Suicide

Does the sight of this word offend you? Did it take you aback to see it as the title of my first “proper” blog post? It’s not your fault. It’s not really anyone’s fault. I could say that society has stigmatised suicide. But, don’t we make up society? Who would I be scapegoating if I were to lump all the blame on them? I think we are the proverbial them.

I wanted my first blog post to be light, witty, controversial, maybe slightly offensive… All the things that I am when I’m chatting with my friends. I wanted to slide slowly into the bloggersphere. Dip my toe in the water before I ducked my head completely under. That’s the kind of person I generally am, I test the waters before I take the plunge. But enough swimming analogies, I’m sure my journalism tutors would blanch reading them. “Bad journalism. Have I taught you nothing in five years?”.

Last Saturday, I attended the Out of the Shadows walk in Perth, Western Australia. Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, & Thursday is R U OKAY? Day. This week has been emotionally draining & I just glanced at my phone to realise it’s only fucking Tuesday. I’m really tired. I’m sure there are so, so many people out there who share my sentiments. I KNOW there are. I know them personally. I know too many of them personally. & I watch others from the spectator stand of ‘loose acquaintance’ struggle with the same thing. For all my passion & support of suicide awareness, I must admit hypocrisy. Awareness of suicide is so important. 400,000 people think about taking their own lives each year, the ABC tweeted this morning. Yet, do I talk about it? No. I told everyone that it’s okay to talk about suicide today on my Facebook. I mean it, I truly do. IT IS OKAY. & this dialogue needs to be started. But will I sit down & talk to someone about suicide today? Most likely not. I find it overwhelmingly hard. It is the elephant in the room everywhere I go, for it is something I carry with me every nanosecond of every waking moment of my life. I promised honesty, & holy shit I’ve just gone straight to the deep end.

When I was seventeen, I met a boy. I fell in love. It went pretty badly. I loved him so much that I HATED HIM. He INFURIATED me. I wanted to smack his fucking face & sometimes I did & then I would beg for forgiveness & ask him never to leave because please god I can’t breathe without you. Needless to say, it did not last. Not because I didn’t want it to but because I couldn’t let myself love someone like that. I had nothing left to give anyone or anything else. It drained me & hurt me deeply. So I found someone else, I busied myself, & I got on with making my first love a painful ex who I pretended to loathe because I would rather you think I hate his guts than you know that I have no idea how to ever not love this kid. More relationships, more breakups, more moving on while pretending I did not give one shit let alone multiple, huge, stinking shits that stained my heart. Then something miraculous happened. I actually fell in love with someone else. Head over heels, all in, make-this-the-rest-of-my-life kind of love. But did the other go away? No. Not really. This is what I think people don’t talk about enough: your first love will be forever. & somehow you have to make ALL the rest of your relationships work too. While having a very special, unattainable part of your heart firmly locked away for someone else. It’s messed up.

Aaron, myself & my mum on holiday in Sydney

Aaron, myself & my mum on holiday in Sydney

While holidaying in Bali with my current partner, my phone was ringing in the safe in our hotel room & I refused to answer it because “international calls are expensive & it’s ME who pays, not you”. No but really, I apparently HAD to answer this call. I don’t remember the finer details from this part of my life, probably because my subconscious blocked it out because there’s only so much heartache you can feel at one time before your chest really does explode, & your aching bones shatter & you just drop dead from sadness. But my first love had decided this place was not somewhere he wanted to be anymore, & I would never, ever, ever see him again in this lifetime.

“But he was your ex. As if you care that much. Didn’t you hate him? You didn’t want to be with him anymore, surely that made it easy for you to deal with”. I could almost hear people’s minds ticking over as they thought these things about me. “WRONG. SO TOTALLY WRONG. YOU COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG!” I shook them violently and screamed in their faces in my imagination. It has split my world apart. That’s the thing about suicide, it affects so many people. It makes the day-to-day a battle, for everyone that ever knew, met, spoke to or loved that person. Whether it was a moment together, a year together, or a lifetime together. When someone commits suicide that indelible print that they left on each person they came into contact with is then marred with pain at the thought that what they had with them is never coming back. Even worse is when you torture yourself with what you would do & say if they were still here.

I feel as though I am babbling, it’s hard to write succinctly about something that has changed your life so much. Let’s talk about suicide. Please speak to someone, because otherwise you leave behind people like me that will miss you so much that the pain is tangible. Daily. Forever.

