There is a lot I have discovered since you took your own life. Firstly, while there is no hierarchy of death where one is better than the other, it's safe to say that living a long life is at the top while a short one is at the bottom. I don't know where suicide sits, but it's safe to say, it makes other people REALLY uncomfortable. I was advised against telling people how you died. And in the initial bizarreness of picking your burial plot and coffin (and being asked whether Robert was an eco-friendly man), I erred on the side of caution. But by this 30th day, I have realised when the worst, most devastating thing possible happens, you lose the energy to maintain any artifice.
In 1999 I worked with a group of men looking to offer younger men in trouble the chance to find a way in to a better life. This led to the founding of the charity abandofbrothers (ABoB) in 2008. This ground-breaking organisation offers a new way to address issues arising from mental ill health, crime and addiction.
Research tells us that some men tend to use alcohol as a long term crutch to get them through tough emotional times, and they are less likely to seek help unless they reach a crisis. This means that by the time someone comes to the attention of NHS or other support services they may already be dealing with complex and entrenched problems.
Suicide is heart breaking, utterly devastating and painful for all involved. It is not selfish. If someone dies from cancer or asthma then it is not selfish. If someone travels to Switzerland for euthanasia then it is not selfish. It is not selfish if someone's mental illness kills them or if someone feels unable to live their life.
The truth is that at this stage we have no idea what caused Andreas Lubitz's decision to end his own life and that of the 149 other passengers on his plane. So why then did the Daily Mail feel it was fitting to ascertain that the depressive episode which occurred six years ago must have something to do with this disaster?
I've not talked about this for years, so here goes. Here's my Great Taboo. I tried to kill myself when I was 19 or 20 - the event is so shrouded by silence I can't even remember exactly when it happened. I won't go into why I felt so crap about life, but I did. I now know that what I did was a cry for help, that I wanted to be found and thankfully I was.