In The Open Air

Discusses suicide. If you find this triggering or unpleasant or if you simply can't deal with it, I suggest you skip over this post.

Why talk about this? Why bare my soul to an internet that at best doesn't care and at worst would rip me to shreds for it? Why don't I sweep a horrible, shameful thing like suicide (sarcasm alert) under the carpet and pretend it never happened? Why don't I show some decorum and not seek attention?

Because I posted about attempting suicide and about the six-month anniversary of the suicide attempt that changed my life and because I'm trying to be open and honest about this sort of thing...well, I'll be honest, I've not really talked about it to the people I know in real life lest they judge me. This came as more than a bit of a shock to them and in large part I have been proved right about being judged. Nothing and no-one is immune to criticism, and this is no exception.

I was imperfectly aware of what I was doing when I decided to write about this in public. I knew that people I knew in real life would be able to read this, and I knew that it would probably carry some consequences. I didn't expect those consequences to be as bad as they were (I don't want to go into details, but it didn't go particularly well when people found out), but I still don't regret having put this on the internet.

I didn't do it because I wanted attention. I didn't do it because I was too ignorant to know what I was getting myself into. But I can only get so far with "I didn't do..." I owe you, myself and a lot of other people an explanation of why I decided to write about suicide in the first place.

Honestly, this was long enough ago that my reasons for doing it are hazy...I was inspired by others speaking out about it, that's for sure. I thought that I could do the same. I was proved right. The thing that really pushed me over the edge was #RIPSophie - it later turned out to be a fake, but word went round that a girl had committed suicide because she was being bullied. The same thing had almost happened to me not so long ago, and, well...almost losing your life has an effect on you. Almost losing it because people decided driving you to suicide was fun and right has even more of an effect on me, even six months on. It is not pleasant.

I had other reasons, though. I was sick of the stigma of suicide. I was sick of being told that it was nothing or that I was wrong. I was sick of feeling scared and ashamed. I was sick of having to lie. I was sick of feeling alone in this world, with no-one to turn to. And, well...I imagined, quite hubristically I must say, that if I spoke out about the way I had felt that others might find inspiration to speak out about what happened to them, or solace in knowing that others felt the same way, or education in how we're not selfish or self-absorbed or weak. I don't care about decorum. I am tired of being silenced. I will speak out and I will be strong enough to take the criticism I get. I am no longer ashamed or afraid. And if what I have written helps even one person, then I will regret none of it. None at all.

Time to talk about suicide honestly and in the open air.