Things To Live For is a short film I made with my best mate Andrew Compston. It was simple and painless; just me and my pal having a chat about the ups and downs of life, while we had coffee in a nice cafe.
Should I really do this?
When Foolish Optimism (the project) asked me to think of a film concept around the subject of hope, I thought well actually, you are screwed if you think I have any hope. I couldn’t think of what hope was or what it meant to me, or whether I had the capacity to even discuss it. Despite my apprehension I came up with Things to Live For. I was so nervous to put it out there. And I’m nervous writing this now. But it’s done now. So here goes…
Where the idea came from
After coming out the other side of wanting to be dead, for what had felt like forever – I got to thinking why it is that I hadn’t actually gone through with it and killed myself – I am no longer medicated so it’s not the sertraline, and I haven’t experienced any huge life changes, so it’s not a new source of happiness, thus there must be something else or perhaps many things keeping me alive.
My pals being one of them!
I have always advocated for some form of preventative mental health service; something that was proactive rather than reactive. I always wondered why we wait until crisis point to seek help; whether that be socially or professionally and why we must be ill enough to ‘qualify’ to receive it.
Is it because we are embarrassed?
Is it because we don’t think there is anything wrong?
Is it because we think we don’t deserve it?
For me it was because I didn’t want to worry anyone. Didn’t want to make anyone else sad – how do you get that happy medium where you can vent and talk openly about how your feeling without causing hysteria amongst your loved ones – ‘Oh no, Deej wants to be dead!’ Well yeah, I did but it’s not that big a deal? That doesn’t really work does it? I wanted it to be possible to have a positive conversation about something so tragic!!!
I needed an outlet that wasn’t in a doctor’s office; and I wanted to promote how normal it is to talk about mental health with people you know and trust. I needed something safe, encouraging and light-hearted. So why not film me and my friend having (a real and recurring) conversation about just getting by?
I have now spoken to many close friends about our mental health (at varying stages), and would encourage everyone to talk to your mates about how sad, anxious, frustrated, lonely you are, or maybe more importantly talk about the things that get you through the day to day. Because God knows they probably feel the same.
Where to now?
We will be running ‘Things to Live For’ as a monthly podcast to begin with. In which I will go around all my friends and have a chat – sometimes happy, sometimes sad but always looking for the positives. I’m doing this not only to help myself, my friends but for anyone who needs to listen and relate. And if you want to chat and be on the podcast – that can be arranged too!
World Prevention of Suicide Day
I guess the above puts into perspective what I have to say on suicide. Please, please, please don’t kill yourself, there are so many beautiful things to live for!
What are your things to live for? Join the discussion on Facebook!