I still remember.
I still remember the phone call at ridiculous o’clock in the morning. “Cam’s dead.” There was a lot more said but those are the words that rang summoning me permanently from my sleep. Those are the only words I can remember from that awful night. For months I was scared to sleep because I had nightmares and worst of all memories. The memories were all those beautiful memories of my friend, making me laugh, making us all smile, talking about rocks, chanting for Scotland and eating packets of jaffa cakes from 0 to 60 in 4 seconds. When I would wake up, I’d remember that those memories would always be memories and there would be no more made. That kept bringing me crashing down back to my own hell. I cried myself to sleep. I tore at my wallpaper. I hated everyone who was around me for the sheer reason they were not Cam. I felt sick. I starved myself. I took laxitive overdoses. I drank to numb everything. I fell into depression too.
I got better. I was lucky. So lucky.
Depression. It was depression that killed him. Depression destroys the soul so you destroy yourself. You die from the inside out. It may be a “mental” illness but surely when it destroys a person, destroys their family, destroys their friends, it can no longer be just in the mind. It’s illness, that’s all.
When depression causes someone to drink, it is physical. When depression causes someone to cut, it is physical.
When depression causes someone so much pain they decide to take their own life. IT. IS. PHYSICAL.
I had a lucky escape. I was treated. I had a sympathetic doctors and even more sympathetic friends and family. I had luck on my side and I didn’t have the pressure of society telling me to “man up,” or keep quiet about my feelings. I was lucky.
The statistics for men and depression are catastrophic. Society has warped our minds into thinking it is shameful to be ill, shameful to express your feelings and shameful for men show anything other than a stereotypical version of masculinity. Of course not everyone believes this, but when you are already suffering hell everyday from depression, it is hard sometimes impossible to see through these things. If a young man, like Cam, who had everything going for him could fall to this illness, anyone can. No shame.
¾ of suicides are male
It is the biggest cause of death for men between 15 and 45. In 2012, there were 1754 road fatalities in the UK, about 5 a day.
There were 5980 suicides, that’s 16 a day. Why is this continuing?
It’s time to talk gentlemen.
That’s why a group of brilliant gentlemen are doing a trip to Ben Nevis. It’s something Cam definitely would have been up for. He’d be the first one charging forward and when it got tough, he’d be making everyone laugh.
They are raising money for the Cameron Grant Memorial Trust, to help people similar to Cam.
If you want to donate or find out more about the trip, click here.
As for you, Cam, I miss you.
I can write all the beautiful poetry in the world and it will not make it better. It will not bring you back. It will not fill the whole you left in our lives. I don’t have the heart to be angry. I just wish you could have said something. I wish I would have spotted something. The fact you’d been suffering for most of the time I knew you, makes me feel sick. Depression is a horrible, secretive, toxic thing. I’m sorry you had to go through it alone.
We miss you. We want you back. And we know that other people are also suffering the same thing with their loved ones. And it’ll continue. We know change is hard. But we are going to do our damned best to make those numbers go down.
We still remember.
I still remember.