stories and hope they can provide hope to others .
MG Story Story 1
Let me tell you my story, in life you have many twists and turns and for me I had many... The first time, I was just 8 years old, I was hyperactive and was always in trouble because of this. I had suffered let's just say parental discipline for many years except for me unlike other children mine was usually 25+ times a day. And I couldn't understand why, I did my best to be the child I was supposed to be but couldn't be the child my parents wanted me to be. At that time I was bullied at school, at after school clubs, in fact nearly everywhere I went., But I dealt with it, that day the first time something broke in me and in my mind enough was enough, I tried back then but failed to end my pain.... Then next time was different over the love of a girl, that didn't want me, and I was 10. After that at almost 12 my best friend died in a swimming pool accident in our hometown. We was supposed to meet up but I got grounded at the last minute and wasn't allowed to go. To be honest looking back now it was a selfish reason, but he was my friend and I wanted to be with him. The next time I was A teenager, again it was a family incident, school bullies,ect... that sent me down the path of self destruction and I found myself up on a school roof a step away from the edge (which I did) but again I survived, then I went home waited until everyone was alseep crept downstairs, went into the medicine cabinet and took as many drugs as possible in the hopes that I would not wake up. But again I survived.. When I ran away for home things got better for awhile, I met some good people who taught me that I wasn't as useless and a waste of space as I thought, they helped me grow and for awhile things was ok. They even convinced me to go back and try to build a relationship with my family. But after awhile things return to normal minus the daily good hidings, but the sibling antics never stopped. Once again I walked the road, this time, knowing drugs andany other things didn't work, I went down the excessive drinking route, I'd been getting away with underage drinking since I was 12, so at 15 drinking and getting access to alcohol was easy, for results of that wasn't pretty, and again I survived. 17 was the cutting stage,18 came the disability first strike, the disowned by family for the first time, the hanging, smashing windows with fists the anger... 19 came the 1st mental breakdown, 20 came the near death experience, the finding faith, a renewal of maybe life will be better now, the family reconnect. Then came the sadness at 23 my passed afew months later nan, the woman who had caused much of my pain was gone without a explanation of why and the lady who stuck upp for me another friend gone, another friend & colleague passed aswell, taught so much of the things I know about martial arts, my teacher and the closest thing I had has a person I truly trusted. That time it was pills, drugs, drink, cuts, traffic walk, I did everything to end my life, but still I survived. Just before my 25, life did get better, I was walking better so much so I could drive, my disabilities remained but I was coping with them and getting on with life, by now I was married, divorced, family of a deceased child and when I should of been a complete wreck I was fighting back, I even returned to a form of martial arts. Then one day life just flipped and changed on me and once again I became broken, I was diagnosed with another illness, told that they'd be times I won't be able to move my body,told what I had to give up my bike my life forward plans. Then I found through no fault of my own, I woke up and couldn't move, for 10 days I was like this and later learnt it was called sudden death, Andersen Tawail Syndrome (and was also known as periodic paralysis). The worse thing was now I would have to use a wheelchair for life, many times I would get sick, rehabilitate, get sick, and again rehabilitate, but the results were always the same. My family again disowned me, I was alone again. So I moved I planned it carefully this time, I used a gun, but still I survived... Overtime I grew stronger, the anger of betray eased, when my mum died I lost my faith, so my stubborn nature was what got me through, I started to go out make friends live a life. I returned to martial arts again but this time a different style and as a wheelchair user, I grew more confident in my abilities and over many years of training gained my new qualifications to teach the art I was teaching.... Then I returned home, to the place a grew up, mainly to let time run its course and I was content with my achievements. I could let my illness es take me now. My last ride, I prepared my meds for the last time, touch I knew would kill me and I had to allow for past mistakes so I took everything, but I survived.... It's been 9 years since my final attempt of sucide, I have been betrayed, used, unwanted and let go because I didn't fit the mode, but through my 42 years of life, nobody knew my pain, I dealt with it on my own, life made it this way for me. Today I'm married and have three step kids 24, 17 & 15, and I'm a grandaddy to another child. Life as never been what I hoped for as a child, but I got to live in it.... Sucide is something that I have been through my whole life, the things I have been through have made me stronger than ever before. For others it is like it was for me, the world we live in isn't always kind. The only advice I can give is this:. Keep fighting, don't give up because the life you have is the only one you get, cherish it and try not to let the world around you take you down that long road, you can be happy if you want to, find away!!!
PF Story Story 2
So then, I wasnt sure if I was going to share this in the group but after an amazing day Saturday and having some more recent sad stories of people struggling with menal health and sucide attempts, I cant not share it! Here we go then; a few times I’ve been asked by some friends why I’m putting myself through the stress off organising another mass skydive AND family fun day AND night gig and I was also asked by one of the skydivers who doesn’t know me why I’m doing it.
Its quite easy but quite thought provoking, I had to explain that after a period of working too much and not seeing any of my loved ones, I organised for a large group of friends to meet up for a catch up, all the family, Sunday carvery, few drinks in the sun whilst the kids played happily, such a good time, laughter, games, awesome memories being made and the day could not have been better, until I got THAT message and made THAT call.
‘Pete, I’m sorry, I don’t know how to tell you this, Macauley is gone, he’s killed himself’. That moment will never leave me….
