Matthew Poole is one of many amazing fundraisers for PAPYRUS. In the latest PAPYRUS blog, we’ve invited Matthew to share his story as a survivor of suicide and how he is using his life experiences to help others.
Four years ago, at the age of twenty-three I made an attempt to take my own life. It was the most mentally and physically challenging period of my life so far. However, it is one that I will look back on as the point my life began to change for the better. In the hope of helping others I would like to share what this experience taught me and what I wish I’d known at the time.
At the time you would not have looked at me as someone who was potentially vulnerable. I had a great job, a vibrant social life and I was constantly surrounded by my friends and family. However, I was not living a lifestyle that enabled me to create the best conditions for my own personal happiness.
I was burning the candle at both ends and did not yet have the emotional intelligence nor life experience to deal with the problems I had. Then it happened, I finally crashed. In the days that passed and as I began to rebuild, I came to recognise the need to change from the path I was on.
So, what did I learn? I learned that you don’t need to hit rock bottom before you begin climbing back up. As mentioned, to be happy, you must first begin to create the conditions for this to happen. Now this may mean you move away and deprive the things that you recognise do not contribute towards the life you wish to live. But in time this will enable you to begin to nourish the things that help you be that little bit better than you were the day before.
As I began to make subtle but significant changes to the life I was living, I noticed a difference in how I felt. I began to become a magnet for the things I had wished to attract and felt the warmth and enjoyment I was able to gain from these changes, as well as being able to give to those around me.
Although I am incredibly proud of how far I have come in the past 4 years, I would not wish people to go through what I have in order to gain the support and help that they need. One thing that I can reflect on and wish I had at the time was the understanding and knowledge of the resources I could lean on to give me greater perspective of how I felt and give me guidance to the steps I could have taken to improve my life at the time.
This is the core reason I have decided to support PAPYRUS by running the Manchester Marathon on behalf of them in both 2018 and 2019. Suicide remains the biggest killer of young people in the UK and I cannot credit this charity enough for the work they have done to provide potentially life-changing support to vulnerable young individuals.
I would wholeheartedly encourage any individual who has been directly or indirectly impacted by this cause to have an awareness of the work PAPYRUS do and the resources that they have available to any young, vulnerable individual.