Sunday 14 January 2018

13 Reasons Why Not.

I haven't watched 13 Reasons Why. Maybe I will one day, maybe in 10 months or 10 years. Maybe never. I don't need to find 13 reasons why, I've spent the last 3 1/2 years thinking of thousands of reasons why, Thousands of straws that could have added just too much to the weight carried.

A couple of years ago I wrote a post called 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Decide To Leave This Christmas Or In The Period Thereafter. I always felt I had more to say - so you may recognise some of these points, along with some more...

13 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Decide To Leave (even though it's dark and dismal and everyone's shattered and grumpy)...

1. Because you aren't alone.

We all spend time thinking we are weird or different, square pegs in round holes. Burdens on our friends or our family. I can't pinpoint the moment I realised that's the same for everyone, but life was a lot easier afterwards. The loudest or funniest person in the room has to be like that because they're scared no-one will like them otherwise. They are just as scared as the one who didn't turn up or the one who says 3 words all evening.

You aren't alone, you are failing to properly see the people around you.

2. Because it WILL NOT be better without you.

When someone is a victim to suicide the people who are left have to make sense of their world. Everything they had worked and fought for is thrown around and jumbled up. Everything they thought was important has a different meaning. Those people are in your life because they choose to be. If they thought it would be a better option without you then they'd have moved on. Sometimes Elspeth still fills my thoughts for days on end. She takes up far more of my time than she would if she was still here, or at uni, bringing home bags of dirty washing and tales of drunken nights out. It will never be better without you.

3. Because you will be missed.

The guy in the shop, the woman on the bus, your Nan. That girl who smiles when she sees you. Your schoolfriend, your neighbour, your wife, your child, your brother. Everyone your life touched. You will be missed. You will be remembered. I still remember a boy who took his life 28 years ago when I was at College. I remember him often. He used to make me laugh.

Elspeth believed our lives would just have a little blip, and then carry on as before. We are beginning to right ourselves, our children's lives are back on track, but we have all lost a lot of the last 3 1/2 years. We've all fallen behind in many ways and are in no position to catch up, so you stumble on. I don't think it ever ends, I think you just have to learn to cope with it,

4. Because you become a statistic.

In 2013 a heartbreaking 6,708 people in the UK took their own lives. 18 people a day couldn't see how to carry on.
A study by The Campaign Against Living Miserably found that over 40% of men aged 18-45 have contemplated suicide.
In England and Wales, suicide is the leading cause of death among men and women aged between 20 and 34 years of age.
In 2016 more than 60 children every day called Childline to report suicidal thoughts.
The number of deaths by suicide among university students in England and Wales has risen by over 50 per cent in the past ten years.

All of those figures are people, many of them with 40 years left to be someone great. All that you ever could have done, and all that you ever can have been, is gone. To those who don't know you, you become a statistic and can never become anything more.

5. Because your coat will be on the peg in the hall forever.

Years down the line someone will be looking at your stuff and putting it back again because they can't bring themselves to sell it or throw it away. Can't bear to part with that tiny bit of you that they have left.

6. For the kids

Children never grow out of a suicide. Never. Your kids, your siblings, your grandchild. Your neighbours child, the little girl behind the counter in the shop. They won't forget you, not ever. Kids make you do stuff like go outdoors. They take you to the park or beat you at board games, watch animated slapstick movies, eat junk food and give great hugs. Kids are the best thing for reminding us about life. No-one wants to have to explain suicide to them.

7. Because someone has to find you.

Someone will have the moment they found you etched into the back of their eyelids for the rest of their forever. And then they will have to tell people about it, many times. And they will have to ring your family and tell your friends, and they will know they are spreading self-reproach and sadness.

Everyone who knew you will spend the rest of their lives wondering if they could have saved you. They will carry that burden and although the truth is that they were not responsible for your actions, they'll always look for what they could have done, or that sentence they could have said.

8. Because the world won't be the same without you.

You honestly think you won't have already made a difference? Did you let that car out at the junction? Did you make it in time for the early bus? Did the butterfly flap it's wings? You make a difference to people's lives every day. By not being there, you can't make that difference positive.

9. Because people won't talk about you.

People don't talk about suicide, even now. No-one 'commits suicide' any more, it's no longer a crime, but it's still impossible to say aloud. You'll have 'passed on', 'died suddenly' and 'been lost'. People will find it hard to mention your name, and some will find it easier to just pretend you didn't exist. Everyone grieves differently, and everyone is allowed to grieve however they need to, but with a loss by suicide there are so many emotions to work through, and so much reluctance to be free-speaking and honest, that it's unsurprising many people try to blank it all out and end up receiving counselling years later.

10. Because of the thankful failures.

Because thousands of people have tried, and are glad that they failed. It is only when we are pushed to our very limits that we can find out how strong we truly are. You have already proven you are stronger than you think.

11. Because I've asked you not to. 

Because I'm asking you to at least, for me, go and make more people smile. And hopefully you'll be reminded of the truths you knew as a child, and you will see the point of all this.

12. Because it's always worth carrying on.

It only stays the same forever if you don't change anything. You start life with nothing and it only took you this long to get this far. Kick the board over and play a different game. Who you are isn't how much debt you have or which car you drive. It isn't who you were. It's who you can be. No-one had heard of Samuel L Jackson until he was 45 and made Pulp Fiction. Charles Darwin didn't theorise about The Origin Of The Species until he was 50. J.R.R.Tolkien published the first volume of Lord Of The Rings when he was 62. At 86 Mother Teresa was operating 517 missions in over 100 countries, giving care and respect to the sick and dying. You can be amazing.

13 Because today is the day you found the strength to ask for help.

 If you were bleeding, you would get a bandage. If a car was coming towards you, you'd step aside. From the rock bottom you'll need a ladder. Your ladder can be a smile, a chat, a call, a number, good advice or anything else. Like a person who has fallen through the ice and is treading the icy water, you will find the hardest part is reaching for the ladder. But you can do it. Do it. 

If you want to talk to someone you always can. You may be able to reach out to someone you know, but if not the Samaritans are on hand 24 hours a day. If you are a young person or are worried about another young person, you may feel more comfortable talking to Papyrus or Childline. You are never alone.

If you don't know why I write these posts, then you can find our story here. We collect all of our smiles and share them alongside some of yours on the 15th of every month

Sources not mentioned in the text: Office Of National Statistics


  1. ❤️❤️❤️🌻🌻🌻

  2. Jenny this is so beautifully written and full of so much importance! I hope someone who needs this sees it and knows that they are not alone xx

  3. This is a brilliant post Jenny. I really hope that someone who is struggling a lot or contemplating taking their own life comes across this because I really think it will make people stop and think x

  4. Oh Jenny, this is such an important post. I'm going to share it and I hope lots of other people do too. If that means it reaches just one person and makes a difference then, for all the reasons you have mentioned above, it will touch the lives of so many people who won't even realise. Sending love, as always.

  5. Perfectly written and thirteen perfect reasons why not x

  6. Sending strength to anybody who needs it. Have shared; you're right, we need to talk about this more xx

  7. This is very powerful and perfectly written. It's so important. Thinking of you x


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