September 19, 2020

What My Best Friend’s Suicide Taught Me

INTRODUCING HIS GRIT MAGAZINEMy name is Roy Arnold, I’m a 45-year-old banker and I lost my Stanley to suicide last year. The most heartbreaking note I have ever read was, “Stanley, take care of Sam.” Sam was—is—his dog. That was it, that’s all he had to say.

Ladies, learn about how Suicide affects us men

Let me first tell you a bit about Stanley before I explain the details of that unforgettable incident. Stanley was my best friend since childhood; we went to the same college together, he was best man at my wedding, I was best man at his, we had no other friends but each other and our wives. Stanley’s wife, Sylvia, had been diagnosed with cancer three years ago and passed away 6 months before he took away his own life.

It wasn’t easy, what he was going through, but what shocked me was that he never complained, reached out for help, or uttered a single word to me about it. I did my best to be there for him, but after his wife’s death he just stayed at home most of the time. I often blame myself for not trying harder.

Stanley left and I found myself spending my sleepless nights trying to find out what had happened to my best friend. I read all kinds of different factors that lead to suicide, I was shocked at the factors that trigger male suicide. For Stanley, it was the sever depression that took over after Sylvia was gone, a sense of hopelessness, a bleak perception of the future. I understand, I don’t know where I would be if anything were to happen to my beloved wife.

However, what really shocked me was the other factors that other men are triggered by; when you read them, they just sound so trivial; not in the sense that they’re meaningless, but in the sense that they could’ve all been easily solved. It mostly has to do with the societal expectations that are imposed on young and old men; one of which is unemployment; being unemployed actually increases the risk of vulnerability in men and can lead to a man taking his life away for feeling economically inadequate. Some men go through financial difficulties and rely on their partners to economically provide for the household, however, this severely affects a man’s sense of independence which also counts as a male suicide factor. Another factor is a male’s inability to seek medical help because of how that poses a threat against their masculinity, their strength, and their independence.

Loss, Grief & Healing

Reading this makes a man feel hopeless. My Stanley took his own life because he just couldn’t bear living without his love beside him, he could’ve sought help and support, but he decided against it. There are other men in this world who decide against seeking help because the world abuses them for it. And I don’t want men like me to take away their own life because they can’t reach out for help outside. Male suicide rates are high, and the factors increasing it are prevalent; your manhood won’t be at risk if you’re going through a rough patch.

Let’s start somewhere, let’s start here, let’s make a change in the world for the better and put an end to societal pressure.

Tell the men in your life to follow and read His Grit Magazine for more. Next publishing date is 30 May 2019.

Thank you Her Grit Magazine for sharing your space with us.  We are a family us men and women.

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What My Best Friend’s Suicide Taught Me

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