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24 thoughts on “Suicide

  1. sameea says:

    such a moving piece

  2. reshmasairah says:

    Is it not the same feeling when any loved one passes away… But suicide is different cos somewhere it hurts that, you didn’t know their need for help or the suffocating feeling that they never reached out. When we love someone, even if the relationship changes course or ends the way we connected we always continue to love! Somehow reading the piece i felt ok for still loving all the people in my life who failed to treat me right. Pray that your love is in a better place and Wishing away the pain you are feeling!

  3. Natalie says:

    Wow, Court. I hope you feel my arms from here.

  4. Jess Zeibig says:

    This is such a good post. Couldn’t be more true. You are an amazing writer Court!!!

  5. Helena Creek says:

    Beautifully put together, I have a close friend who lost her father to suicide and I know she would appreciate your words, I certainly did.

  6. Debra says:

    Just a lovely read and yet so sad, your heart and soul have been torn apart and can never be fully mended. This is the effects of suicide!!.

  7. Michelle says:

    Excellent post. No one does want to talk about. I’ve tried. I had a similar situation with a good friend of mine. I think R U OK day is a great idea, as long as people act on it and not just say “I’m fine”. It is not strong saying that. I read this quote today “Strong people always have their life in order even with tears in their eyes, they still manage to say “I’m Okay”, with a smile.” and I physically recoiled when I saw that. It doesn’t exactly leave anything open for someone to ask for help. So thank you for posting this.

  8. mordtaylor says:

    Excellent post. No one does like talking about it. I’ve tried. I had a similar situation where a good friend of mine completed suicide. I think R U OK? Day is a great idea, as long as people act on it. And not just saying “I’m fine”. That is not the strong thing to do. I read a quote today – “Strong people always have their lives in order even with tears in their eyes, they still manage to say “I’m Okay” , with a smile.” – and I physically recoiled when I read it. This sort of thing does not help; does not seem to make it okay to ask for help. And that is wrong. So thank you for writing this.

  9. Jess says:

    This is right on the money i had one of my closest friends (was ex) take his own life and everyone around me was always looking at me like you guys dated and he broke your heart so u shouldn’t care but it does, it rips your heart and soul apart suicide hurts everyone

    • courtc28 says:

      I’m so sorry you’re familiar with the situation, it’s a very different and misunderstood place to be. And it’s so hard. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I hope you’re managing as best as you can. Suicide changes the lives of everyone who ever knew that person, it’s terrible.

  10. Lani says:

    What a beautifully piece of writing, Courtney. And I love the way you described that feeling of a first love.
    I’ve been extremely lucky to not have been personally touched by suicide, yet.
    I say yet because I’ve because I pray on a daily basis for someone who is a cornerstone in my life. Someone I’ve held in my arms at 2 in the morning as they sob and cry in a way that can only come from someone on the brink, and begged them not to leave me.
    And my first love reminds me of why I will not stop fighting for them.
    He struggled with suicide and depression both before and after we were a part of each others’ lives. We do not speak, now, but we do not harbor negative feelings towards each other.
    I’ve been privileged enough to watch from as a distance (through the power of social media!) as he overcame his demons, fell in love, got married and welcomed his first child.
    To think of all the things he would’ve missed out on if he’d left, it devastates me.
    And knowing that 5 years ago he didn’t imagine in his wildest dreams they would happen is the reason I’ll keep fighting for someone.
    I’m so sorry for your lose.

    • courtc28 says:

      Hi Lani. It’s so painful for me to know Aaron will never do the things your first love has gone on to experience- I’m so glad he has. It’s heartbreaking to know he will never be in another proper relationship (I was the only one), hold his first child, & grow old. Every life is beautiful. Lovely words, always treasure those you have loved & never give up!

  11. […] has increased tremendously recently. Men’s mental health, post natal mental health, suicide awareness even, has become less ‘taboo’ & more we must do something about this now. […]

  12. Emma Cathie says:

    Oh Court, I haven’t slept after reading this, and weirdly its got nothing to do with the suicide part. “Your first love will be forever” if only life was simple and there wasn’t sure a dark side to being completely and utterly in love with someone.
    Your an amaze writer babe

  13. Kate Cumming says:

    I have just found your blog, and this post. I am so sorry that you have lost someone so close to you.
    I know there are no words to explain it, or to justify it. So all I can say is that I am thinking of you, and know that you are not alone. ❤

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