**Trigger warning – this is quite a serious post where I talk about a scary situation I had, some verbal abuse, depression and suicide so if you’re worried about your mental health, please be aware before you read on.**
When my mum told me about Caroline Flack being found dead, I was really shocked. I assumed straight away it was suicide, although I’m not sure why. Maybe that she was young and wasn’t particularly associated with drugs. I’d forgotten she was going through the court case regarding an attack on her boyfriend but what I did remember was how much the press hounded her about everything she did.
The fact that she had some high profile relationships and that she didn’t seem to want to settle down with any of them was big news. She seemed to be scrutinised at every turn for every step she took. Following on from my blog last week where I mentioned the same kind of scrutiny that Taylor Swift gets, it’s something that I find absolutely disgusting.
Anyone close to me has heard me rant about the press and how they spread discord and hatred amongst people with no regard to how it affects the people involved. Especially when it’s complete bullshit and designed to be inflammatory. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be in an industry like this. I’ve long wished for some form of media that just presents the facts without some overpaid arsehole giving their opinion on whatever is happening but I suspect that probably won’t happen due to the nature of people. Obviously, I couldn’t write an unbiased article about the press!
I don’t know the ins and outs of what happened to Caroline Flack but it appears that she has taken her own life and it’s something that I can relate to. I have been through periods of depression and sometimes thought about ending my life. I even tried half-heartedly once and if I’m honest, the only thing that stopped me was not having enough pills to take. Now I’m so glad that I didn’t manage to do it but I feel like it’s really easy to get to that point and a lot of mental health issues are such that you feel like it’s the only way to deal with the situation.
For me, it was around 1999/2000 and I’d had depression and anxiety for a while. I hadn’t been diagnosed because when I went to see a doctor in my late teens about not feeling right for a while, his answer was to get myself a boyfriend. I mean, thankfully things have changed these days but it stopped me going back to the doctors for about 9 years. I was living in Sheffield and had recently rented a flat as the council were offering cheap flats to students.
After a few months, the lady below me had died and someone new moved in. I hadn’t seen him at all but his alarm clock kept going off in the middle of the night for about an hour and waking me up. I wasn’t sure he was even in the flat because I never heard any movement. I saw him one day and asked if he could turn it down a bit because it kept waking me up. He looked pretty sullen, said he needed it to remind him to take his tablets then moved on.
A few weeks later, he came and knocked on my door and started shouting about the noise I was making. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about but he said that he heard me come in from work every day and kick my shoes across the hall (which I did). He backed me into the flat and after shouting at me a bit more, said that he could rape me right now and no-one would be able to stop him. He also said that he’d just come out of prison and had some mental health problems. Obviously I was petrified but eventually he left without doing anything.
This situation completely freaked me out and I spent a lot of time worried about whether he would come back and do what he’d said or something else. I tried to spend as much time as possible away from my flat and eventually moved back home to my parents. This was kind of twofold though because I’d realised the degree I started in Sheffield wasn’t what I really wanted and had already stopped it and started working full time. I then realised that they did exactly the course I wanted to do just down the road from my parents house.
But during the time between him entering my flat and the time I left, I was not in a good place. I was taking sleeping tablets most nights because I was too scared to go to sleep and one night I took what was left of them and some paracetamol I found because I was sick of feeling like that. There wasn’t really any thought of how other people might feel about my death because it was so unbearable living like that. Depression also makes you feel like people aren’t really that bothered about you being around anyway so although they might miss you for a bit, they will be better off without you in the long run because you won’t be bringing them down all the time.
Here I must say that this is the biggest load of bullshit you will ever think. No matter what situation you are in or how low you feel, people love you and WILL miss you. They will be heartbroken that you didn’t talk to them or felt like things were so bad you thought this was the only way to deal with it. They will never forget it or you or how they wished they had done or said something to make you realise that this isn’t the answer.
Just talk to someone and ignore that voice that tells you they won’t understand or care. Or the one that says they will ridicule you, not take it seriously or that you’ll cause them to worry about you. If you don’t feel like someone in your family or friend circle is that person, get to a GP, talk to a counsellor or therapist but talk to someone. The saying that a problem shared is a problem halved is true. Ok, it may not actually halve the problem but it will take the crap out of your head which is where it festers and becomes something potentially harmful.
I’m really happy to say that I eventually went to see a doctor who took me seriously and helped me deal with the anxiety and depression I’d assumed was part of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t get better really quickly and everything since then has been roses. I’ve had to work on what I know makes me feel bad and my automatic reactions in some situations but I’m happy that if I ever feel that creeping up on me again that I can talk to people who will help me.
I know that people don’t recover from loved ones committing suicide but that people with mental health issues can recover when they talk about what’s happening. Above all, be kind to yourself ❤️.