I’ll be posting a proper update soon, but for now, here’s one of my columns that I write for the paper. TW: Suicide.
It is with a heavy heart that I have to write this column, but I feel these words must be said.
Hours after the first day of spring was announced, I discovered that an old friend had taken his own life.
Although I knew him from years ago in a time of innocence that has now been forgotten, the news struck a raw chord with me.
And the same questions flooded my head that have flooded many a person’s mind when faced with the same news.
Why? Why? Why? Could I have helped? Could anything have been done differently?
These thoughts seem rather useless now. Nothing can change what has happened.
Another young soul has left the world. My old friend had a future and now he is dead.
My heart goes out to his family, friends and others who have been shocked and hurt by the news.
However, I also grieve for all the young people who have taken their lives far too soon.
I think of the other needless losses this year and, through the heartache for today’s younger generation, I feel a sense of anger.
I also feel a sense of duty to speak out. This must stop happening. There are too many young tragedies. There are too many parents left to mourn by gravesides. And there are too many people who still aren’t open to talking about mental health.
However, I also acknowledge that we have progressed. Over the years, through campaigns such as Time To Talk and TV programmes like Stephen Fry’s The Not So Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, mental health issues are slowly progressing to the forefront of people’s minds.
It is great that this subject is now more out in the open, but there is still a long way to go in terms of dealing with the black dog.
I can’t help shake the feeling that, despite living through a time where everyone is so connected, I’ve never known people to feel so cut off. There seems to be a loneliness that has fallen over the modern world.
It’s great how we can speak to one another so easily now, especially if we have loved ones who live far away. But I also wonder if it has created too much small talk and not enough longer dialogues.
It seems as though every time I have a proper conversation with somebody these days, they tell me they feel as though they have no friends, no social life, no time to see family and too much work.
I’m not sure if this has always been the case, but I don’t ever remember my generation being so sad.
It seems like there is more pressure on teenagers and young adults than ever before.
For years, teenage and young adult sadness has not been taken seriously by a lot of people. Maybe this is something that needs to change.
What an older adult may see as trivial and easy, a younger adult may see as difficult and hard to cope with.
This is not just limited to age. Different things affect different people in different ways.
We often make jokes about the moody teenager. I often hear the phrase: “You have nothing to worry about at your age.”
Maybe it’s time we start realising that there is actually a lot to worry about, no matter what your age.
Dealing with depression is no easy ride. It is dark and terrifying and sometimes it seems like the light at the end of the tunnel is a complete myth.
But I promise those suffering that things can get better over time. There is always hope and there is always another option.
Now it is spring, the flowers are beginning to bloom and the sign of new life is in the air – 2016 could be a really beautiful year if we give it chance to grow.
Young hearts, don’t burn out too soon. There is so much that is still left to do.
Take care of yourselves and one another.
Read the original article here: http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Young-hearts-don-t-burn-soon/story-29007595-detail/story.html#ixzz44vtypSYr