The Ghosts Within Your Shadows

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Trigger warning. This post talks of suicide.

The Ghosts Within Your Shadows – Part 3

At my own concession, l am a cynical bastard – life has dealt me some brutal blows – no this is NOT a call for sympathy in the slightest, so if you had that thought keep it to yourself – there are many people in this world who have had much harder lives than me. However, simply put – LIFE has dealt me a strange hand many a time.

Because of my cynicism or pragmatic views if you prefer, l tend to view things rather oddly at times, some might say that because of my Aspergers, l can be misinterpreted and at other times inappropriate. That’s a fair call to my behaviour – l don’t deny this.

I have always held the belief that l can not knock something if l haven’t tried it – so l have tried many things, some adventurous, some downright stupid, some risky, some dangerous and some things could be considered near fatal!

Someone once said to me that they would not talk about the topic of suicide, as it was it was ‘too‘ personal and it was a taboo. This stumped me admittedly – how very unusual l thought that 1] it is considered a taboo, but 2] that it is thought to be too personal and because of that ‘it could not be discussed!

The topic of suicide or suicidal ideation is indeed taboo in much of society – heck people will talk freely about their sexual practices and even share their extreme bizarre toilet rituals and yet that is NOT considered taboo?

My answer to that person that day, was somewhat profane  – Of course it’s fucking personal! How much more personal is thinking or attempting to take your own life? How could it not be personal even contemplating the desire to ‘cease to exist?

Society doesn’t like this topic, it’s another stigma that has become elephantine – therefore it needs to be pushed as far into the corner of a dark room, and as such treated like a mushroom!

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Kept in the dark!

The Death Clock as a design is NOT popular because it shoves this taboo into your reality This design is personal to me, as indeed many of my designs are – things l say daily, passions l hold close, rights l believe strongly in and taboos that need to stop being stigmatised and discussed in a very serious and adult way. This design, l don’t believe will ever sell – it’s too much.

… or perhaps l should say it’s too personal?

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I sometimes wonder about cats that use up all their 9 lives but are not dead, are they then simply living on borrowed time till a small mishap, a slight misjudgement of footing then claims the shell of who they are?

What happens to us, when we have also lived lives filled with mishap?

Are we simply the ghosts within our own shadows?

“I will not bore you, however a brief synopsis – l am not dead, l am alive, l could say l am very much alive as technically that would be true, but l am not very much alive at all – l am simply alive, because l am not dead. I am happy’ish, not thrilled, not ecstatic – just sort of happy. But l am not depressed, nor darkly depressed – l am pretty positive currently, l am not leaping around the room performing crazy dances either – l am not depressed, but l do have anxiety and l suffer with stress. But hey, at least l am not dead.”

Equally to the reader, l am not light heartedly taking the piss either, as l happen to view suicide or the thought of suicide as a very fucking serious topic.

From the age of 25 to the age of 50, l was an active self harmer – l sliced, diced and hacked at my flesh almost daily as l was terribly unhappy with my life – but that’s not the ethos to this post. From the age of 27 to 50, l attempted suicide 26 times. Have l declared this with a strange morbid pride, am l boasting this to you? No, l am proud – but not the way you may think, l am proud that l am not dead – l am proud that l still live despite 26 serious attempts at ceasing to exist.

I have cut, taken pills, attempted hanging, electrocution, putting myself into the path of very fast vehicles, jumped off high locations and even tried drowning myself in caves on the sea shore as the tide was coming in.

Yes l am honest about it, no l am not hiding that information. This post carries a trigger warning because l am not specifically writing my way around this topic as many writers tend to do. Suicide is real, people are dying, our kids are dying. This is a topic that needs to be discussed more openly.

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The Death Clock was called that because it deals with death – as the slogan around the time piece reads Killing Time Can Be Murder And Suicide To Attempt

I am not proud of 26 assorted attempts to murder myself, it is life and sometimes life can be shitty. Dark depression, overwhelming stress can at times become incredibly unbearable.

So many times l hear people say “Well l don’t understand why people do this, they obviously don’t think things through properly!!” Yet, that’s where people are so, so wrong – if you are contemplating it, your mind is alive and it is usually travelling at 90 miles an hour, and you are thinking.

Sure, l know there will be several hecklers to this – fair game to you, have you been on the precipice of death, looking at ending your own timeline here on the planet and as such you have experience first hand?

If you are lucky, you haven’t – but a word of advice – don’t refer to someone thinking of performing this as a coward as is so often the thought. There is nothing at all cowardly about someone thinking about this action. I am NOT a coward, but at times life just became too much, and that is where many find themselves, too lonely, too alone, too overwhelmed, too abandoned, too scared and that ‘too list’ can continue into affinity.

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It takes a lot to pull back from that.

There is NOTHING romantic about it either, so people need to stop romanticising it as well.

Suicide is like depression, it doesn’t discriminate, it can creep into anyone’s thought pattern – you don’t need to be a certain age or from a particular walk of life … it will help you to the end if that is where you think you want to go – whoever you are it matters not, if it decides to assist you, sadly it might be a one way ticket!

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Mental health is a gritty reality subject that people say more easily than actuality that they will talk of because it is common place, and whilst sadly poor mental health is common place, society lies with the line of ‘we welcome talking about mental health issues’, because this is not entirely true – not in my experience anyway.

There are only a handful of people who have not been affected by the darkness of deep depression and who are willing to indulge and listen to the stories of others with a level of empathy that is suitable.

We live in a fast paced society structure where the very integrity of the frame is pounded everyday by stresses and sadness, and this constant battering by a woeful humanity takes its toll on the people – the end result is that millions of us have become broken, and worse than that only a handful of us are ever truly fixed, repaired or mended totally.

Some may become patched up, but atypical to the life expectancy of a band aid that soon wears off, and they have to muddle through again. Not everyone has the money to expend freely to the likes of the gifted professionals every week, month or day in some cases to enlist their guiding wisdoms to become whole again. But what is the wholesome reality of our life?

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The sad fact is very real, until society begins to talk more openly about these ‘taboo topics’, starts to stomp on stigma, ceases to ostracise subjects it fears – then we are never going to be able to tackle this subject properly – yes suicide is an awful topic – but society needs to learn to understand …. they need to understand it’s not just awareness, it’s acceptance that not everything can be understood.

People need people – they don’t need condemnation!

People need people to simply accept and understand, and be there for them at their times of need.

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7 thoughts on “The Ghosts Within Your Shadows

  1. Very well written. I think the notion that suicide is an act of cowardice is really damaging, and just perpetuates the silencing around the topic.

    1. That statement you have just made Ashley is spot on the button – it’s easier to say its cowardly than to actually talk about things – if people write it off with silly remarks and comments then they think that they have said their piece and finalised and ended the topic, when the harsher reality is that they make people genuinely thinking of performing the sad task go underground, and hiding away and potentially ending everything because they think they are cowards and NO ONE will help!

      Society’s way of dealing with shittiness is to add further condemnation and insult to injury – if we write people off as this or that – it doesn’t matter – ‘they won’t do it, they’re cowardly, they are just trying to cry wolf for sympathy!”

  2. So right. People need people to understand or at least try. Very brave of you to share your own story and these thoughts.

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