“Movember” has become a huge event for the month of November each year since the Movember Foundation charity began its events in 2004 raising awareness and funds for men’s health issues such as prostrate cancer and depression.
A number of individuals I know including my sisters bf are taking part in this years Movember raising money for various charities. I think it is such a worth while event. Men’s health especially men’s mental health is an issue that can sometimes be hush hush, brushed under the carpet. Society has set sterotypes of men, they are meant to be macho, tough and don’t need to talk about things! Rubbish, the notion that sharing your feelings, worries or talking about issues with someone is only a feminine thing is absurd and I think dangerous.
See I had this friend “P”, yes a guy friend and yes men and women can be “only Friends”. We met whilst I still lived at home when I was about 18 he had recently moved from England to his mums in northern ireland and we got talking whilst out walking the dogs beside our houses. He was 22, a bit of a lads lad, had been through a tough time in England and was trying for a new start here. I introduced him to one of my besties Kat and we paled about on and off for about two years. He got together with a girl got engaged and settled a bit, moved into a house etc, his new partner didn’t like him being in touch with “other girls” that meant even friends, and my bf now hubby had a few disagreements with him over the years ( mainly due to P drunken phone calling me and declaring his love as you do to your “friends” yes yes i know your thinking ha see men and women cant be friends yes they can well when drink isn’t involved , the drinks in wits out and all that) anyway hubby didn’t exactly encourage our friendship and we sort of lost touch. A few months past with only few and far between texts and the occasional chat if we bumped into each other in town or in the street. Then on New years day 2008 I got a text from a friend who is his mums cousin, saying something to the effect of “P’s passed away, he committed suicide this morning”.
I felt sick, truly sick It took me a good hour to process it enough to get in touch with Kat who was now in England herself. She too had lost touch with him. I went to see his mum and step dad the next day with my friend who was his mums cousin. I have never seen a mother more broken in my life. She was beyond herself she was heartbroken, even now when I see her she is a shell of her former-self, he was her only son and her eldest child. Talking to her that evening, she explained how he had been very unhappy, losing weight, suffering depression and had no one to talk to. His partner and him were in the midst of seperating and he was supposed to be moving home on new years day. Instead his partner found him hanging when she returned from new years eve party in the early morning and there was nothing that could be done to save him by that point.
I have felt such guilt about P ever since this, I really have struggled with it and I can honestly say not a week has gone by that I haven’t thought If only I had been a better friend. My mum actually talked to me about this recently trying to reassure me that there literally is nothing I could have done and I should let it go. I know there maybe wasn’t anything I could have done to stop that happening but I can’t help but think if only he thought he had someone to talk to like me when he needed help most maybe he would still be here. From that date I have really reconsidered how the men in my life such as hubby and my brother feel and I hope they all know that no matter what the issue I’m here 100% anytime day or night to talk about everything and anything!
There are a number of fabulous organisations set up to help anyone feeling suicidal or depressed and needing someone just to listen or to put them in touch with relevant organisations such as Fixers – NI suicide prevention and Samaritans – Talk about suicide.
Even though most women cannot and wouldnt want to grow moustaches 🙂 this doesn’t mean we can’t get into the spirit of the event and give our support to a great cause! So show your support this movember, get creative, “tache” up your nails, add a “tache-tastic” scarf or a pair of gorgeous Moustache Tights by Pamela Mann from my tights and donate or take part in some movember fundraiser events.
This post is dedicated to the memory of a lovely friend, P .
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