There are 2000 Australians who take their own life per year. I believe this can be reduced. My name is Tiana Spence, I am 18 years old and live in Rockhampton, Queensland, this is my story.
I was a normal 15 year old girl, in grade 11. Loved my life and had the most amazing best friend who I did everything with, we were inseparable. We had plans to grow up together, have formal together, plan each other’s weddings and never lose each other.
Little did I know that 3 weeks before my 16th I would lose her and have to try what I thought was impossible and try to live my life without the closest person to me. The days following her suicide were horrible. I felt numb and felt like I was watching my body instead of living inside of it. There were moments when I seriously thought it was all a nightmare that I would wake up from. But never did I wake up from that nightmare. I faced it every day. I thought the best way for me to get through was to keep busy and try and keep my mind off it. I felt alone, depressed and felt that I would never get out of it. I moved to distance education in the middle of year 11 as I could not handle being at school.
“What If” were the two words that haunted me and that was all I thought about for the many weeks following her suicide. Always thinking of ways that could have changed the outcome, but knowing that it was too late, that I would never have the chance to go back. Always thinking of things I had done wrong. Wishing she would have just told me that something was wrong. Wishing I could have helped her before it got to this point.
After a few months I realised that thinking this way was not helping me through my life, it was making things worse. Thinking this way would not bring her back it just made me feel horrible. I tried to stop thinking this way knowing that I could not change the outcome, she was gone.
A year passed and I was doing okay, still had many nights where I would cry myself to sleep. Everyone told me that it would get better, at this point I didn’t believe that, I believed that it would never get better, I just learnt to live with the pain. I had shut out all of my friends except my boyfriend and felt incredibly lonely at times but knew that it was my own fault.
At this point I felt that losing her was the worst thing that happened to me and that I didn’t want anyone else to lose their loved ones and go through the pain I did. So at that point I decided to make a change in our community for suicide. We started to plan an event for suicide prevention called CQ Alive, at this event we would promote the 7 warning signs of suicide, of which we found and had a psychologist check. Unfortunately this event did not go through as we didn’t have enough youth to organise it. This is where we became CQ Leos (Youth Lions Club) and our main project is to raise awareness for suicide prevention.
We have had our 7 warning signs of suicide cards printed and have been distributing them throughout Rockhampton and have called this project “Alive”. We then took it to the next level and sent it through to the Leos Australia Committee, Alive has recently become the MD201 Leos Project which means the cards will be distributed throughout Australia. Our warning sign cards now say on the back” A Project of Leos Australia, initiated by CQ Leos”.
CQ Leos is currently organising a Suicide prevention event in Rockhampton in September called Step Out 2013. Our mission is to raise awareness of suicide prevention within the youth of our community and we believe this initiative will enable us to reach a number of these young people
Our vision for Step Out will involve a walk for those who have lost someone, or who know of someone going through the loss of someone. The participants will be given biodegradable red balloons to hold for the walk and will release them when reaching the stage. We will then have local bands play for an afternoon of entertainment.
I want to see a change not only in my community but all of Australia, I want to stop suicide!!!!
Check out this video about my project
Please take care and seek help if needed
Lifeline 13 11 14
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
Also check the related topics:Supporting a friend with a mental illness Suicide Helping a friend