Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, the focus is male suicide. Suicide is currently the single biggest killer of men aged under 45 in the UK, and men are nearly four times more likely than women to take their own life. It is great that we are, finally and collectively, encouraging men to get support. But surely the big, currently unanswered question is why men.
I hope my children also grow into happy, fulfilled adults - once they pass the moody teen phase! But, as we all know, kids don't always want to listen to their parents. To combat this I'm planning to pass on advice I've picked up along my life journey so far, both from my own experiences and from other people.
I'm so appreciative of my mom's hard work, the generosity of our guests, family flying in, and my wonderful step kids, but I just need a break from the craziness. I've shut myself in my room to write this right now and am longingly staring at the trees swaying in the wind. I yearn to be calm as they are; I long to be at peace in nature. I need an escape from the noise.
We all loose our temper from time to time; from mild frustration, irritation or annoyance, to moments of rage. Now the problem isn't getting angry but how we handle anger. What do you do when you get angry? Do you lash out and have an all out eruption? Or do you hold it in and turn the anger inwards onto yourself?
Our wedding day is one of high expectation and emotion and for this reason, for some brides and grooms, it can turn into a day of disappointment, unhappy tears, and even conflict. As a relationship counsellor I have unfortunately heard many such tales and most of us have heard nightmare stories of stroppy bridesmaids, drunk ushers, rude relatives or lost rings.
Both my therapist and intuitive reader told me that I need to "stay on course;" my reader was referring to my life's path, and my therapist was referring to my journey through the anxiety. If you think about it, the two aspects they were referring to completely depend on each other; they have a symbiotic relationship.
We are double blind to the issue, we've our fingers in our ears when suicide is mentioned, and this wanton deafness pops up when it comes to our attitudes towards men being weak. Better to blank both issues, most particularly when the two combine. And so we have a society where suicide accounts for the lives of more men aged 20-49 than any other single cause. Bigger than road deaths. I write this having watched Newsnight bemoan the 68 deaths a year from illegal highs, or around one death a week. By comparison 12 UK male deaths a day should warrant a series.
The oft-repeated saying that we spend a third of our lives asleep is largely true. Sleep helps us recover our energy; it regulates our hormones, allows our body to grow and repair, strengthens our immune system, improves our mental health and, perhaps most ironically for those struggling to sleep, reduces our anxiety.