By Rachel Morris
Suicide and Depression are two words which we are finally more open to talking about. We hear those words, we know about them and some of us struggle with the thought or the aftermath of them every day. And now as an industry, we are learning how to address it. We are being given tools from the likes of Droga. (My absolute fave) http://www.adweek.com/creativity/embracing-an-awkward-moment-can-save-a-life-say-droga5s-suicide-prevention-ads/
In the second half of last year, one of my brothers best friends committed suicide. That scared me, it shocked me and it saddened me. Before that, my family dealt and have been dealing with another shocking and huge loss. That event made me understand even more than I already had as to why people do it. I can see how someone can get to that point.
But I don’t want anyone to do it. I want to make people feel like that’s not even an option. To do this I asked friends, industry leaders, and I even asked a few random people on the tube and later on asked a room full of 50 people. It was a little odd and nerve wrecking to ask but everyone was so eager to share. And although it could have been a blog I felt It wasn’t enough. My intended audience like visuals it needs to be shareable, and casual but there. So @beyondtwenty3 was born. It’s an Instagram page where people of all ages (past 23) will have their stories shared of when they were 23, or younger. I have personal reasons for it being based on the age of 23 but I’m actually also 23 at this moment in time so it just fits.
There will be no names, no ages, no faces, just life stories. I’m purposely not sharing that information because I want people to feel fully free and safe when they tell me these stories. They aren’t fabricated. It’s the lives of people who have gotten past their 20s. Some of the stories will show a time of pure happiness and others might have a deep sorrow. But I believe that’s the beauty of the idea. The fact that there will be at least one person or one part of the story you can relate too, you can see it right there, you might even feel you are living it. But you’ll know that they got passed that period of time because they are on this feed. It will also show you aren’t alone without the patronizing or empty words being thrown across posters on the tube that you don’t even notice.
This is my way of speaking directly to those thinking of suicide or those who are in a depression. My hope is for this to be something people stumble on and use. I hope that people will also send in their stories.
Below are 5 stories that I have gathered, please follow and feel free to send the feed your story.
I had gotten out of an abusive relationship a few months before and I lost myself in the summer wondering about the city of London in the dark contemplating existing, recognizing the importance of friends and I then made the decision to never be taken for granted again. I was raving loads, uncertain about what I was going to do with all of my creativity. I knew I had nothing else to do but didn’t know how to make it into a career. I was saying yes to all and creating my own content. I met a man, who became my next long-term boyfriend and had a very creative relationship always made stuff together paintings, films, songs, photos… I used it as an opportunity to redefine what love was, how to love and be loved.
On reflection, it was one of the best years of my life. Grew a lot. It was a defining year.
At 23 I had just graduated I ran away to Australia, almost died and then I came home and became an unpaid intern. I would wake up at 5 to make breakfast at the hotel that I was working in. I was actually working 4 jobs… I didn’t have a social life, I just worked to get a career, saw my friends maybe once every two weeks. I’m happy that year is almost over… it enabled me to live independently, have my first paying job, got to live with friends and also save for a flat. Now I’m just thinking about where I’m going to travel. It was a year of prep.
I was working at a filming studio, living a bit of a rock and roll lifestyle. I was having a great time, but I was also suffering from a bit of depression… the mixed year I would say. It was a good year coming off the back of a bad one as at the end of the bad year I hit my lowest point and attempted. But by the end of the next year, I started to feel like I belonged. I started seeing a woman 6 year older than me, kind of shaped me I suppose.
Life at 23 for me was football, I would play with anyone. The only thing was that I wasn’t ever good enough to go professional. It took me a few years to realize that…I had to accept it. I had a moment of realization.
I was living in Spain for like 3 years, I don’t know as much Spanish as I used to but know a few languages. just working in bars, met loads of people that I still keep in touch with. Brought in Belfast finished an apprenticeship and wanted to do something different, wanted to travel. I remember that year well, went to Norway after that.