We Just Try To Ignore The Elephant Somehow 

I was looking through my Facebook feed the other evening, trying to distract my brain a bit, as you do. Then I came across a post from a friend that really caught my attention. 

She’d prefaced the post to say that she didn’t feel like she was good at articulating her feelings, but to me she summed something up perfectly. She was talking about the anniversary of a close family member’s death from suicide and how much they’d meant to her as she was growing up. 

“The one thing that it made me realise, and I still hold onto when things are tough for me, is no matter how useless you feel, no matter how much you think people wouldn’t notice if you were gone, no matter if you think people would be better off without you, SOMEONE WILL MISS YOU. There will be a hole in somebody’s life if you’re gone. You can’t truly know the impact you have on people’s lives because we’re all a little rubbish at sharing our truest feelings. There will always be someone out there who even for a day, and afternoon, you made their life better, made them smile, and that’s a wonderful thing, and worth choosing another day for. I hold onto that thought every day.”

And that, my friends, hit me. Hard. 

When you’re in that dark place, where you feel that you have no worth, where you can’t see the point in continuing, try to remember those words. 

We’re all unique and we do have an influence that reaches far beyond what we think. We are all tied into each others lives in ways we can’t begin to comprehend. 

Just think of a moment when you’ve spoken to someone that you’ve not seen for a long while. Someone like an old friend. And you sit there thinking ‘this is cool, I’ve missed these conversations, I’ve missed this person in my life’.

That’s what I’m getting at. When you’re gone you leave a you-shaped hole in people’s lives, something that can never be filled or replaced. You cannot be replicated. And you WILL be missed. You might not think that you will but there will always be someone out there who will need you around them. 

When I was in my late teens I attempted suicide by taking an overdose. It’s going to sound odd, and I’m not sure I can explain it properly, but it wasn’t me wanting to kill myself. I just wanted to stop existing. It came down to that. I found living painful and I couldn’t cope. I thought everything and everyone around me would be better off without me being a part of anything. I felt alone and couldn’t articulate how alone, cut off and hurt I felt. 

It took me a while to come to terms with the fact that I was completely wrong about that. If I’d succeeded I would have lost so many experiences with people I care about, people who would have had that Scott-shaped hole. I feel guilty that I’ve put people through that. Hindsight is such a wonderful thing and something that can’t be changed once you’re not around anymore. 

I was talking with someone I know a few months ago. They were, and still are, going through some problems of their own and we were talking about them. The conversation turned to thoughts of suicide, how they’d had them but they couldn’t go through with an attempt as they saw the effect my overdose had on my family. You never consider the effects you have on the people that will be left behind and how it will leave them. There was a lot of confusion in my family as to why I’d attempted it, something that I’m not sure I can answer clearly all these years down the line.

If you’re in that dark place, talk to someone. A friend, your family, a work colleague, a stranger. Anyone. If you can’t physically talk to someone, pick up a phone and call someone. If you don’t feel like you can talk to someone you know call the Samaritans. You can call them anytime of day or night in the UK for free on 116123. They’re always there to listen and treat everything with confidentially. 

Stay strong and remember “SOMEONE WILL MISS YOU. There will be a hole in somebody’s life if you’re gone”.

The title of the this installment of my blog comes from the song ‘Elephant’ by Jason Isbell. You can find a live acoustic version of it on YouTube at Jason Isbell – ‘Elephant (Live)’ I’ve also now created a playlist on Spotify featuring the songs I include in my blog. You can find it over at The Order Of The Dog Spotify Playlist. I’ll update it every time a new blog is published.

As usual, if you’d like to chat to me further you can email me at theorderofthedog@gmail.com and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. I’ve created a closed support group on Facebook also called The Order Of The Dog. It’s there for people who struggle with mental health issues as well as people who want to support and get a better understanding. It’s a closed group which means only members get to see and interact with what’s posted there. Finally, please feel free to share this blog with anyone and anywhere you think it might help.

Cheers,
Scott
The Order Of The Dog.

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