My world stopped, the faces that I had just been laughing with, I couldn’t see, the laughter and voices of the kids all playing and having fun stopped. I just stared at the ground picking blades of grass, numb to what I had just been told. My 18-yr. old nephew gone. * The following days and weeks were a blur, stand out memories are the natural painful ones shared with family but I remember driving to the village to see his sister, I had completely blanked out, I still don’t recollect a section of driving down the roads but next thing I had pulled over, gasping for breath and heart racing, the closer I got to the house for the first time since it happened the worse I got, at 33 years of age I had my first panic attack, what would I do, how could I help, what would I say, how could I see his things and know he’d never use or wear them again??
I’m no stranger to death, grief, pain, I’ve always been the strong one, the one that pulled the family through and I did it again because they needed me, they were lost, and I buried myself in helping them.
My friend knew this and came down from York to take me out, we talked, drank, ate and drank, I probably cried but I can’t quite remember (because I drank more!). The following day I walked to get my car and I walked passed the same rose gardens I have for years but this time instead of a small dark bronze commemorative plaque I saw a bright green sign of the Samaritans, 30 seconds later I sat on a park bench and cried like a baby. * I cried and called my friend, I cried and text my fiancée.
From that moment I knew I had to help, not just my family but any other person that could ever feel what I was, the pain and unanswered questions, the torment and the hurt it leaves behind when someone takes their own life. I had to make something positive come from this devastation.
So quite fatefully a few days later I saw a Samaritans poster to take part in a sponsored wing walk, all of the tributes to Cauley; ‘Fly high Cauley’ ‘RIP, Fly high bro’ it all had to be a sign so I paid my deposit and my journey with Samaritans started, skip forward 28 people supporting me and participating in a mass tandem sky dive followed by a night of live music, good old pie n pea supper and a raffle we came away with a handsome amount of money that has already gone into the local area and bolstered the facilities for the amazing people of Samaritans to reach out to those that need it so desperately. * I remember that night after the raffle was drawn, the thank yous were over and I sat and cried. * I have been so lucky in seeing first hand the good that the money has been put towards, I have met some of the amazing people that give their time to volunteer and on more than 1 occasion * one of the stand out moments being sat at a meal my family were invited to * and the Chairman of Scunthorpe Rugby club thanking Samaritans for their sponsorship of the youth teams and * welcoming me and my family with thanks and explaining what I had done, watching my son * sit up and beam with pride, that was quite some moment! (in the interest of balance, my other son was sat poorly and mardy with Mum, kids eh!)
So, to say it was all a rollercoaster is quite an understatement but as the dust settled I began to realise I hadn’t grieved properly, I hadn’t dealt with things and I had hidden all behind a smile and a drive to help others, lesson learnt, its ok to not be ok, talk!!
So here we are nearly 2 years on, the pain and emotions are still there as anyone that has been through this will tell you, time doesn’t make it better, time lets you learn to deal with it better and to learn how to carry on, how to adjust.
Still, much like that sad day in August 2016 as I was surrounded by my closest family and friends, on April 27th 2019, I want the same theme - family fun day to be just that, a fun day for families to come along and have fun, make memories, the same for the night time, I want to be surrounded by friends and families to all come along and have fun, make memories and really support the fantastic work the amazing people of Samaritans do every single second of every day, every 6 seconds someone reaches out to them for help, 6 seconds. Let’s do our bit to make sure those calls don’t get missed.
Every time you have seen a * in this, I have cried or welled up with emotion and I’m proud to have the strength to say that.
Personal Blog. My Experience
I have had experience with Sucidal Ideation , i remember back in 1998 my daughter was born this was meant to be a happy time . I rushed into marriage as i wanted a family unit , bought a house , for a short time i was happy . Then everything went wrong , my life spiralled out of control in 2 years i was Single , fighting to see my daughter at court , masked my pain with drink , in debt . I thought what is the point i remember sitting in Central Park with vodka and thinking I cannot carry on , I have failed , game over . It was very overwhelming , my sister probably saved my life , she probably does not realise.
I thought where is the support , i got told to "pull myself together" to undo my curtains , work at the time was hopeless i was in a male enviroment , could not talk even if i had wanted too. My friends were all into drink at the time , i knew this was not ideal but i had a sense of acceptance.
I have experienced suicide loss 4 times now ,people i knew very well 2 i regard as best mates. Complex grief is difficult there are so many questions Why this, Why that , Why did you not pick up the phone . All i can say is you see nothing , you see nothing but blackness , no hope . Us blokes find this difficult to talk about emptions and feelings . Society has us down as the strength , we do not cry , we are the breadwinner etc etc. Whilst we are encouraging of people talking and opening up , there is far more work to be done on the misconception of the man ,
My close friends ended their lives 10 and 5 years ago , I still think about them daily it is very hard to accept . I want people to open up , this is my passion bringing people togrther forming unity within football , boxing . Encouraging people to feel a part of something , more informal counselling perhaps , just checking in with people weekly is massive .
One of my heroes has also ended his life Gary Speed footballer , poor mental health happens to everyone it does not discriminate so why does society.
Raising awareness is so important , i do what i can raise funds for Samaritans , have Grahams Day a tribute to one of my friends who passed away , a football team started 10 years ago in memory of Sean another friend who passed .