Vincent Byrne

Cycle Against Suicide Day 1

Dublin – Navan.
Packing the car and putting the bike on the roof her name was carried in the wind. Arriving at the start in Westmanstown her name was on our lips and in our hearts. Doreen, mama CAS, is no longer with us but her spirit was here. There was not a minutes silence for Doreen but a minutes applause as her name reverberated around the large complex, spoken with respect, with loss. She is missed but we continue to pursue this cause to which she gave so much.

Today we met, old friends and new friends, together, shoulder to shoulder determined to break the Cycle of suicide and to end the stigma around our emotional wellbeing. We met, those of us scarred with loss, those of us who have been visited by the dark night, those of us fighting back, searching for light, with hope and solidarity that we might bring about social change on our island.

Today was a gentle introduction with only a half days cycling in pleasant weather. Nearing Dunsaughlin there was a poignant reminder of the reason for this cycle as the coastguard rescue helicopter hovered overhead for some moments. These first responders showing support for the orange cavalcade.

The American writer Ann Lamont has written “hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up, and try to do the right thing the dawn will come”.

We set out in the dark of morning and showed up, trying to do the right thing to end the stigma of mental ill health so that a new dawn will come in which it is ok not to feel OK and it is absolutely OK to ask for help.

Day 1