Facing the Dark
A journey into suicide
Molly originally came from Alaska where it is 24/7 dark in winter and where she lived out in the tundra that in winter dropped to extremely cold temperatures below zero.
There is a lot of mental illness in dark winter latitudes. Be it in Scandinavia, Russia or Canada. Called Seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Her husband Charlie was a talented movie editor - and after they got married moved to Los Angeles, where she realised that he had some health issues so they decided to come to NZ where life would be less hectic and because they wanted to come to ‘the land of milk and honey’.
Unfortunately, after 6 months here he took his life leaving Molly and 4 daughters to survive the best way they could. This heart breaking event took her on a path of soul searching as well as the path that she is on today, to help people who felt suicidal. Whilst at the same time bringing up her 4 girls - the oldest being 12 and the youngest being 6 year old twins.
She tells of how she then decided to open up and talk about suicide and be open and candid about it - which in secular NZ is not the norm. She says that it was by being totally honest with herself and looking it straight in the eye and say - this is what happened to my family - how can I help others? Which really launched her on a pathway to health.
This included the way she talked to her daughters about Charlie’s suicide and that people came around and supported her in her open, honest approach. She also said that she was a Catholic by upbringing - that in the Catholic world, to commit suicide was to basically go straight to hell. So there was a lot of shame involved and the challenge for a mother with 4 daughters was to face everything head on and create a new life for her and her girls. Even though there is a lot of stigma around mental illness today.
Molly talks about being vulnerable in NZ’s culture and feels that is is important that we talk out our feelings when a situation like suicide happens to us.
Like with Brene Brown in her Ted Talks - that we need to share more openly and we need to ask for help. NZers seem to not ask for help, however if they did, we as a nation would be much more aware and supportive of the mental health conditions in our country. That we are somewhat entrenched in being stoic and not communicating our needs to the large community.
Another important point in this whole conversation with Molly is the adage that goes back millennia but more recently to Teihard de Chardin - that says ‘we are spiritual beings having an earth experience’.
That our body is just a conduit for a higher spiritual presence.
We are all conduits, and that we have been conditioned to not understand what the meaning of being a conduit is.
That when children come into the world they are also souls - here to learn and grow into the light for their own true selves.
In her practice as a ‘wellbeing coach’ - Molly has many children come to her and around 80% of these visitors to her practice are under 20 years of age.
The necessity to instil in them that they are more than their physical body of flesh, bones and blood.
That there is an essence, that though unseen - is like our breath that too, is unseen, but though invisible is a force that keeps us alive.
That many children today are under such strain and stress - that they see life as not meaningful, and thus suffer from total loss of meaning …
In tossing out religion - but more so in our country, Christianity - ‘we have thrown the baby out with the bath water.’
There are thousands of instances of people having ‘out of the body’ to ‘near death experiences’ for us to realise that there is far more than we ever thought possible.
The fact that science has become so focussed on studying physicality - that they have not been unable to find God through the Hubble telescope or find the soul through the most powerful electron microscopes - does not mean that God or a higher presence does not exist - is that we have not calibrated our measuring devices to a high enough degree.
We have to realise we all have set backs and down times - but this is all part off our growing and learning … and that after a fall, we have to climb back on our horse and carry - on wiser from the experience. Yet, still being able to love the world and love ourselves - which is a profound character building exercise.
That in reality we have untapped inner resources that once we know how to access our true nature we can get through most things … becoming resilient and inner resourced.
Being there for your/our children and holding the (Loving) space for them to be who they are.
To be able to show up for our children in the best version of ourselves - every day.
Men and boys in particular in todays society do not have the vocal skill to express themselves. They are in need of a greater vocabulary and vernacular to express their feelings.
Your children are not broken- they are struggling - your husband is not broken - he is struggling too…
Listen and hear how Molly shares her vulnerabilities and ways in which we can all share our vulnerabilities - especially once the ‘field’ is set …
You are not a victim - listen to how Molly shares how we can empower ourselves out of this limiting mindset and social stigma.
With the highest youth suicide in the OECD - this makes NZ the land of milk and honey incongruent with its name tab.
