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Gary Speed, manning up and suicide

November 27, 2011

So again when I’m feeling sorry for myself the world likes to give me a metaphorical slap across the face to remind me ‘do you know what I really don’t have it bad.’

So yesterday, as i sat at home, grumpy because my wrist hurt and i faced another week unemployed. I then flicked on the idiot box to see the news that Gary Speed, Wales football manager and widely accepted as a nice guy of football, had died at the age of 42. I was in a state of shock. As a kid growing up Gary was a hero of mine in a Leeds team I supported. To see someones life cut short at such a young age was horrible.

It would later transpire that Gary had killed himself. This prompted the question why? At the age of 42, Gary managed his country, had a wife and two kids, a seemingly perfect life. We may never know why. As someone who has lost someone close to suicide you can spend years asking yourself why and never knowing an answer.

Some people close to Gary have said they had no idea that he was in good spirit that he seemed fine. Again I know this feeling. We had no idea how dad felt until it was to late, he seemed happy and his usual self. Clearly he wasn’t.

Depression can affect anyone, sure he had what seemed a good life, but who knows what pressure he felt. All I know is its a tragic tragic waste of life.

Yet a quick look on google and people are joking about this already. Some saying that suicide is a cowards way out. To the people doing that I say fuck you. The man was a human being and by all appearances a good one. He has left behind a family that have to put back together a life somehow. go through what they are going through then joke about it. Those kids will never get a day with their dad again, and believe me that is fucking horrible. So imagine that happening to you, then joke about it.

People who commit suicide, feel beyond hope. There is nothing cowardly about it, they have had to fight the affliction for god knows how long and felt afraid to ask for help because in this world you have to man up and get on with it. You cannot ask for help. And do you know what its a load of shite. If young blokes didnt have that drilled into them, they’d ask and accept help. And I might still have a Dad and Gary Speed would still be managing Wales.

In fact i’d say asking for help makes you more of a man. There i no shame in asking for help, in fact i think that really defines ‘manning up’ you accept you need help, cannot do it on your own and need others. I’m lucky enough that i can do this and have done. I need help at the moment with the tough time, and am fortunate that I have amazing family, friends and an awesome girlfriend who’ll give it me. If my dad had ask for help i’m sure he’d have found he had the same, as i’ve no doubt Gary Speed would have too.

Its stuff like this that shows why kids need help and winstons wish. Suicide leaves familys in bits. I’d never had got through it without their support and guidance. They’ve helped so many people, and hopefully they’ll be there if the Speeds need it.

So don’t judge Gary, remember what kind of a man he was when he was alive, remember his family and what they’ll have to go through and his story gets picked apart by the media vultures not giving a shit what it does to the family so long as it sells stories. But most of all remember to support people when they need it and to ask for help when you need it because there is no shame in it.

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