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05 September 2014
An enormous need for discussion
Source : Aftenposten
Translated by Tef Johs (www.lene-marlin.info)

Lene Marlin (34) wrote a totally honest chronicle about mental problems and suicide attempts in Aftenposten. The response has been overwhelming.

"I have been seen crying on TV...Those tears don't make me feel ashamed, I know I should have cried them a long time ago".

This is what artist Lene Marlin wrote in a chronicle in Aftenposten on Tuesday this week. There she told about her mental problems following the breakthrough as a pop star in 1999, and openly and honestly about more than one suicide attempt.

Enormous need

The reactions from people on the street, on the internet, and on the telephone, from young and old, from known and unknowns, from people who are struggling and their relatives, from the everyday guy and from professionals within the health service, they all tell her that yes, she did the right thing by tellling her whole story now.

- I had hoped for a certain level of involvement, but never in my wildest imagination had I believed it would be like this. The response has been overwhelming from every corner. I am indeed surprised, but this only shows that there is an enormous need for discussing this topic, Lene Marlin says.

- What is making the stronger impression now in the aftermath are two things. There are all those who say "I'm not exactly there that I'm thinking about ending my own life, but I can recognize myself in all the other things you write about, about the unbearable pressure and the expectations". And then there are all those who say that "because you dare to speak about this loudly, I too will now".

- This was just the effect I had hoped for with this chronicle.

- What do you think about professionals saying that you have saved lives?

- This...this...again, I had hoped that the chronicle would have an effect. However, now I'm just a bit lost for words.

Nothing negative

Aftenposten is meeting her yesterday afternoon. Lene Marlin says that the messages started to pour in on her phone one minute after the chronicle had been put out on the newspaper's web pages and her own Facebook page simultanously on Monday evening.

Before an hour has passed, over 430 persons had left a comment on her page. The following evening she was a guest on Dagsrevyen.

- I didn't see that one coming, to put it like that. I have not experienced one single negative thing this week, everything has been just nice. I have been carrying this story and the chronicle for so long, and I knew the whole time that it was necessary to write it as personal and direct as I did. If I was to tell, I had to convey the feelings deep to the bone, says Marlin.

In all the praise she has received, the majority speaks about how brave she is.

- I was never afraid to write and share it, because I don't feel ashamed about my own story. The words in it did never feel like too much, and the feedback confirms this. That something which back then felt like the most difficult thing in my life could be helping others, you could never know.

The discussion moves on

After four-five days that feel like at least two weeks, Lene Marlin is happy that the discussion about mental problems, suicide, and the society's pressure and demands are beeing lifted up anew.

- Now there have been started a debate about an important topic, and that makes me incredibly happy. I'm hoping that people could be taking a break, thinking "what am I doing, am I really to be chasing around and be working myself to death for being perfect?". I know that many have been seeking help after the chronicle's release, and the word that I'm most of all is hearing and feeling is gratitude, Marlin says.

Now she is pleased that the discussion moves on without her.

- I was the one telling, but it's not my story that is the central thing here, because this regards so many of us. I understood that the focus would be heavily on me this week, but it's the message that it's the more important thing here, Lene Marlin says.

In the chronicle on Tuesday she did indeed write straight out, in a call to everybody who thinks life is difficult: "Please hang on for just a little longer and hear this; it will all be worth it!"


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