Yesterday I was told about the suicide of a friend of a friend. I didn’t know this person but, after some basic research, I found out he had rented a room on the top floor of a hotel and jumped from the roof.
I felt such a wave of unconditional support and empathetic pain for this poor man who just couldn’t cope. The premeditation of his suicide chilled me. Looking at the number of caring comments on Facebook, following a bereavement he suffered last year, both reminded me how isolating depression can be and how hard it is to ask for help from people who love us.
It also made me realise that I will never again (I hope) feel suicidal. I’ve accrued enough skills to weather the storm of depression – not to say it’s easy, it’s certainly not – but I have a toolbox of healthy coping mechanisms and gold medallist friends in whom I can confide and who, in turn, know the signs and will intervene.
I feel such pity, sadness and anger for this poor man’s death, but gratitude for the fortitude and awareness I’ve learnt over the years. Suicide is never depression’s answer – but it sometimes takes superhuman strength to ask for help.