Very sad

I am not a follower of celebrities, and I am no big fan of Robin Williams films. But he sounds like a nice guy. He had a pleasant face, and was a supporter of animal charities. Yet his suicide is no more momentous or worthy of attention than all the other suicides that happen each day. But his is on the news, so it makes us think about it. I suppose that’s the one positive thing about suicide happening to a famous person.

When I read the news I imagined him in a room alone, full of despair and hopelessness, to the extent he no longer felt his life was worth living. That’s why I think suicide is so tragic. It is the end to all those feelings and thoughts a human is filled with. That someone can feel so alone, so hopeless, even though to many they seem to have a life others could only dream of.

That anyone thinks depression is something one should just get over, or pull their socks up, or pull themselves together – I think that is a tragedy. There isn’t a solution yet. There are antidepressants, but they don’t work for everyone. There is therapy, but it is expensive. And even therapy doesn’t always work. Believe it or not, some therapists place the responsibility of treatment failure on the patient, making them feel even worse.

I’m not writing because I have had some kind of epiphany. Far from it. I just wish that mental health was given as much attention as physical health. I wish there wasn’t a stigma attached to mental illness. I wish people with mental health conditions didn’t feel they had to bear the burden alone. I wish…

Birthdays

We just had my son’s eighth birthday. Trouble with August birthdays is so many friends are on holiday. Also, since the schools have broken up I don’t see the parents to remind them about the party. The other thing about my son is that, unlike with my daughter, I don’t know the parents of his friends. So I don’t have their contact details. Is it a boy thing? Anyway it’s the same each year. He invites lots of friends to his party before school breaks up, and most never reply to the invitation.

This time we had two of his friends from school. We also had his 6-year-old cousin with whom he gets on like a house on fire. We also had his two pre-school cousins, and of course his sister and tiny tot brother. All in all, the party was a great success. This was a huge relief. We’d had a lot of sullenness and sulky behaviour in the days leading up to it. My husband says he was exactly the same as a lad. The funny thing is his mum doesn’t remember any of it. She has an amazing characteristic that she only remembers the marvellous about her children, and forgets anything that falls short of the grade. In her this is probably a gift, but it isn’t a gift that would suit me. I like to remember it all in inglorious tecnicolour!

Anyway, the day before his birthday my son was threatening to stay in bed all day and miss his party. Fortunately he began to be swept along with the festivities. On the morning he was as busy as anything preparing party bags, blowing up balloons, and sticking party banners up.

I had to be more creative than usual when it came to party games. He’s 8 and some of his friends are 9. Some of the usual suspects seem a little immature for such aged people. But he still wanted pass the parcel, although his pals felt they were a little old for it. Unfortunately the weather had us staying in, so we played games invented by my amazing daughter and it went fine.

And we’ve got it all again soon when my daughter turns 10…