I wrote the notes, they told the people in my life how much I loved them, that it wasn’t their fault, that I just couldn’t live with the pain anymore. I told them what I wanted them to have of mine, that I didn’t want them to waste money on a big funeral. I was ready.
It feels like a lifetime since I was lying on the cold hard floor of that room but in reality it was less that 18 months ago. I have spoken relatively openly about being sexually abused as a child but something I’ve not shared is that the process of talking about my abuse is relatively new. I had buried the trauma so deeply that I was able to interact with my abuser for man years and it wasn’t until I moved away from where he lived and experienced a rather unpleasant groping incident about 5 years ago whilst on holiday, that it all came out.
Being hit by the wave that is PTSD is something I wasn’t prepared for. There were times where I’d wake up soaked in sweat, tears pouring down my face and my heart beating out of my chest. I would relive the abuse over and over, and there was no sense to when or what would trigger it. I was angry and lashed out at everyone around me, the abuse became clearer in my mind, my adult brain processed the grooming and the manipulation and I felt stupid and disgusted that I hadn’t realised it was happening to me.
I can’t say what led me to sit on that cold hard floor and make the decision to end my life, not because it’s a secret, but because I don’t know. It wasn’t a specific reason, it wasn’t an argument or something that I hadn’t already been dealing with for over 3 years. I just reached my limit, and making that decision felt oddly peaceful. I wasn’t scared, I felt free – like a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
It was my Mum climbing through a window that ‘woke me up’ I saw her physically pushing the things that were blocking it out of the way, it was a storage room and there was a broken heavy tv and boxes blocking the window and this tiny 5ft1 warrior was moving them like they weighed nothing. The sight was so ridiculous to me I laughed, and then I sobbed and sobbed until there were no more tears left inside me.
It was at that moment I realised that the saying ‘suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem’ was true. I was in the sort of mental pain that you can physically feel, I couldn’t see any way through at all and more than that, I was bloody tired, life had beaten me down and I just wanted to close my eyes and make it all go away.
But seeing my Mums eyes, wild like a feral animal desperately trying to protecting her baby changed something inside me. I realised that I wanted to love someone like that one day, to have my own children to love and care for – and that made me realise ‘one day’ wouldn’t come if I gave up now.
So what can we do?
For too long now suicide has been considered taboo, we don’t know a lot about it and it’s generally assumed not a lot of people actually kill themselves.
Did you know:
Men between the ages of 20-49 are more likely to die by suicide than in any other way.
Suicide is the leading cause of death in young people between the ages of 20-34.
Over 6000 people in the U.K take their own lives every year.
I didn’t and I was shocked to discover this when researching suicide in the U.K, it’s the epidemic that we are all too uncomfortable to talk about.
In the last few weeks we have seen a number of high profile individuals, who we are told have everything in the world, end their lives and a lot of people can’t understand why. What could possibly be so bad in their lives that would make them kill themselves?! Don’t they know people are dying of cancer and would do anything to have a second chance? Don’t they realise how selfish it is?
Well the answer is no, when you are at the point of ending your life you don’t realise anything. The only thing you feel is relief at the thought of the pain ending and that’s the brutal truth of it.
After peeling me off of that cold hard floor my Mum got me some help and with the right medication and some major life changes I am on the right path to moving forward with my life. I’m not ‘cured’ and the feeling that life is overwhelming hasn’t gone completely but I cling to the thought of my mums eyes that day, seeing that someone loves you so completely and so fiercely that they would move mountains (or TVs) to protect you is a powerful thing.
I guess I wanted to share this post because I wanted anyone in a bad situation to realise it CAN get better, it’s not easy and I struggle every day but it IS possible. I am aware not everyone has a Mum or anyone they can trust or rely on in that moment of utter despair.
To those people who feel alone, who don’t have anyone to turn to, I can whole heartedly recommend that you call the Samaritans, what they offer (and what I myself have used) is compassion, a non-judgemental sounding board and the skills and experience to help you when you feel completely alone.
People tend to shy away from mental health and because of that when you are struggling a lot of friends pull away, embarrassed and unsure of what to do. If you have someone in your life who is struggling, be PRESENT, don’t leave that phone call until tomorrow, don’t put off that coffee. Turn up at their house and check in, send them funny WhatsApp’s, let them know what they mean to you.
If you are struggling and want to talk in confidence to someone then please contact the Samaritans on 116 123, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you don’t want to or can’t use a phone then please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.