I’ve spoken about my past with self harm, which you can read here if you would like, but my past with suicidal thoughts and attempted suicide is a topic that nobody in my life really knows about.
After my dads death I was riddled with guilt, grief and pain. It was a lot for a 12 year old to go through. I was at that age where I knew what had happened and understood what had happened, but I couldn’t understand how to cope with the aftermath. A couple of years after and I still wasn’t coping with it. To my friends and family I tried my best to put on a brave face, but when I was on my own I would collapse. I used to walk home from school with one of my friends who I knew since I started primary school. We would arrive at her house first and then I’d walk a further 5 minutes to my house. I sometimes spent those 5 minutes crying. I knew I would be the first one who arrived home, therefore I knew as soon as I closed my house door behind me, I knew I could release all those tears, pain and not have to worry about my mum or brother seeing me so low. I knew as soon as I walked through that door, my dog would be there for me, so I knew I wasn’t completely alone. I felt better having him see me like that than anyone else. I felt like I wasn’t completely hiding my emotions and I knew he wouldn’t tell anyone else. He didn’t know or ask why I was crying. All he did was just be there for me and offer his love and support.
Things started to get tough at school. My GCSE’s were coming up and I felt so lost in my life, to the point where I couldn’t picture a future for myself. I was in a dark place, and I didn’t want to turn to anyone about it. A few years prior to this I had made a friend called E. We used to have horse riding lessons at the same yard but sadly she eventually moved away. Our friendship was mostly virtual anyway, but because of that I found it a lot easier to open up to her than to people who were physically in my life. That and she had her own battles she was fighting also.
One evening, after a shit day at school I got home and I couldn’t show any emotion. I remember being sat in my room staring at the floor with just a blank expression on my face. Physically, I didn’t feel like I was existing. I knew I was there, but I didn’t feel in tune with my body. I didn’t feel human, I just felt like a lump bone and muscle. That’s when the thoughts started going round my head. It started with asking myself what was the point? I didn’t see a future so what was the point carrying on with this pain if it was all gonna be for nothing? After a while I just thought fuck it. I had convinced myself that there was no point in my existence. I had no reason to be alive. The pain was too much for me. We only have the one bathroom in our house, so I asked my mum and brother if they needed the bathroom before I ran myself a bath. Seeing and speaking to them, knowing what I had planned didn’t change anything. I was just blank. I didn’t feel anything. I went to the bathroom, ran myself a bath. Normally I have candles, bubbles and the lights turned off with some music playing but this time it was just warm water in the tub. I knew full well what I had planned. I undressed myself and got in the bath. I lay there for a few minutes. Just still. The thoughts started going through my head again. I took a deep breath in and submerged my head under the water. For a moment I felt peaceful. I felt lighter and for that moment I felt like I was doing what I needed to do. After what felt like minutes (but was probably about 20 seconds) I could hear my mum walking upstairs, I could hear my brother watching TV in his bedroom and I could hear my dog running around downstairs and what I was doing sunk in. The aftermath that they would have to deal with hit me. The grief that I had seen them endure with my dads death, they would have to go through again for mine. The thought of me leaving my dog behind it all hit me and I opened my eyes and launched my head out from under the water. Everything was fuzzy at first, so I sat there in the water for a while, thinking about everything I was so certain of doing. For the first few moments I was angry at myself for not going through with it. Then I felt selfish. I felt even more guilty and I probably felt worse than what I did before, but it made me feel alive. It made me realise that I do have people in my life worth living for and that do love me.
A few days after, I messaged my friend E and told her what had happened. I was able to open up to her about everything in my life without having the fear of being judged. She was everything I needed. My angel in disguise. My dog offered me the comfort and love that I wanted without all the questions and E gave me the advice and understanding that I needed to feel wanted in this world. I still remember the very first message she ever sent to me. We didn’t know each other but she asked me if I went to Ryders Farm EC, where we both had our horse riding lessons and the conversation went from there and our virtual friendship went from there. I’m very lucky and blessed to have someone like her in my life, and to whoever else can call her a friend, you are very lucky, but I know not everyone has someone like her in their life. I know when it comes to suicide people can have very different views.
In my old place of work we would have random conversations and one day the conversation of suicide came up and one of my work colleagues expressed how she was adamant suicide was a selfish act and I sat there in disgust. It’s disgusting how shallow minded people can be these days, and yet they wonder why so many people commit suicide. What also grinds my gears is how people only truly pipe up about the subject when a celebrity or well known person commits suicide. Oh and another thing that winds me up is certain peoples opinions to men and suicide. Over many years most men have grown up thinking that they shouldn’t cry, they can’t wear pink or that vulnerability is a weakness. It’s all bullshit. At the end of the day WE ARE ALL HUMANS. We all deal with things differently and we will all go through a mental struggle at some point in our lives, whether we admit it or not. Nobody truly knows what someone is thinking or fighting in their head. Our brains are both kind and cruel and it’s sad knowing what our brains are capable of doing to us and what they can convince us, but at no point is suicide a selfish act. If you are like me and attempted it but felt selfish afterwards, that doesn’t make you a selfish person. For me I thought my life was already over, so I just thought what was the point in carrying on? For others they might feel like a burden to their friends or family. For some they might think they are alone in a busy life. Suicide can be for any reason. Everybody is different, but in my opinion I don’t think anybody truly confesses there suicidal thoughts to others (if they have thoughts like that of course). We live in a world where we are all constantly being judged, sometimes belittled or under minded, yet we wonder why suicide is so common and why people don’t open up about it beforehand. For me, they fear of someone just not understanding it or spreading my confession around like gossip was enough for me to keep it to myself till I met E. It’s so easy to mask pain and hurt these days, but just take 5 minutes out from your day to message your friends, just to let them know you are there for them. Whether you know or suspect they are fighting their own battle or do it just to be kind. It doesn’t cost anything and you could provide someone with so much light in their life when they feel stuck in a black hole. It doesn’t take much.
I’d like that thank those who have taken the time to read this as this is the first I’ve ever properly spoken about the subject. I’d like to say sorry to those closest to me who didn’t know and I’d like to say I am here if anyone who ever needs a chat, laugh or just someone to listen to whilst you rant, I’m here.
I love you all so much,