Originally published 10th September, 2016
This post contains a lot of triggers for many different issues! Please, if you are feeling sensitive – stop reading! Please seek help if you are feeling at risk.
I only realised this afternoon that today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I’m a bit behind, but now I know.
With that knowledge comes a sense of responsibility. A need to add my story, my words, to the many voices out there today.
This is how it happened for me.
About 7 and a half years ago I was in a pretty bad place. I’d gone on medication for depression about 4-5 months ago, I’d lost both my jobs and I’d gone from living in a shared house to lodging with a family, because I couldn’t cope by myself. I was between 7-7.5 stone (98-105lbs) and had started visibly self-harming just in the last month. PTSD and flashbacks weren’t in my vocabulary yet.
The breaking point came when a close friend of mine at the time told me about a recent rape experience. I was only just starting to let my own experiences rise to the surface and this struck just that bit too deep on a number of levels.
The most powerful feeling I remember having? Nothing. I was just numb. I can still see myself going through it as if watching someone else. I was detached from everything and everyone around me and wasn’t thinking of anything except buying the pills.
I took a lot of basic painkillers. Let’s leave it at a lot. Of the many mercies I received that evening: I didn’t take any more than I did; I didn’t take them with any alcohol; I didn’t start taking my anti-depression meds that were lined up next; I had a complete crises of faith.
I was sitting there on my bedroom floor when absolute panic came over me. The only thing I could think was, ‘Where am I going when I die?’ I didn’t know where I was with my faith, with God and whether when this was done with and I wasn’t here, I was going to heaven or hell.
I called a friend. The same friend whose horrific experience I had just heard about. She was the only person I knew who had been through something similar, so I thought would immediately understand and not panic.
It was past 11pm and she and her mum took me to A&E. She sat with me through the waiting, the drs, the throwing up, the questions.
I stayed on an old people’s ward for about 18 hours with a drip. I was discharged after meetings the next day, when I said I was going home with friends.
I thank God and the many good friends around me that that was the one and only time I was in hospital for attempted suicide.
I was asked on that night if I had really wanted to kill myself, or if this was a call for help. At the time, I clearly said that I wanted to die.
Now, I don’t know. I’m not sure if I would actually have fully gone through with it. Maybe in the back of my mind I always knew I could call someone. Maybe somewhere in my self-conscious I was trying to let people know about the sexual abuse when I didn’t have the words.
However much I can reflect back on it now with more perspective, at the time I was so desperate, and wanted to not be in my life so badly, that I tried to kill myself.
I am beyond grateful to God and to my friends then and now that I decided to live and keep on deciding to live every day.
This past week has been so horrible as I have battled yet another trauma from my birth family. I have had moments where I have felt so very desolate that I can’t picture what my life would feel like if I was to carry on.
But I carried on and I’m here.
Despite how far I feel from him or how angry I am with him, no matter how little I understand, I believe that God is here.
Tomorrow my husband and I will have been married for six years. We want to have kids. I have so many happy moments, even if I can’t claim complete days or weeks. I very much want to do some significant things with my life.
I still have moments of completely crushing sadness; moments where the enormity of what’s happened to me overwhelms me.
My overwhelming desire to make a difference to at least a few people is stronger; the enormity of how much I want other people like me to know they’re not alone conquers.
I could have chosen to end my life; I didn’t.
If you need help right now, please phone a friend you trust, call The Samaritans free on 116123 or in emergency call 999 for an ambulance.
Project Semicolon: http://www.projectsemicolon.org/
A semicolon is used when an author could’ve ended a sentence but chose not to.
You are the author and the sentence is your life.
To Write On Her Arms: https://twloha.com/home/
“To Write Love on Her Arms,” also represented a goal – to believe that a better life was possible.