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Sunday, 27 November 2011

In The Dark
What is there to say?
Hard to believe, I know, but this won't be a rant for once. Gary Speed, the Wales footy manager, died today as a result of suicide - hanging (allegedly) if you want the specifics. Now I know fuck all about football or, for that matter, Gary Speed, but I do know a little bit about suicide or at the very least what pushes you to it.
Read the reports about Speed's death and they're choc full of quotes from people who are shocked and saddened. He had been harbouring feelings that he felt could only be resolved by suicide although this was clearly completely unknown to those around him. He'd even been a guest on BBC's Football Focus just hours before taking his life. Can you imagine how lonely and desperate it is to feel such misery and desperation while pretending that everything is alright? To banter on a TV show about football when you feel about as worthless as it's possible to feel?
Well I can (except for the footy bit), thanks to a fuck load of depression and my recent breakdown. And that's the problem with suicidal feelings isn't it? No one knows about them. You don't bounce through Tesco with a knife to your wrist even though every step feels like the last one you ever want to take. You don't neck fistfuls of paracetamol at dinner parties even though you would give anything for the chance. And you don't answer the daily water-cooler "How are you?" by weeping, "Fucking terrible actually. My family would be better off without me and I just want to end it all by stepping in front of a bus".
That's one of the awful tragedies of Speed's death. That he must have felt and thought of those things over and over again before deciding upon his final heartbreaking act. And the shock of those around him is testimony to how well he kept those feelings hidden when they must have been eating at his every waking moment. Ironically, that takes enormous strength at the very point when you feel you have none left.
I've been suicidal and at crisis point and feel desperately for Gary Speed. I don't know why he did what he did but we probably shared the same thoughts, just as many suicidal people do. The loneliness, the isolation, the desperation, the darkness and the overwhelming feeling that the world would be a better place if only you weren't in it. 
Luckily my family and professionals got to me in time. I've been given the chance to grow old with Conjugal Kraken, kiss Kraken Junior goodnight and blog complete and utter bollocks. It's desperately sad that Gary Speed hasn't had that chance. All I can hope is that wherever he is now, he's free of the darkness that led him there.

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