Dear Me

It’s no secret that suicide is a huge issue in the Western World. It’s especially an issue in New Zealand – statistics tell us that Aotearoa has the highest rate of youth suicides in the world – and, fun fact of the day, our youth are followed closely by our middle aged men.

There’s a number theories as to why this is.

Personally, I think it has a great deal to do with New Zealand’s “harden up” attitude – don’t feel, don’t think, and for goodness sakes, DON’T TALK about it. If you’re having a bad day, just pretend everything’s good, and it’ll all go away. My favourite addition to this mindset is, don’t just smile, but DRINK ALCOHOL to numb the pain.

Better yet, get high.

When I was 19, my ex boyfriend committed suicide after years of drug taking to suppress whatever demons he couldn’t bring himself to talk about.

When I was 22, my surrogate father essentially committed suicide through the bottle (he was a brilliant man, and a phenomenal musician, but when an addiction has that kind of hold on you, I can only imagine how difficult it must have been).

When I was 23, my mom’s best friend also took his life.

Earlier this year, one of my best friends’ daughters also took her life.

I’ve been there myself – and sometimes the darkness is just overwhelming. It doesn’t look like there is any light at the end of the darkness. No hope. No resolution.

Just bleak, uphill battles that seem to consume our brains, our hearts and our lives.

Last year, however, I had several people come to me because they were feeling suicidal. I’m honoured that they felt they could share their pain with me, and ask for help. I’m happy to say they’re all still alive today, but it hasn’t come without struggle. It was after one of these conversations that I went to band practice with my band Static Era, and as Chris started playing the guitar, I just lay on the ground and wept.

And wrote:

Pick up the phone, call home again
You’re not alone, tonight
A million hearts, bleed with regret
Just don’t give up, tonight

Dear Me, I just called to say I miss you
It’s gonna be fine.
Dear Me, don’t forget there’s still tomorrow
It’s gonna be alright.

The line is dead but please have faith
It’s not the end, tonight
A simple touch, a smile from a stranger
Just don’t give up, it’s in you.

Dear Me, I just called to say I miss you
It’s gonna be fine.
Dear Me, don’t forget there’s still tomorrow
It’s gonna be alright.

So before you turn out the light
This life is yours, be true to who you are, it’ll be alright

Dear Me, I just called to say I miss you
It’s gonna be fine.
Dear Me, don’t forget there’s still tomorrow
It’s gonna be alright.
It’s gonna be alright.

We’ve just released the music video for this song yesterday (7pm NZT) and I’d love for you to have a look and leave your thoughts, feelings, general verbal (or written) messages. Better yet, if YOU feel like you’re in a bit of a black hole at the moment, or the black dog has been taking YOU for walks instead of the other way around, there are ways to learn to handle it – and there’s ALWAYS hope to cut the black dog out of your life.

If you’re in New Zealand, here are some organizations that will be able to support you. It’s hard to reach out, but if you’re needing to harden up, then please: harden up and reach out.

Youthline
Suicide Prevention
0800 What’s Up
Suicide Intervention

Your future self will thank you for it.

Stay golden, friends

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