I arrived home, three minutes later, to an empty house in a trance. I couldn’t believe what had just happened.
I kept thinking I’d dreamt it up or imagined it or I’d just watched it happen in a film.
I kept thinking, i’ve got to remember this because the police are probably going to call round any minute and want some details about what happened. So, I started writing it down in my blog.
I wrote it in a daze, i just punched it into the keyboard as fast as i could with very little awareness of what i was actually doing. The whole scenario ticked over and over and over in my mind and I could still smell him. A clear distinctive smell, not a horrible smell just the smell of …………Jordan.
I kept thinking, what would i have done if he’d have jumped? Would i have watched? What chaos would it have caused, to his family, his friends, the motorway, to me? Could he have killed others? I kept thinking he was a boy. So young and he must have been so lost. I kept thinking, where have they taken him? Will he be OK? What is he doing now? Is someone looking after him? I kept thinking, Mike, what the fuck are you doing, sticking your nose in, getting involved in things that do not concern you? Then i got upset. Not sad upset. Angry upset. Then I posted my blog.
48 hours later, i’m sat here still asking questions.
The most important one has been answered. I know that Jordan was taken to hospital and someone from the hospital contacted me to tell me he was safe and well. I don’t want to talk too much about jordan because i feel the need to protect him and his confidentiality even more now than i did on the bridge.
I’m amazed and touched by the reaction to the piece . The messages are countless. Mums whose sons had jumped off Beachy Head, Barton and Brooklyn Bridge, thanking me for saving other mums from the pain they suffer daily. People who have contemplated suicide themselves but were saved in similar situations. Mental health organisations, doctors, psychologists, nurses, CPN’s and most importantly, people who suffer and live with poor mental health.
I have sat and wept so much in the last two days by the kindness of your messages. I’m not shocked by the kindness because amongst the tabloid stories of Grannies being mugged, children raped and mothers murdered, I know that the majority of people who walk this planet, are good, kind, loving people. I also know that life is hard and we suffer tragedy and loss and pain on a daily basis but this pain is eased by love. The love of our wives/partners our kids our families our friends and without that love, it could have been me or you on that bridge.
For those of you who said it was courageous and heroic, I disagree. It was mad. Soldiers are heroic, doctors are heroic, some teachers, social workers, mothers, fathers and grand mothers are heroic. I was just mad and in a state of panic and the only thing on my mind was to save him. In retrospect, i know i put myself at great risk but we can’t just sit and watch, sometimes we have to take risks. Sometimes we have to stand up and be counted and i could not have lived with myself if i’d have driven past to hear later that he jumped. Take risks.
I want to say thank you for every tweet, email, text and blog comment that you have all sent me. They have helped me get through this traumatic time and i apologise in advance that i can not reply to everyone due to the sheer volume. I want to thank Julie Hesmondhalgh and Ian Kershaw for the midnight text messages they sent me at a particularly traumatic ten minutes of the last 48 hours. I want to thank all the press and the BBC for respecting my wishes for privacy especially everyone at the Manchester Evening News. I want to thank the guy on the bike who helped me bundle Jordan over the wet, greasy barrier. I want to thank the doctors, nurses and CPN’s and all people who do an amazing job with people with mental health suffers – you are heroes and like i sad, i’m just mad
If by writing my blog i have caused offence or pain or any sense of injustice to Jordan, his family or any of the 50,000 people who have read my blog, i give you my sincerest of apologies but I am a writer. I write. I write about what happens to me on a daily basis and i try to bring a sense of immediacy and reality to my writing. Look at my previous posts like, I got “started on” last night or Freshly Painted Angels. Look at my poems, they’re about “the here” and “the now”. They are about the streets i walk down every single day, the buses i catch, the people i pass and sometimes my writing is ugly but i still believe there is a beauty to that ugliness and so do the 99.999% who have read the blog and messaged me through, twitter, facebook text and phone. If i had not written this blog post, I don’t know how i would have coped with what happened.
I write because i have to write. If i didn’t write i would be ill. I also have to share my writing, that’s why i work with 10,000 young people a year in the hundreds of schools I visit. I also read in colleges, universities, mental health units, with bands, with John Cooper Clarke, Luke Wright, Paul Morley because i have to. That’s why i write books and make CD’s so that i can share my thoughts, ideas and situations and somehow by sharing, I feel better.
I know that my blog post has helped a lot of people, i know it made them cry but sometimes crying helps. Reading Helps. It is a shared intellectual experience where one person shares a small part of their mind with another person and thanks to blogging and twitter etc the reader can respond and comment. Please, continue to read and comment- encourage your kids/friends/family to read my poems and the array of brilliant poets this city and this country have produced – beause for a lot of us – reading and writing is our way out.
God is a Manc