TODAY'S GUEST BLOGGER: DIANNE YOUNG
Below is a heartfelt and raw posting from Dianne. Her son, Lennon, recently committed suicide here on PEI after battling mental health and addiction. She is living every parent’s nightmare. Please read every word, experience her pain, and make a commitment to learn more about these illnesses, which are devastating so many Island families. Lennon was not alone in his battle, but he very likely felt like he was, as most people do when dealing with these issues. As an Island community, we have to do a better job with addiction and mental health so that people will have the best chance to get well and live life to the fullest. Let’s ensure that Lennon did not die in vain. Change starts with one person. Let that person be you…
“It's a new year. Let's hope 2014 is a good one. The last few months of 2013 were a time of sorrow. I became a survivor of suicide. You never want your kids to leave this world before you do; however, that's not up to you. Our children are lent to us, we don't own them, and we don't know how long we will have them. They are my greatest gift.
I had Lennon for 29 years; the last 9 years were hard. They were hard on everyone, most of all him. It's been two months now. I see things differently than in the first few weeks. It was like I got a kick in the stomach that first night when the police came to the door. That was a fear I had. I knew it was going to happen. I just didn't know it was going to be like this. We couldn't have a funeral because his body was never found, and may never be found.
Lennon felt he had no choice. The agony he was in came to an end that cold November night. I have come to the acceptance that Lennon was in a hopeless state. He suffered great emotional and mental pain. He was desperate. The disease of addiction and mental illness tells you that you don't have it. It is in your mind, your body and your spirit. This world was just too hard of a place for him to be. My son was very sensitive. He didn't see any other solution to end his pain.
There are many people that have felt this way and have ended their lives, too. I think it's time that we look at it for what it is, and do something to change the way our hospitals treat people with the disease of mental illness and addiction. Treat them like they would if a person went to the hospital with cancer. They need a clinic in the hospital just for people suffering with mental illness and addiction. They need a psychiatry department. Services that can help people who are in a desperate state, and not turn them away.
How many people have to end their lives before someone makes the changes that we so need here on our Island? Suicide is not something to be hidden and not talked about. It's not a disgrace or a cowardly act. It's a desperate act. It is a devastating loss of a young man that feared life more than death. I feel my son's presence with me. He will always be a part of me. His body has died, but not his spirit.
I would like to have a meeting with as many people as I can get to share their voice. We need to make a stand. I hope that whoever takes the time to read this will be with me, and if there are enough voices that we will be heard. Thank you for your support in the hardest time in my life. Dianne.”
Diane’s story in The Guardian: “People are dying. Something needs to be done.”