I recently had an interesting conversation with one of the guys that drinks in the bar. A young guy called Will, a good guy, highly intelligent, interesing, well spoken but troubled. We were sat, well to be precise we were stood having a conversation about the ride I have coming up, the ideas and reasons behind it.
I suppose one of the things that i don’t really feel like I’ve explained yet are the reasons that i am choosing to do it. Now throughout life we either have been or might likely be touched with depression. Be that personal, or through family or friends. Unfortunately my uncle killed himself a long time ago and then a lot more recently one of the young guys who drinks or who drank at the bar I work at did the same. He was a decent member of that scene, well liked by many and the ramifications of that are still sweeping outwards as people are still trying to come to terms with what it meant. They are questioning whether they really knew him, or whether they could have said or done something, perhaps a way they could have interacted or intervened. One of the things that Will brought up that was very interesting to me. Was the fact that ultimately in life, unless you have real, honest and hard conversations with people you don’t really get to know how they are doing as a person. You don’t really even get to know them as a person. So it’s true that the investment in people, that we get to know who these people are in and of themselves. Obviously it’s very tricky to ever really know anyone. More so if they have issues they are trying to deal with like depression or suicidal thoughts. It is very hard to have these conversations, we are mostly not really equipped to have those hard talks. We don’t really know what to do once we’ve found out some of this hard information.
Now that’s tricky in and of itself. How are you supposed to respond, to suggest or to help. One of the hash tags I’ve been using for the Instagram account i have is End the stigma. I really think there is a stigma firmly around suicide and depression that is really not talked about. It’s not discussed, perhaps even taboo. That you can’t talk openly and honestly about these subjects is a problem. As the only way we can help the people we care about and that are close to us is by sitting down and having an open dialogue. The problem with that however is that to be able to do that in the first place you need to have been able to talk. To get past the mileu of things in life, the nonsense chat, the same boring tired things you always say. I know i find myself guilty of that.
I’ve come to a point of using boring speech with the people i am constantly around. I saying the same things, repeat the same tropes, now perhaps due to the fact I don’t want to invest in some of the people I have around at work . However, in my social situations there are definitely places, ways and means that I could use to be a better communicator. That I could find out more about how people are doing in life, what drives, motivates and shapes them as people. Perhaps from there I could find out a little bit more about them. And perhaps there is something we could all do to help somehow in that way. To really turn around and at least for a tiny little bit help out. To have a real conversation, to make a difference. Sitting down with someone and just listening to what it is that they have to say.
There is amazing power in that.