Mental health is not something I used to talk about. I come from a long line of women that have relied on antidepressants at various points in there life. But I always thought that if I just kept getting up, getting on, I could fake my way through it.
Just over a year ago I was put on antidepressants by my gp (for the fourth or fifth time). Only difference was, this time I wanted to try them. I had been through several weeks of emotional pumelling by my ex, all part of his plan to tip me over the edge.
For years he had told me I was ‘mental’, that I needed ‘help’, normally after I had tried to speak to him about the fact he was raping me, or was making me feel shut out of my family, or after he had made me paranoid after watching him flirting with another woman (or man on occasions). If I ever dared have an opinion, or try to make a decision he would immediately undermine me, tell me I was unhinged.
He would make jokes to my children ‘Watch out kids, mum says she’s going to tighten up a screw’, ‘watch out kids, mum wants to drive’, ‘Watch out kids, mum’s had an idea’.
When he finally had me on the ropes, he told me my family would be better off if I was dead. He knew I had tried taking an overdose when I was a teen. I never thought I would ever be back there. But suddenly I couldn’t see any way out. I was consumed by so much pain the only way I could see it stop was if I could die, and anyway, maybe he was right, maybe my family would be better off if I was dead.
So as my youngest child celebrated their birthday with friends, I was in hospital after taking another overdose.
A few weeks later, I disappeared from home. My older child, friends and police searched for me as I sat contemplating which car/bus/lorry/train to jump in front of. I was very lucky that a stranger reached out to me. That brief moment of kindness, the hug from a stranger, a beautiful soul that took the time to tell the sad girl sitting on the bridge that life would get better, it saved my life that day.
There were a couple more attempts over the summer. But then things calmed down.
Two days before Christmas I sat giggling, drinking alcohol, and swallowing pill after pill. Somehow I blacked out before I could take enough, I was gutted to wake up the next morning.
I sat and wrote letters to each member of my family, and my friends. I needed to say goodbye.
Then on Christmas day, I was completely alone, I had a few text messages, but the loneliness was still overwhelming. No one had known that I had tried again, I had failed again. So I called Samaritans, they said they would stay on the phone as I took enough morphine tablets to do it properly this time. My older child came home and heard me, so the police were called. I had failed again.
I don’t want to die, it’s just that sometimes the pain of trying to live outweighs the pain of dying.
I urge you, please try to reach out if you are ever feeling overwhelmed. You don’t have to be suicidal, just in need of being heard. In the UK or ROI call the Samaritans on 116 123, they are there to listen, not judge. They will try to help you find your way through.
And if you ever get the chance to be someone’s Guardian Angel, to reach out, you may just save their life, and they will remember you for the rest of their life.