TRIGGER WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS CONTENT WHICH MAY BE DISTRESSING. This week someone I know killed themselves. I didn't know them well and I had no idea they were struggling with mental illness, so I am really quite shaken by it. Looking back, it explains some of their behaviour, but I didn't put one and two together. I hope I'll learn to recognise it in the future.
In a rather unusual text conversation, a friend and I were discussing suicide. I know, not a conversation you'd expect to have by text but hey, the upside is, I've got a record of it to paste into this post.
I'm working with some folk on a project around anxiety and depression, sharing the story of the two years I spent living with hostile neighbours. It's made me wonder if we are living in an age of anxiety, because I meet a lot of people who struggle with it, as well as depression, to varying degrees.
Since doing this work, I've come to realise I've actually struggled with both for most of my life. Anxiety as a kid about being different, or Mum being late to pick up me up, thinking she'd died in a car crash (no "Running late" texts in those days). Depression as a teenager about, well, everything. Anxiety in my early 20s about living independently and getting my support needs met. More depression in my mid to late 20s about feeling isolated and not fitting in.