This is a guest blog from a PAPYRUS Champion, who has lived experience of supporting a loved one with thoughts of suicide.
13th November 2019 was not the first time and I’m sad to say that I’m worried it won’t be the last time that someone close to me puts themselves in danger.
Danger could mean many things but the message I received after the event was clear, this was not an accident, they did not want to be here.
I am not sure which part of the situation was worse, the event itself whereby a person you love ends up in a hospital or that moment after whereby the person confides in you and tells you and only you that this was no accident and they had real intent to suicide.
As I said at the start of this blog, this was not the first time this has happened. Unfortunately, this has been an ongoing cycle for this person since a very young age and over the years has grown in both frequency and severity.
Every day I wake up is a day in which I don’t know if this person will be here or not.
It’s so difficult to explain the emotions you go through as someone wanting to support a person who struggles so much day-to-day.
There’s an ongoing battle of emotions. These emotions are often ones that society tells us we must suppress, they feel negative and therefore it seems hard to think that with these emotions we are going to be well placed to support someone going through such pain.
Over the years I have seen more regular and more severe occurrences by this loved one and can confidently say these emotions have not gone away. Therefore, it became apparent to me that to provide the best support I could I had to look at ways to manage these emotions myself first and foremost.
I needed to start to talk about the experiences I had and continue to go through, however, I did not want to burden others with this challenging subject, and also I feared that others would view some of my emotions/feelings as selfish and unsympathetic. My logic was that if I feel this way about these emotions then others certainly would too.
Becoming part of PAPYRUS was the start of me accepting these emotions, so I could become a better and more able supporter of loved ones going through pain, but also to ensure others impacted by suicide have the confidence to accept how they feel and to therefore be able to support the best they can.
PAPYRUS was the starting point in my journey, they have been the first group of people that I have had the confidence to talk openly about this subject.
I found PAPYRUS through a combination of a google search and also connecting with PAPYRUS on LinkedIn. It was actually through LinkedIn whereby I was advised to contact the HOPELINE247 support.
However, I decided that now was the right time to take this a step further and to get involved to provide my story to a much wider audience. I took the steps to visit the website and look at the volunteering opportunities. At which point I emailed into the volunteering team to find out how I could get involved.
One of my first experiences with PAPYRUS was attending the SP-EAK training. Up until that point I had spoken to staff at PAPYRUS on a one-to-one basis about my experiences and what I hoped to achieve. During this session I felt the need to start talking to a wider group about my experiences, it just felt like the right time to talk, especially when others in the group were going through similar challenges day-to-day.
After this training session, I came away feeling that I wanted to speak to more and more people about my experiences, again not only to help support the individual going through pain, but all those supporting persons also going through the pains and emotions I still go through to this day.
This is just the start of not only my journey in accepting my emotions but also the shared goal which PAPYRUS and I have around being able to talk about suicide in an accepting and non-judgemental way. However, to do this we need to be able to shift the perception around the negative views on the emotions that we feel and also the word – suicide.
If you are concerned for a loved one who may be experiencing thoughts of suicide; or if you are supporting somebody through thoughts of suicide, PAPYRUS is here for you. Call HOPELINE247 for free, confidential advice and support on 0800 068 41 41, text: 07860 039967 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
HOPELINE247 is open weekdays 9am – 10pm, and weekends and bank holidays 2pm – 10pm