“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.”
Before we start, I wanted to clarify a few things…
This post isn’t about recognizing depression.
It isn’t about hardships and how they can lead to negative thought patterns.
It isn’t even justification for why anyone including myself might get to a point where we consider suicide.
It’s not even about intervention and explaining that at this point we might need to get some outside help.
It’s purely to say, “I’ve been there”. Yes you read that right.
For a subject that is normally “socially taboo” I’m not afraid to talk about it.
Suicide is a major social and public health issue that very few understand or know how to handle.
So you might ask why I’m writing this post.
Firstly I was confronted with a recent post from lifeline, outlining how we are now looking at 1 suicide every 3 hours in Australia. This drove my curiosity and i started to do some research.
I then read an alarming statistic from the Australian Bureau that explains in 2010 alone 77% of suicides were male making it the 10th leading cause of death for males in Australia.
Having us at a rate of 16.4 deaths per 100,000 in comparison to 4.8 deaths per 100,000 for females and that really got me thinking.
Why is it that we guys are at such a higher rate?
I understand that there can be so many complex factors that influence a person’s decision to suicide, but how could gender so highly affect it.
Surely we have the same support networks available to us right?
The same services, lines of communication, friendships, families.
Or could it be possible that we are less inclined to seek help or talk about our situation?
Are we really so stuck in our manly ways that we can’t talk to others about how were feeling for fear of retribution or a lack of acceptance…
So after a hard couple of weeks and a lot of structured thinking I’ve decided to get the ball rolling…
I can stand here today and say that on multiple occasions I have had thoughts about suicide and that doesn’t make me any less of a person and I’m not ashamed to say it… as much as it scares the fricken life out of me!
It doesn’t make me weak,
It doesn’t mean I’m selfish,
It doesn’t mean that I’m giving up or ever want too.
It just means that I have had them.
Pure and simple, as momentary, as fleeting or as present as they may be at times. They have been there.
It’s purely to share with the world that although I may not know your experiences, that is a thought pattern that I can understand.
I have been blessed to have been given such supportive family and friends who can guide me through this process of “re-evaluating my life”, although I too at times have felt like I am alone in my journey.
Which leads me to the belief that some of us guys may be less intimately connected to the people around us who might recognize these problems and step in to assist.
So to my other brothers out there going through their own experiences in need of some “bromance”.
Recognize that we don’t always have to go out for a beer, kick the footy, or “hit the gym”, we have a responsibility to our brothers around us to make sure they’re okay.
Whatever it takes…. a meaningful chat, catching a movie, sharing a coffee at dome or splitting some san churros.
A real man isn’t just there at the bench press, he spots his friends emotionally.
So whenever anyone I know needs me whether male or female, wants to talk, needs a shoulder to shed some tears on… say the word and I’ll be there.
Remember that when we fall down, it’s in those moments that we look up to those around us for help.
So be a support brah, not a pushup brah.
Again, to recognize and acknowledge these thoughts is not too accept them, I for one believe that it in no way, shape or form it makes you weaker.
Anyone who can wake-up everyday with an urge not to be here, who stays… is by far a diamond in this rough world.
Also this post is in no way a position to downgrade the significance of these issues within the female community as well, as these idealism’s stem only from my position in society as a male.
For the Gentlemen reading this post or to those this message has been passed onto.
I want to leave you with one last thought.
When handling my own negative thought patterns and suicidal tendencies I found only one analogy that pulled my manly mind out of it…
Consider life like a casino.
You come here with your life’s savings to spend.
If you’re going to put all of your money on black, do it at the end of the night.
When you have played every other table, drunk every other beer, hit on every other girl…
Because once all your chips are gone, that’s it.
You don’t get to play anymore.
Who knows, have enough fun and security might kick you out before you lose it all…
Or you may have such a great time that you decide to save some and play again another day.
After all, suicidal thoughts should not limit you but empower you… in a world where you have nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.