*Trigger warning: This post may raise issues for readers who have experience with depression and/or suicide.*
I’m lying in bed writing this on my phone. I don’t know if I’ll publish it. I’ve always hated bloggers who appear to jump on a bandwagon. Turn a tragedy into blog fodder.
The thing is, I can’t stop thinking about Charlotte Dawson.
I can’t stop thinking about the fact that she has died. That there is no second chance, no opportunity for her to change her mind. She can’t hear all the wonderful things that people are saying about her. She hasn’t got a chance to believe them. In one moment of time, that insidious disease took her, in that one moment of time she was too defeated to fight it any longer.
I wasn’t privileged to know her personally, to call her a friend. I can’t fully explain why her death is keeping me awake at night, why I can’t stop crying.
Maybe because I wish I had known her?
I wish I could have said ‘Thank you.’ Thank you for being so honest about something that people can’t seem to talk about. Thank you for giving a voice to depression, thank you for saying sometimes it is just too fucking hard. Thank you for standing up for those who couldn’t fight back against the bullies. Thank you for fighting so damn hard against your own demons so you could offer hope to others fighting against theirs.
I wish I could say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m sorry that you didn’t know what you meant to people. I’m sorry that you couldn’t believe how loved you were. I’m sorry that when that black dog caught up with you, when it pinned you down, and stared you in the eye, there was no escape.
I’ve been that close before. I’ve been backed into that corner. I lived. I got that second chance. A few years later, my life is in a completely different place. I’m still running from the black dog, but I am stronger now. I got the time to change my mind. In one moment of time, I was lucky. I didn’t die. And in time, I didn’t want to any more.
I so desperately want to turn back time. I so desperately want to give her the gift of hindsight. That’s the thing. Suicide is forever. There is no turning back. It’s too late to realise you weren’t alone, that people cared. You can’t argue with depression once you’re dead. It’s too late. It’s too fucking late.
*Edited to add- A petition has been started for the Australian Government to introduce Charlotte’s Law ~ Tougher Cyber Bullying Legislation. You can sign the petition here.
If you need urgent support, or are worried about someone you can contact the following agencies for help:
13 11 14 – 24/7 telephone crisis support, as well as online one-one-one crisis support (8pm-Midnight AEST)
1800 55 1800 – 24/7 telephone counseling for young people 5–25 years, as well as online and email counseling (check website for hours)
Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 – 24/7 professional telephone crisis support for people at risk of suicide, carers and bereaved, as well as online resources and information