As you can tell, I've not been blogging for a while. But, I do have some good reasons.
1. Preparing for and moving home. I am now in my own flat after sleeping on my mother's sofa for most of the last 18 months. It's huge, needed decorating and is now (almost) fully finished.
2. Two mini nervous breakdowns, one of which nearly resulted in another suicide attempt.
3. Writing book reviews, a number of which have been published in hub magazine.
4. Rehearsing the latest production by KATS: Babes In The Wood. I get to play the evil Baron, MWAHAHAHAHAHA! I'm told it's typecasting and I don't need to do much acting, but I can't think what they mean.
Hopefully, now that I've moved and have moved on from the breakdowns, I can continue this blog.
The second reason listed above, along with a phone call last weekend, has caused me to think about suicide a lot, though not in the sense of trying to kill myself.
Last Sunday I called an old friend who is also at the end of her tether. As we spoke, she was taking paracetamol and trying to end her life. She felt that she had nothing left to live for. Her 11 year old daughter was wondering what was going on, but eventually my friend realised that she couldn't carry on in front of her daughter.
It got me thinking about the two types of suicide: wanting to die and not wanting to live. On the face of it, they are both the same, but there is a subtle difference between them.
If you want to die, there is not much anyone can do to stop you. There will be no reasons for life that will prevent you from trying to kill yourself.
If, however, you have run out of reasons to live, and this is the most common reason behind suicides, a little hope will stop you in your tracks. Neither my friend or I were prevented from the attempt by the existence of our children. In both cases, we thought that the kids would be better off if we died. Instead of watching us suffer what seemed like an endlessly tormented life, they would be able to mourn us, move on and live their own lives without having to carry us with them.
In a twisted way, we thought we were doing it for their benefit. Once we found a reason, however, small, we stopped. It wasn't anything large, just a spark of hope.
I don't know all the statistics on suicide, but from my own experience, my attempts and those of several others who have survived, it's the lack of hope that kills. Without hope, you have no reason to carry on.
It is no coincidence that Paul lists Hope along with Love, for it is vital to life.
If you know anyone who is feeling miserable and doesn't know what to do next, spend time with them. Make them some tea or coffee, help with the washing up, listen to them. Don't give answers or try and fix it for them: you can't, only they can fix their lives. They need someone willing to spend some time listening and helping.
Your presence as a friend is the best hope you can give.