I am rarely home from work in time for television news shows and – as a result – I tend to rely on internet news’ sites to keep me up to date with what’s happening in the world. Well… that and Twitter – the latter often being of more use!
This morning I opened one of the news’ sites and scanned down the page. My eyes immediately went to a photograph of an incredibly handsome man. “‘Cor blimey,” I thought. Well, I would have if I was English. Instead I thought, “Phwoar!”
And then I got to the headline under the story and, rather than be relieved the gorgeous man in question was about my age, I was saddened to see that – despite his good looks, fame, fortune and family, he had – in fact – apparently committed suicide.
His country is shocked. “He had everything,” said one of his colleagues and friends.
I’d never heard of this person before. I’d never seen his picture. I know or knew nothing about him: just that I looked at a photograph and thought he was one of the sexiest, most beautiful men I’d seen. In a while. And despite that…. he’s gone.
Although I want to make a joke about him missing out on my fleeting obsession with his masculine good looks, it’s obviously no joking matter. It appears he was – at least for long enough to follow through on his actions – so unhappy with his life (or despondent about his future) that he only saw one way out.
Just a week or so ago a trainer from the UK Biggest Loser also apparently took her own life. Again – from the outside looking in – those of us yearning for a better body and good looks would wonder why on earth someone who we think ‘had it all’ would be desperate enough to take such action.
We really only ever hear about the celebrities and actors who take their own lives. Not about Fred Smith from down the road, who’d been battling with his own demons for years. We don’t see his friends and neighbours on television shaking their heads in disbelief and wondering what signs they missed, or how someone… who seemingly had so much, could think they had so little.
We don’t know what goes on in people’s lives. Behind closed doors. Or in their minds. We can’t walk in others’ shoes. But what we can do is play a role in not stigmatising mental illness and depression; and in not judging those who seek help. We can encourage friends, family and colleagues to seek help if needed and offer a sympathetic and understanding ear.
We can ensure our family and loved ones know we love them ‘no matter what’ and we can probably even stop idolising and envying those we believe ‘have it all’, as it seems that no one does. Not really.
That is all.