When I figured out something was wrong it was too late. It consumed me. I was so close to going through with it until someone rang and snapped me out of the way I was feeling. At the time I thought I had no one, no family or friends. I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about my mental health.
I had already lost a close friend to suicide. I’d heard about the high suicide rates amongst men which made me think “why is there no help for men to talk about their mental health” - because at the time I didn’t know how or where to get help from.
Many people believe having bipolar means simply dealing with alternating very high and very low moods, but there is so much more to it. During a manic phase, the person can experience delusional hallucinations, which can be terrifying. During a depressive phase, the person may become very forgetful or indecisive. It isn’t as simple as “today I’m happy, tomorrow I’m sad”. It can be life-threatening. So please, the next time you crack a “bipolar joke” – bear this in mind.
Today I am going to respond to a social media post about me. I'm going to do it with dignity, and not resort to name calling. I am not going to name the person, or show the post, as I don't think that would help. I will say that it is someone who knows me and doesn't like me.
It’s World Suicide Prevention Day today. Words that are hard to write, and hard to say. They’re hard because 14 years ago (that’s half of my life) my best friend, my beautiful mum, ended her life. I among many others am one of those who are left behind trying to navigate the devastating grief that comes with being bereaved in this way. I believe my mum could have lived.