It’s been a little while since I last wrote but I felt really compelled to write something today. I, like many others, did not know Caroline Flack. I was an Instagram follower, a brief Love Island fan and just someone who saw a pretty woman on TV and thought – ‘she seems nice’.
When I found out she’d taken her own life, I was incredibly saddened and shocked. I remember feeling the same way when Chester Bennington from Linkin Park took his life in 2017.
I couldn’t help but go through all the tributes on Twitter and Instagram. I read news article after news article, trying to unpick how and why something like this could happen to someone who in Caroline’s case seemed so, well, happy.
I think the reason why it hit me so hard is because I suppose like many people, I have been to some dark places. I’ve felt hopeless and alone, and I’ve managed to come out of it and see another day. I’m thankful for that, but it could’ve so easily gone another way.
In Caroline’s case, going on another day must not have seemed possible and that is so sad.
Whenever I’ve been in a bad place, I’ve often been able to step away from social media – keep my head down and just take some time for myself. I don’t believe Caroline was allowed to do that.
I couldn’t possibly imagine what it is like to be in the public domain, under so much constant scrutiny. Sometimes, the thoughts that we manufacture in our own heads torture us over and over again. I couldn’t imagine taking on the thoughts and opinions of thousands of others too.
We’re only a few unfortunate incidents away from having our life turned upside down. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to others to remind people of their worth and their value. No one should face those dark days alone.
Caroline posted on her Instagram a quote: ‘in a world where you can be anything, be kind’.
I think we owe that to Caroline and all the other victims of suicide, bullying and harassment to live by those words.
Rest in peace.