Trigger warning: suicide

Almost everyone has felt suicidal. I don’t mean that everyone feels like this all of the time. I don’t mean that everyone would attempt it; this could just be a fleeting thought for a few seconds or a compelling urge that follows you throughout the day. I went to a training course for the Samaritans where they asked everyone who had felt like life was too hard and they couldn’t go on, to raise their hand. Everyone did, every single person in that room. People are scared of the word suicide, but we need to talk about it.

That doesn’t mean we are all mentally ill, or that we all actively think about ending our lives. Some do, some don’t, some do sometimes and some don’t sometimes. It’s a spectrum, mental health is a scale and each day we wake up we are sitting in a different place on that scale. Maybe worse, maybe better than the day before. Some days I can barely get out of bed, I just want to sleep the day away. Other days I spring up (well not quite spring) at 8am and have a happy and fulfilling day.

Just because in one minute of one hour of one day of one week of one month of one year, you feel like you don’t want to exist anymore, doesn’t mean you will always feel like that. The chances of us actually being alive are one in around 400 trillion (or more). The fact you are on this planet, in the body you are in, living the life you are living is nothing short of a miracle. It’s like in those time travel films, if even the tiniest piece of history had changed, you would cease to exist, you would no longer be you, living here and now.

Life is so precious and fragile. In times of need, of deep despair, and even times of elation and joy, it’s important to see life in perspective. We are all here, to do something. I believe everyone has a purpose; whatever we do now will impact on generations after us.

I don’t think about every single thing I do from this perspective, in fact most things I do mindlessly. But it’s important to take stock every now and then, to realise the unpredictability of each second you’re living. Lie on the grass, stare at the stars, tell people you love them, hold that hug for a few more seconds, listen to the sounds of nature, be still, be active, do whatever you need to do. But never forget that you are blessed with this life, never take it for granted, because one day sooner than you know it, it will all be gone.

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