I feel compelled to write about the recent article posted on social media by the singer Sinead O’Connor. When this first appeared on my facebook feed, I watched with the volume off and subtitles on. I sat, mouth open, as the plea for help unfolded: “just not dying is not living”.
If you have a loved one who suffers from mental illness, particularly one that includes suicidal ideation, you may well know the effort it takes for these sufferers to just stay alive; that fight is physically and emotionally exhausting. Mental illness does not discriminate: it cares not for age, race, class, gender, religion, success or wealth. Sinead’s words hit my head and my heart so powerfully I could not move. I have no doubt her plea was entirely genuine and she was not reaching out for the greater good of others but her message was raw and more powerful than any multi million pound awareness campaign could achieve. This state that sufferers experience is crippling, debilitating and exhausting.
My daughter has been encouraged to write her feelings down and her journal now represents a beautiful, haunting piece of work. One of the pieces she shared with me last week spoke of how she doesn’t want to die but doesn’t want to live. I conclude there is no sanctuary in life or in death. There is a void called existence.
I am not only compelled to write about this plea for help from Sinead O’Connor, but to reach out to her, as I know others are too. I have frantically searched for an address to contact her, to write to her, but one does not exist beyond the normal fan mail stuff. So I will stick with social media and post my support under the hashtag #sineadoconnor on both twitter and instagram. Can I ask the many followers of this blog to do the same please? Let us show support to a lady who feels her very existence is pointless: show her she is worthy and that she has touched so many; join together and offer her the strength she no longer has or even cares to fight for, please.