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Jun
17

The Final Chapter

Right. When it comes to my blog posts I usually try to bring the fun. But not today. Today I will probably resemble Fun Bobby from that episode of Friends.

I’ve spent quite some time deliberating over whether or not to write this post, but I have come to the conclusion that I have to. I can’t not.

One week ago today my 35 year old brother died very suddenly and very unexpectedly. I love him dearly and miss him so much it hurts. But I’m not writing this in a bid for compassion or sympathy. I’m writing this to raise awareness. To raise two awareness…es…

Awareness #1. To remind you of the fragility of life. One minute it’s here, the next it can be gone. Death always seems like something that happens to other people’s families, until it happens to yours. And eventually it does happen to yours, just as it did mine. So take this reminder and don’t waste a minute. Go and hug everyone who is important in your life and let them know how much you love them, because when they’re not here anymore that’s all you want to do, and you wish you’d done it more when you had the chance.

Awareness #2. Depression. Possibly the most misunderstood of illnesses, and if you’ve never suffered them it’s easy to understand why. ‘We all get depressed from time to time! What’s the big deal?’ seems to be a common reaction. Well, big deal No.1 is that Depression the illness doesn’t just pop along when something brings you down, then be on its way. It’s here to stay – it’s not always on the surface, but it always comes back, and there’s no telling when, or why. Big deal No.2 is that Depression the illness isn’t just being depressed, it can come hand in hand with so many other symptoms – self-loathing, paranoia, anger, low self-esteem and the overwhelming urge to sleep, in order to escape the torment, are just a few.

The sad truth is that we all probably know many people who are suffering from this illness, but because of the stigmas attached to it and because of the lack of understanding, they would never dare tell us. And there’s no way of guessing, because they have learnt to protect themselves by hiding it.

So, in summary, not only should you go hug everyone you love and remind them how much you love them, you should just go hug everyone (not including small children who you don’t know or people who look like they might hurt you with sticks) and remind them that there will always be someone to talk to, someone to love them, someone to bring the fun.

Yes it might seem uncomfortable, no it’s no cure for depression, but it is so much nicer than doing nothing and letting life and lives pass you by.

For Joss – my favourite dead brother. Ever! I love you.

 

Just a few of the many places to find help and advice on depression            www.samaritans.org/ (Tel. UK: 08457 90 90 90 ROI: 1850 60 90 90) http://www.depressionforums.org/ www.fightingdepression.co.uk www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Depression/Pages/Selfhelpadvice.aspx www.overcomedepression.co.uk/

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