More Governmental Attention to Empowering and Educating Youth
Molly wants to see more pockets of support beyond family and into the community and government at all levels - in health and education across the whole spectrum of what Government oversees including all institutions (prisons) as well.
Mike King’s name comes up and he is doing a brilliant job - however there needs to be far more support so that young NZers especially males do not resort to such desperate means as to take their own life - solely because they feel too ashamed or disempowered to call out for help and let people know of their plight.
This has got to change - all the hopes of Mums and Dads - dashed - because their young child who they held in their loving arms as a baby - has taken his/her life - because they had no one to relate to - this has to change - and this has to be addressed across the country - and to even be an election issue - headed - “What about our Youth?”.
This has to become a mainstream issue and a societal matter and we need to ask - what are the platforms to tackle this? That have to be in place - but are not there?
What are the structures that we need in place. Plus the importance of a nationwide conversation on this most concerning of issues.
With ‘boundaries’ becoming absent in so many homes, and ubiquitous TV violence and soft porn and titillation - what does it do to young open minds?
Children and social media - 7 hours day per day - filling themselves with irrelevant ‘stuff” that lacks wisdom and depth.
Molly asks, why can we not show the wholeness of humanity - our co-creative strength and resilience and of empowering and uplifting us all - by inspiring us to realise we are a global family with the capacity to grow together in support of each other.
We need to keep our children away from media that is terrifying and uncertain. Not left sitting in front of the 6pm news on a large TV screen.
Missing in this interview. We did not mention web sites that kids go to and music that children listen to - and the lyrics that can drive children to suicide.
Mindfulness what is it and how can we be more encompassing of other people, especially children who need to feel safe and secure?
We have also lost the ability to trust in something bigger than ourselves
Mentioned was the Labour Governments “Wellbeing Budget” - This is to be a major game changer - because the well being of NZers is to be factored onto the NZ budget.
https://www.labour.org.nz/wellbeingbudget - This is a follow on what is happening in Bhutan a small independent kingdom on the south-eastern slopes of the Himalayas.
Medically, there is no known gene for depression.
We as a community have to find community based solutions as to why are our children committing suicide. The fact that NZ is a world renown sporting country - however we need to curtail the competitiveness and have as an option that you may only want to play for fun and relaxation.
We have to have greater mindfulness as a society
We adults have to model - balance - relaxed ways to our children - however, we have to work on ourselves first - make the environment safe for children to talks and share their feelings - as well as things that hurt as well.
Sir Peter Gluckman the Science Advisor to John Key’s National Government of three terms brought up the horrendous statistics of NZ’s youth society - however both the media and NZ’s politicians, across the board did not get in and support his query as to what were the causes of this tragedy here in NZ. In speaking with a senior person for mental health - he mentioned that this subject was possibly too shameful and embarrassing for the front pages of the news.
An excellent interview for parents wanting to understand their children, especially if they find them withdrawn and uncommunicative.
Molly’s web site - www.beyondthecourse.co.nz
Facing the Dark
A Journey into Suicide
“We must always remind children that within them resides an inner candle. That the imperative is to keep this candle burning strongly for the whole of our life.”
It's just been published on Amazon.com.
Facing The Dark: A Journey Into Suicide by Molly Ireland
On February 21st -28th, 2020 her kindle version of the book will go on sale on amazon.com for .99 cents (USD) and all proceeds will go to Skylight Trust, whose CEO Heather Henare wrote the foreword to my book. She is trying to spread the word about this as far and wide as she can to raise money for this amazing Wellington-based organisation. Skylight was instrumental in helping her and her four I recover from losing her husband to suicide in 2007 after immigrating to New Zealand only six months previously.
However now people will have to go to her website to support it:
Long story but Amazon (apparently at the request of the NZ govt) has blocked the purchase of my kindle version as of yesterday. You can buy it if you have an IP outside if this country but not here. This is a big problem for my fundraising. It also doesn’t make sense and I’ve spent 2 days trying to get answers from both Amazon and NZ.
We will continue with GreenplanetFM repeats for the remainder of February. Thank you.