Warning: this post may be distressing or triggering to others with mentions of suicidal tendencies and self harm. This however does not involve graphic details and is not romanticizing suicide in any way.
I’m not writing this post for sympathy or attention, but I am sharing my own experience with Suicide as someone who’s attempted it before, talked others out of attempting, and lost a friend to suicide. I will be speaking openly and honestly because it can help others to understand and to hopefully see it’s ok to speak out and get help when they need it.
1 in 4 people will experience mental health issues, and suicide is the biggest killer in men aged 45 and younger. I hope in writing this post it can open the closed minds of people, allow them to understand what it’s like, and to help those who are fighting a silent war against themselves.
2011 I was hospitalized due to an overdose and self harm. It was one of the worst days of my life, but also the day I opened my eyes.
For a while I had felt my mood slipping lower and lower, I was in a terrible relationship and hated everything about myself. I had been secretly self harming and I spent a lot of time crying or feeling totally numb. The bad relationship ended really messy, and it was the straw that broke the camels back. I walked through town in tears and went into my work place to find my then good friends (who I’ll call B and SB). I sat and cried with them for a while, full of self hate and self blame. I remember I suddenly stopped crying, and went numb with a plan going round my head. I told B and SB I was going home, to which B said “promise me you won’t do anything stupid”…a promise I soon broke.
I got home and put on an Evanescence album quite low, poured myself a pint of blackcurrant squash and placed it on the table. It was like I had turned into a robot on auto pilot. I went into my bathroom and I proceeded to self harm. I then went back to my bed, got some blankets and sat at the end of the bed near the table. I counted as I emptied tablets into my hand and placed them all onto the table. I began to write short letters to those I loved, saying sorry and that they’ll be better off without me around to worry about etc. I whole heartedly believed everyone in my life would be better off without me, and that they could happily live without me in the way. This of course, is not true irs just what my mind had tricked me into thinking. I began to tame the pills, counting each one as I swallowed it. Once the tablets had gone, I curled up on the end of my bed, got myself comfy under my blankets and closed my eyes. My plan was to just peacefully fall into eternal sleep, but that’s not how overdoses work. I remember feeling light headed, my stomach knotted tightly, so tight I couldn’t sit up straight, my chest became very painful, breathing was difficult and my speech was slurred along with having blurred vision. That was the moment my eyes opened and I realised what I had done and that I didn’t want to die. I was back in the ‘real world’ and Ikea’s terrified. I somehow managed to call B, and he knew straight away what I’d done- he called and ambulance and quickly closed the shop up to run to my flat with SB. I managed to get myself into the bathroom and throw up a few times, all I kept thinking was “I don’t want to die”. I then had a call from the ambulance service who stayed on the phone to me until B, SB and the ambulance arrived. I was scared and so disappointed in myself, but the paramedics were understanding and kind. I managed to walk down to the ambulance, B and SB cane with me- I don’t really remember much about the journey, just that I’d go in and out of consciousness and felt really sick. B had phoned my mum who was at the hospital waiting with my nan- I remember their faces being white as snow and their eyes full of worry. I was then treated in hospital, kept in over night and had to attend counselling sessions.
I was lucky I snapped out of the state I’d got myself into and managed to call for help. Thinking back, I should of asked for help before it happened rather than ignoring it and not getting the support I needed. To be in that frame of mind is terrifying it’s like you’re not in control of yourself anymore, that a dark shadow takes over your mind and rewires it to make you believe you’re worthless and fish everyone would be happier without you. It’s a feeling of pure desperation and having no idea what to do anymore. I wouldn’t wish that feeling of torture on my worst enemy even for a moment. I haven’t self harmed or attempted suicide again since. I am stronger now then I was back then.
I still have the soft toy I had with me in hospital, and my hospital wrist band around it’s neck to remind myself that I survived the darkest moment of my life, and that I am strong and I can live and be happy. It reminds me of how scared I was and that I never want to do that again- there is ALWAYS help available from somewhere.
That day has helped me realise that if I need help I need ton speak out and not be afraid to do so. It has also allowed me to understand mental health better and be able able to help others who are struggling because I have an insight to the darkness it’s possible to feel (that in mind, everyone’s experience is different, but most people find it easier to talk to someone who at least gas some form if understanding) I myself have managed to successfully help others with their mental health, simply by listening, not judging, understanding and allowing them to feel comfortable enough to open up to me knowing they can trust me. I’ve always been told I’m easy to talk to about anything, which is a trait I’m glad I have. I never repeat to anyone what I’ve been told in confidence, the only time I involve others is when I believe they are in danger and need immediate help if I can’t get there myself.
As I mentioned, when you’re feeling suicidal you believe everyone would be better off without you. This is far from the truth. Everyone has at least one person who would miss them. Think for a moment about how you’d feel if the person you love the most died suddenly- you’d be heartbroken wouldn’t you? Well that’s how your loved ones would feel if you died…but worse. They would beat themselves up blaming themselves wishing they had realised you needed help, and in some cases they could even take their own life- you wouldn’t want someone you care about feeling that low and desperate would you?
Is not a coward way out either, it take a lot of bravery to harm yourself or kill yourself, it’s not something that’s easily done.
If you suspect someone you know is struggling with any form of mental health issue, the best thing you can do is be trustworthy and non judgmental, and without smothering them be there for them as much as possible (and stick to it!) Even just going to a GP appointment with them could help them sew they have your support. Be patient, it may take them a while to open up to you, but stick with them, everyone needs at least one person they can trust.
Men quite often find it harder to talk about feelings and emotions than what females do. Society seems to portray the image of men bring strong protectors that don’t have emotions. This is wrong. Having feelings and emotions doesn’t make you any less of a man, it takes a strong man to show emotion, so please don’t be afraid to speak out whatever gender you are.
There are various mental health services available to call/email/visit, if you just Google it for where you live you’ll find the relevant services. Also your GP isn’t here to help you, if you feel your GP isn’t listening or understanding then visit a different doctor. There is always someone available to help you, whether it’s friend, family, charities, GPs or even strangers. Don’t be afraid to speak out, make yourself heard. Mental health doesn’t make you any less of a person.
🔹immeamy, you’re you, and that’s the best way to be🔹