In my late teens after a dishonest and quite mean-spirited boy broke my heart, my idealistic and bright outlook changed. Not content to just see me sad he set out to destroy all semblance of confidence and pride I had. I think he did it to make himself feel like a big, strong man in a desperate attempt to cover the fact he was hurting as much as I was.
I don’t know if I was clinically depressed but I turned from being a thin, vivacious and cute 15 year old to a chubby, sad and awkward girl in under two years. And the sadness I couldn’t seem to bounce back from, threw a shadow over everything. It took advantage of the small negatives already imprinted on my brain and then drove them into deep rivers of blackness that flooded out all the positive patterns that used to co-exist alongside them.
Even my triumphs were stained grey with illogical assumptions. And thoughts spill into behaviour, where you look for evidence to prove your inner beliefs of worthlessness. It is warped, it is powerful and although it only exists in your mind it is very real and sometimes fatally destructive. And that is why contrary evidence is so important in these types of cases. A kind word, an honest ‘how are you?’ or an unconditional acceptance can go along way to challenging this kind of blackness.
I was lucky, my life took a new turn when I went overseas and I was able to rediscover my former vibrant self. I was also extremely fortunate to never have considered suicide, but so many others are not so. Suicide is a leading cause of death among young people aged 15-24 years and claims more Australian lives each year than car accidents. Maybe without supportive friends, a rowing crew and an ever-present black journal I may have been amongst them.
So tomorrow why not take a deep breath, be brave and ask someone the question; Are you ok? And if you do, maybe, just maybe, that kindness may challenge their negative point of view of the world if only for an hour. But if you catch them at a particularly dark moment it may give them that crucial reason they're desperately looking for to hang around.
or Suicide Call Back Service on