My Uncle Don was only 43. He was still a young man. He had years to live and yet he chose to hang himself. Why? I'll never truly know. He had mental health issues and had been addicted to alcohol for a few years, and I guess he just couldn't deal with it any more. I think, simply, sadness killed my uncle. He wasn't happy with his life and chose to end it. He thought he would solve his problems that way and I hope wherever he is, that he's happy and no longer in pain the way he was here. He's left behind a lot of people who love him and desperately wish things had turned out differently. My whole family had tried to help him throughout the years, but anyone with mental health issues (or is close to anyone with them) knows that it just isn't that easy. Everyone who has issues is a different case altogether and one pill does not fit all. I think this is why so many people are struggling. No single pill can fix it. No single form of therapy can fix it. My Uncle had tried different forms of help but ultimately relied on alcohol to fix his problems. Alcohol is a depressant and only made things worse. He'd cry to my mum and others in the family that he wanted to stop it and turn his life around but always ended up reaching for he bottle in the end. It was hard to watch. Yet I never thought for a second that he wanted to die. I never thought he wanted not to be here. I actually thought he had seemed happier lately. I guess he put on a face to the outside world to mask whatever he felt inside him. I am sure he had planned this. He told me he loved me 2 or 3 weeks before he did it. He never says that. I thought at the time 'how strange' but I didn't question him. Now I think maybe I should have. But I also think if he was planning on doing it, he'd have done it anyway. I'm so confused. And hurt. And angry. I literally have no idea what to think. My whole family is the same. I've never seen my mum so devastated, I have no idea how to help her. If he had died any other way, we could have coped. None of us know how to cope with this.
It seems like suicides are on the increase and that just saddens me. I'm sorry for anyone who feels like the only way to fix things is to kill themselves. I'm so very sorry for my uncle, knowing how bad he felt inside breaks my heart. I'm so so sad for him. That's all I keep thinking. I'm just so sad that he felt that way. It must have been torture for him.
To anyone reading this who feels like they are struggling with life, please find help. Do it any way you can, there are so many organisations out there that can help. Don't get to the point where you think you can't fix things. Maybe if my Uncle Don had gotten help earlier, he wouldn't have felt like there was no solutions to his problems.
Here is a picture, taken between 14 and 17 years ago. It's him and my baby Goldy. He adored her. It was actually my Uncle Don that got Goldy for me and he had joint custody of her for many years. We both lived with my gran (me during the week while my mum and dad were at work, him full time) so he was always with her until my gran died. Goldy went to my mum as my dads flat had a no animals rule but my Uncle came down to visit her regularly. Everyone always said she was the great love of his life along with his favourite football team haha. Its probably true. My Uncles problems started when his sister died but got much worse when my Gran passed away, I don't think he knew how to cope with his bereavement. Maybe if he had gotten help, things would be different now. I love looking at this photo of the two of them. I miss them both, it was a much happier time in my life. I just don't understand. It would be easier if I understood. He was much happier here too, its nice remembering him when he was happy.
Below are links of places you can seek help if you need it. And we all need it sometimes. If I have missed any, please leave them in the comment box. Please note, these are UK helplines, I am unsure if anyone overseas can access them. If you would like to leave any overseas organisations details in the comment box, you are more than welcome.
- Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK. Calls are free and the number will not show up on your phone bill.
- PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers and young adults who are feeling suicidal.
- Depression Alliance is a charity for people with depression. It does not have a helpline, but offers a wide range of useful resources and links to other relevant information.
- Students Against Depression is a website for students who are depressed, have a low mood or are having suicidal thoughts.
- Breathing Space Scotland a website that provides a link to help for depression or anxiety problems
- NHS 24 A 24 hour access point to the NHS
Rest in peace Uncle Don, I love you and I will always miss you. The whole family are heartbroken that you left us. I'm clinging to the hope that you're no longer in pain. I love you so much.