The Importance of Being Open – A Blog Dedicated to My Brother Eoin

People often ask me why I am so open about my life, below are some of the reasons.

1695 is a number that will mean nothing to you but to me it signifies the number of days since my life changed forever. It’s the day I woke up to find that my life would never be the same again, it’s the day I started to change the way I looked at my life although I did not know it at the time. That day I woke up to my mother’s screams, my brother had lost his battle with depression. This day has changed me forever.

Soon after Eoin’s death I made the decision to be more open about what was going on in my life, share my stories with others and hopefully help someone else who might be living with Autism or coping with a bereavement like suicide.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my brother Eoin and how he should be here today. I know there is nothing we could have done for Eoin but there are still unanswered questions that scour through my head.

I have lost friends (so called friends) over the last few years, because of me being so open but really, they were never true friends. If you can’t talk about the important things going on in your life, if you must hide stuff, if your friends don’t want to listen then they are not real friends.

What I have gained from being open is new real friends, I know I can call/ text and they will respond, they listen and don’t judge me. It also helps a lot when I am out and about with them and having a bad day as I know they won’t judge me, I don’t need to hide my emotions, I can be me.  Being open helps me feel better about myself when I am in difficult situations. I have found that when I am open with others they also become more open with me.

I will leave you with a link to one of my most favourite songs in the world. A song that means so much to me – Keep Your Head up by Ben Howard I feel it summarises Eoin’s life he might have had a difficult time but I think the positive lyrics in this song summarise his positive attitude towards life despite the bad stuff.

Tips for being more open

Ask your friends how they are?

If someone asks you how you are and you’re not feeling great say so don’t just answer with Grand!

If a friend wants to talk listen to them you don’t have to have all the answers.

Don’t judge people

If you haven’t heard from a friend in a while contact them

Change the way you greet your friends, give a hug not just the opposite sex – I learnt this from a friend, it’s amazing how much it can help you connect

Use other forms of talking if you find it difficult, be it by email or text

Don’t be afraid to show your emotions and have a cry you will feel better after

Codladh sámh Eoin

Sleep well Eoin

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