Yesterday a bright, beautiful and vivid woman took her life. A woman that I admired, loved watching, her beauty, personality, that laugh and her down to earth presenting style and cool fashion sense. A woman that should have had a whole life in front of her. One of the only dancers on Strictly Come Dancing to reduce me to tears and one of the best show dances in the history of Strictly. I was shocked to the core to read such news. However, not overly shocked that she'd reached that place of despair after the constant media hounding after that 'alleged' assault, but shocked and deeply saddened in the sense that she'd reached a point in her 40 years of life that she felt she was better of dead. Even just writing this now I feel utter sadness, I can't comprehend what a dark place someone must be for these thoughts to transpire. I remember a few years ago going on some suicide awareness training for work and was advised that if someone really wants to commit suicide they will do it, if just an attempt it's a cry for help. This has stuck with me for years, Caroline's cry for help was clear to see I'm just sorry that she felt her life wasn't worth living anymore.
Many people who know me will be surprised to hear that at times I suffer with anxiety, I'm a prolific over thinker and spend alot of time with consuming thoughts but it's mild in comparison to many, I'm a worrier about everything but I don't need any help, I deal with it but many don't and I'm aware of just how easy it is for thoughts to take over, I can't imagine how Caroline was feeling at this point in her life. The signs were there, her social media is screaming for help, the sparkle had gone from her eyes in photos. It is all just so sad and an unnecessary loss of life.
I feel the media are very much to blame for this, of course we will never truly know the depth of her mental health state, what actually happened on that evening in December and I guess we never will, but what we do know is the media dragged this poor woman's name through the mud and I was pretty disgusted with the fingers that were pointed at her, the trolling she endured was sickening. Where was the support for her like there was for Ant McPartlin? How did it get to the stage where she felt she needed to end her life, this being the only way out.
Caroline may not have had any mental health issues, of course we make the assumption and are lead to believe that there must have been some concerns there as reports state she was on anti depressants which are a fair indicator of where her state of mind may have been at this point, but it should not have reached the stage where she took her own life, there are some serious questions that need to be asked.
As humans, as grown adults we just aren't very good at talking. Many, including myself keep alot of things close to our chest. For me, I always feel like who wants to hear my woes? I'd hate to drag anyone down when I feel a bit low but really this is the worst thing to do. We should be more open. We should talk more. It is nothing to be ashamed of. This is why there is still this stigma surrounding mental health, depression and everything in between. We should become better at talking, it's good to off load and release some inner demons. We need to become better in self care and recognising when we need help or extra support, it is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of to say do you know what I'm not ok. It's fine to not be coping and it's ok to reach out for help and it's ok to take medication if that helps. It's ok to not be ok.
What's not ok is that a 40 year old woman has taken her own life leaving behind her family, her friends and a vibrant career. She had so much for this world and was clearly loved and adored as the social media tributes for her have shown. If you haven't read them please do. It stands as a good reminder of just how many people you touch through your life without even perhaps realising it. She leaves a legacy behind and Caroline you won't be forgotten and I hope that the media learns from this horrifically sad and traumatic loss of life.
RIP Caroline Flack and thankyou for the Strictly memories, you were one of my favourite contestants ever, thankyou for the summers of love and your vibrant personality. May you have found peace away from this media filled world full of people that take pleasure in being cruel. From one of Caroline's post 'in a world where you can be anything, be kind'.
For anyone needing any support please talk. Visit your GP, self refer to your local mental health service. Call those numbers where there is someone at the end of the line that can help. Please don't suffer in silence.