I was thinking a lot about mental health issues today thanks to the great "Time to Talk" focus day this week. One account particularly moved me - that of "Time to Talk" campaigner Johnny Benjamin - sharing his experience of how he almost threw himself off a bridge in London but was saved by a passerby. It struck, worried and moved me how awful the reality of suicide is - and how surely it is OUR responsibility as a race to try and protect our own? NO-ONE should feel so lost and alone that they end their lives!
So what keeps us going? What keeps us living?
I have considered suicide myself personally this past year - I confess it. Things just got "so" bad that it occurred to me as a distinct possibility. I know that psychiatrists consider the risk of suicide greater if "there is a plan". I had a plan. I kept on living for a largely negative reason - I did not consider the cause of committing this final act "worthy" enough to do so. It's not perfect but it worked for me! The fact is that life serves good times and bad times. And I have learned over the past year or two that rather than just "keep hoping that life picks up" - it is wiser to enjoy the good and use it as a foundation to work through the bad.
I got a little revelation today as to one of the reasons why I "keep going". It was listening to one of my favourite song tributes to my adored and revered Her Majesty the Queen; "Sing".
The lyrics in question that moved me immensely were;
"There’s a place, there’s a time in this life when you sing what you are feeling, find your feet, stand your ground, don’t you see right now the world is listening to what we say? ... You brought hope, you brought life, conquer fear, no it wasn’t always easy, stood your ground, kept your faith, don’t you see right now the world is listening to what we say?"
What occured to me is this (and bearing strongly in mind; "Time to Talk" campaign) - one POWERFUL reason to "keep going" - is that there may be others out there who are encouraged, find strength, find hope from the story that we tell. I shared a tweet the other day about the reality of living with an anxiety-related disorder. It's horrid. But if by speaking out - I can encourage or remind or tell another person that they are not alone and are not alien or weird - then surely I must do it!
There is a reason for keeping on living - and keeping on going. We do not live alone in isolation. If we live or die - this does have an impact on our fellow human beings! And we have the opportunity to affect the world we touch by the words we speak! So my hope and my aim right now in life is to try and take courage and speak out honestly about problems and solutions.
If it were one day to save a life, or to even just encourage someone that they aren't alone - that would make the ups and downs of my life ALL worthwhile!