***TRIGGER WARNING – ISSUES SUCH AS ANXIETY, DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE COVERED BELOW***
Following the events of Monday night, I’ve been wondering when the right time to speak up on this would be, and I came to realise that there is never a “right” time. But just a time.
I have been suicidal 3 times in my life.
- The first, when I was a 16/17 year old closeted lesbian coming to terms with who I was
- The second, 2 years ago when my Grandparents died within the space of a month
- The third, very recently when I let the weight of the pandemic get the better of me
For those in my closest inner circle, this won’t come as a huge surprise, and I want to take this time to thank you for all your support and guidance over the years. For some of my family, and most of my friends and acquaintances; this might come as quite a shock.
I don’t ever openly admit my full history to people. Not because I’m scared, or ashamed, but because quite frankly it’s none of their business. It doesn’t affect them in any way, and it shouldn’t change how I am perceived as a person.
I was lucky in my journey. I never reached a tipping point that led me to act on my feelings. I had thought about it, I’d even at one point considered the how of it all, but thankfully I had a support network around me that brought me back. I took the steps I needed to take me away from the brink (and even I admit that I could possibly take further), and back into existence.
I also wasn’t a celebrity/ex-royal, whose character and integrity had been shredded in the media over the last few year. I had insignificance on my side.
To hear someone talk so frankly, honestly and sincerely as Meghan did about her struggle with suicidal thoughts; her lack of support network, the bitter loneliness and sense of detachment she felt, and how she felt it’d be easier on Harry and the family if she didn’t exist – it broke me.
So to then wake up on Tuesday morning and hear the volatile diatribe spewing from the mouth of a man, who quite frankly should have been permanently banned from sharing his opinion on live TV years ago, sickened me to my core.
He Who Shall Not Be Named (and I use this moniker as he doesn’t deserve any further publicity from me) has been “dealt with” in the interim. Whether the “time” fits the crime, who knows?*. But what hasn’t been dealt with, is the copious amounts of others who think the same.
Over the last couple of days I’ve read so many hateful and flippant comments on the Twitterspheres and Bookfaces to leave me shaking with pure rage.
“She’s just making excuses to cover her own back.“
“There’s no way she could have been suicidal, if she had she’d be crying during the interview.”
To those people, I just have one thing to say; your words could be the tipping point.
By dismissing something as serious as suicide, labelling it an “excuse” a “get out of jail free card” because you haven’t been through it yourself, is more harmful than you know. It isn’t big, and it isn’t clever. Any single person in your circle, right now, could be struggling with their mental health. Given what we’ve all gone through over the last year, it wouldn’t greatly surprise me. If they are, and they see your comments, it could provoke a fatal and irreversible reaction.
Stop. Think. And then speak. Or just don’t. Not everything needs your “expert” opinion.
If you, or anyone you know, are one of those currently struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts or any mental health related issues, I urge you to please talk to someone about it.
You might think that the world would be better without you, but believe me – we’re not.
Love, Charlie x
Some useful links:
Samaritans can offer a space to talk if you’re struggling to cope – call 116 123 to speak to a Samaritan today
MIND can provide you with information and support you need to deal with your mental health
If you’re feeling suicidal RIGHT NOW, please don’t hesitate to call 999, head to A&E or call the Urgent Mental Health Helpline through the NHS by visiting their website (available to those who live in England only).