**** TRIGGER WARNING****
This is going to be quite a painful blog to write I think but I feel it is time to be brutally honest with myself about certain events, well one in particular. Since my counselling I have tried to learn the tricky skill of not burying stuff so deep I can ignore it yet also not dwelling on things. Although I have touched on this several times in other blogs, I think I have avoided really examining it. Something that I know I need to do in order for it to be removed from the “crap” box in my head.
I suppose I never expected a memory to bring back such intense feelings, so when a post popped up on my Facebook memories that reminded me what today is, it has caught me off guard and I am struggling to process it. Hence the blog, getting the words and feelings out of my head, onto paper, well screen, always helps.
OK, what am I on about you must be thinking? Some of you might have guessed maybe, I suppose it depends how much you have read previously or in what way you know me. But this weekend marks 1 whole year since I decided to end my life. Obviously, I was unsuccessful, thankfully! But the whole range of emotions I was feeling at that time came flooding back this morning and if I am honest I am feeling quite overwhelmed. It terrifies me that firstly I was in that frame of mind, to the point I had it all planned out but secondly, that the emotions are still so raw.
I suppose amazes me is how very good I am at hiding how I really feel. No one, not even those closest to me had ANY idea of what was going through my head. No one knew I had pretty much every detail planned, so that it would look like an accident, so my kids wouldn’t know what their Mam had done, that the life insurance would still potentially pay out, so that my husband, kids, family and friends didn’t have to know exactly how much internal pain I was in. That way they wouldn’t dwell on how they could have helped me, they wouldn’t feel guilty that they should have seen the signs or should have known that I wasn’t right. I made sure that although it was obvious I was going through a bit of a bad time at work and I wasn’t in the greatest of moods most of the time, no one knew just how much I didn’t want to exist.
In one way it was pure fluke that what should have happened didn’t, yet in another, like I said in my blog the other day, I believe there is definitely a reason I didn’t die that day. I most most certainly have someone watching over me and to me, to help me feel better, I believe that that is my Nana. She couldn’t let me make such a massive mistake as she could see that there was light coming in my journey. That although my bad days can still be particularly bad, there is always at least some good, even if you have to look extra carefully to find it. That I am not just a fighter, I am a survivor.
Suicide is something that people are still very careful with or even ignorant towards. You hear the usual “selfish” comments and I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I get that. I have even thought similar things myself in my life time. Before I understood. Before I had felt those controlling, mind consuming thoughts where all you can think about is how and when you can do it. If you have never felt such raw pain, if you have never had such loud white noise in your head of the crazy thoughts that just don’t make sense, if you haven’t felt so crushingly desperate to just not exist you cant possibly understand. I would not wish the feelings of loneliness, extreme sadness or even the anger on anyone, not even my worst enemy. The feelings of complete self hatred are brutal, they make you bitter, they twist your perception of reality, they make you honestly believe that the world would be a much happier place without you in it. All you want is silence, you want the pain to stop, the voices to be quiet. You crave nothingness, complete and utter emptiness. No one will help you with this, you believe no one understands you, you feel complete guilt that you are having these thoughts and that how you are as a person is messing up your kids and your family and your friends. You believe you are incapable of being loved. Why would anyone love such a broken shell of a person? How could they? All you bring is misery, bitchiness and anger. You feel like you are ruining peoples lives.
Today, those feelings feel more than just a memory. I am not in that place, I do want to live, I have big plans! But the memories of how I felt, just 365 days ago feel so very real. Like me but not me. I can still remember the determination I had, I can still remember the frustration when what I had planned didn’t happen. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t even get this right! I can still remember going out the next day and getting so mind numbingly drunk I did not give a flying fig what could happen to me. If I numbed it all with booze I knew my mind wouldn’t be in any state to be think. Although I was with very good friends, I put myself into an incredibly dangerous position and I did not care, not one bit.
What I did do though, is be honest. I told my best friend what I had tried to do. Seeing the tears in her eyes really got me, the pleading that I get help and making me promise to NEVER do anything like that again. I pride myself on making promises I know I will keep, although in that moment I think I had kind of a fingers crossed moment going on. I didn’t mean what I said. It was so horrible to see that look in her eyes though and I am glad I told her as if I look back now, it was a turning point. As much pain as I was in, as much as I was hurting so much, I could not hurt those that love me. I may not always feel that I am capable of being loved but I do know I am. These people love me, unconditionally, even when I truly hate myself. I will do anything for those that I love, I couldn’t hurt them in that way.
I cant say the feelings, the thoughts or the desire to die went quickly. It didn’t. If I am honest it took months. But I don’t have them now. I do very occasionally have thoughts of wanting to disappear, but not to die. For me, that is a big improvement and it shows me that no matter how bad I feel on my bad days, I am not in that place anymore. No matter how exhausted I feel just existing, I know that exhaustion is a feeling of being alive. Truly, I am thankful to be alive.
If you are having these thoughts yourself, I ask you, no, I BEG you, to talk to someone. Everyone’s life is worth it. No matter how much you feel it isn’t. If someone talks to you about wanting to end their life, please resist expressing any feelings of disgust or contempt. Please just listen. Sometimes that is all anyone needs. An ear. I know it can feel impossible to understand, especially if the person has kids but I need you to realise, these feelings and thoughts are not a choice. It is a symptom of an illness. They will feel like it is their only way out. They need support and love not judgement. You might not agree, it might be frustrating when you believe they have a good life. They may have a good job, nice house, gorgeous children, lots of friends etc. That does not mean they are immune to ill mental health.
If people could just learn to listen I think a lot more people could be saved. This is my opinion. There may not be a cure for ill mental health as a whole, but I do believe there are ways that could enable a prevention.
Thank you for reading this. I know it wont necessarily have been a nice or easy read and if I have triggered anyone, I do apologise but this is a subject that NEEDS to be talked about. The statistics are becoming terrifying!
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact:
Childline – for children and young people under 19
Call 0800 1111 – the number won’t show up on your phone bill
The Silver Line – for older people
Call 0800 4 70 80 90