Some lessons Dom has thought about after loosing his good mate to suicide
As someone who has been LUCKY to avoid the black dog, I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching thinking about what I could do differently as a mate.
Don’t put off catching up, because you never know there will be no more tomorrows.
My mate moved back to NZ two months ago and lived 2km away from me. I never made plans to catch up because I just assumed we had tonnes of time for that.
Don’t leave things unsaid:
Use your words - tell people what they mean to you. They say that actions speak louder than words. That’s a motto I’ve generally lived by. But I think I’m going to try and be more open with my emotions.
Listen - Ask people how they are and listen with intent.
It seems like a lot of conversations these days, a lot of people aren’t truly listening, we are just waiting for our chance to speak again. Listen and look out for masks.
Don’t just be there for your mates - Be more proactive than that.
It’s all good and well to say I’m only a phone call away, or if you need me, call me anytime 24/7. But YOU be a better friend - text more often, check in more often, send them a DM or snap chat more often. The amount of times I thought about this mate and funny shit we had done together, I now wish I had picked up my phone and messaged him saying: “Just randomly thought of that time we went to a strip club and got lap dances on the Mediaworks credit card”.
Be kind to strangers - You never know what someone is going through.
The person who makes your coffee, or the person you wave and smile to in traffic or the courier who drops off your package may be unwell and you would never know. Your brief interaction with them could be the moment they decide life is worth living.
Would any of this helped my mate? Would he still be here today if I had done all those things? Probably not. BUT I can tell you two things I know for certain - it wouldn’t have done him any harm. And it would have made me feel better that I had done a good job as a mate.
If you feel you need help dealing with depression or a difficult time in your life, call Lifeline on 0800 543 354 or the Suicide Crisis Helpline on 0508 828 865(0508 TAUTOKO). Both are available 24/7.