Openly talking about depression #3 – The nasty reality of suicide

I try to take at least a 2 minute silence every day for the people I’ve lost in my life. My first encounter with suicide was when my best friend killed herself when I was 12 years old. She was 13 nearly 14. The age gap between me and my sister meant at that age she was at University and Sian was like a surrogate sister to me, she made sure I was fine and she looked after me at school and she was the missing piece in my life. We went through Brownies and Girl Guides together and we went on camping trips and I could never have asked for a better friend. She helped me with homework and we’d build dens and she would make people know that if they upset me that they had to deal with her.

When we moved from primary school she was being bullied for her nationality by some girls in her year and then all of a sudden she was gone. I’d moved to a different school and I found out she’d left us when I got home and one of my friends was banging on my door and crying. My world shattered, this strong, ethereal being that had so suddenly come into my life and been like family had as quickly been dragged away.

It’s a weird age to comprehend that someone could push another human being so far that they only had one way out. I didn’t understand that people didn’t consider the consequences of their actions. I’d been bullied, and a lot of people go through it so I knew the misery, and in my head I thought it had to have been 100x worse for her to have been that sad. I presumed it was the amount of bullying that had done it and the severity, not that her inner conflict would be a drastic part in it.

I learnt that in High School, the bullying could be a day or a month or one comment but that is going to spiral within you so intensely that the amount isn’t the one cause. I’m not saying bullying isn’t sadistic and immature, just that some people mentally can deal with it better than others. I was threatened a lot at High School by a couple of girls, I’d never known misery that deep, not sadness, but complete isolation and self loathing, ‘why me’ ‘why now’ ‘am I that easy to put down.’ The lame thing is those girls probably don’t even remember it, and if they do then I forgive them and hope they matured into wonderful adults that have worked off that bad karma and those insecurities.

High School was the first time I’d considered killing myself. Not a ‘I’m so sad I want to die’ but a ‘this is when everyone’s out of the house, here are the letters to my family, fuck this’

Suicidal thoughts come in waves, and then you start getting inventive, and it becomes so natural. That’s the scariest part of depression and mental health problems, it is your normal, you don’t know any other way of thinking, because it’s probably always been there, so you have a day you’re ready to throw yourself out of a car? That’s standard because you considered it last week. I don’t know what it’s like to not want to kill myself, how wild is that?

I’ve lost 2 people in my life to suicide. I’ve seen the devastation it’s caused, I’ve seen the grief and the loss and although I’m stubborn, I somehow still can’t let myself do that to other people. I may convince myself they wouldn’t care but I’ll be damned if I ever put my mum, dad, or sister through that kind of sadness. Because it’s my sadness, mine to carry and mine to resolve, not mine to spread to the people I love. They may help carry the burden and they may get exhausted but I would never pass it over to them, I won’t hand it over and say “HERE, this is yours now because I am done with it”

Everyone’s seen suicide statistics for their country, everyone knows it’s a problem and especially among young people. I celebrated my 18th birthday without my best friend because she couldn’t physically go on anymore and now we’re in a time where people are more open and freely talking about their problems and I don’t want anyone to have to go through that too. I don’t want anyone to think they’re being silenced or wouldn’t get taken seriously. If you are ready to throw in the towel and call it quits then you don’t have to keep quiet. No one would judge you.

Openly talking about depression #1 – How I told my mum.

We were built as warriors and we deserve the life given to us.

I really wanted to get this one out of the way, because it was me hitting my rock bottom that made me tell my mum. I actually ended up telling her when she was working away, and I told her via email. I can’t remember why I told her or how it even came up, I just remember being on my bedroom floor and crying for an eternity and then emailing her expecting that to fix it. I deal with my fair share in life, anxiety and depression, what some would refer to as manic depression, what others refer to as a multitude of things.IMG_4352.JPG

I don’t remember what I said to my mum about it, I just remember the situation vividly, I remember telling her I wanted to kill myself and that was probably the worst part, I remember waiting for a reply, I remember her kind of tiptoeing around me for a long time and treating me like I was fragile. I remember going for a meal in London with my mum, her work friends, and my sister and I remember my mum telling me she’d told my sister. I remember it making me want to throw up. I don’t know who else she told in the family, but knowing my mother, probably everyone but they’ve never mentioned it.

Telling my parents stuff has always been weird, we’re a very open family, I’ve cried on my mum about boys and my dad’s seen me beyond drunk but it feels like the real heartbreaking stuff just isn’t what we talk about. How do you tell the woman who gave birth to you that you don’t think you’re good enough for the life she put herself through hell to give you. If you’re me, then you send her a 3 page email about how you can’t even get in a car anymore without wanting to open the door and throw yourself out.

Due to various anxieties I’d lost a lot of friends, my depression made me lash out as well which didn’t help, I had a lot of anger and a lot of resentment for the people that seemed to be comfortable with who they were. I couldn’t understand why I was so, I guess, empty all of the time. I hated how I looked, I hated who I was, I hated everything and it was a dark place to be. If I wasn’t resenting people then I was just a zombie, by the time I’d got myself to a point where there was no need to even turn on my phone anymore I was 70 ft deep in a pit of self hatred, sadness and despair with no other way out. I just had this constant nagging in my head that told me the easiest solution was to end it. Since I had no friends to talk to, mixed with the worst emotional breakdown of my life, I think I just went into autopilot and emailed her, part of me thought maybe I’d just do it while she wasn’t home and the email would be some form of explanation as to why. I honestly still don’t know why I sent it, but I’m glad I did. I may even try and search for it actually, reflect on how far I’ve come as a person.

I can’t say that for everyone telling your parents or siblings or friends is going to make you feel better, but I know for a fact, on that night, if I hadn’t got all of that off my chest and talked to someone that I wouldn’t be here now. I was in such a dark and desperate place, and I am grateful everyday that even in that state, my subconscious kind of went into survival mode. After all of the hell there was still a part of me that was like “no fuck this you’ll get through it” even if I couldn’t hear it or feel it, it was there.

I love my mum and my family, and I remember the reply making me cry more, but I guess a different kind of sad crying, if anyone would understand that. She was supportive and I imagine very concerned, and maybe I did just need to hear that I wasn’t alone even if I was convinced I was. I remember the struggle, every day after I had to actively try and make sure I never hit that point again, I never wanted to feel that again, I didn’t want hurting myself to be the only way to be in control of my own thoughts. I didn’t want the only solution to be a permanent one. Everyone fights it on a daily basis, everyone copes in their own way, but I think collectively, a majority of people can and will benefit from talking about it, to anyone, like I did. It may have been my mum but it was still an email.

I urge anyone reading this who is struggling with something right now to talk about it, or even just write it down, there are charities and organisations made just to deal with these kind of things if you’re concerned about talking to someone close to you. You can talk to me.

For me, realising I had nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of was a big help, depression is a problem, mental health should always be a priority and I have made it that in my life, it’s number 1. I wanted to kill myself and I am far from embarrassed to admit that.

I’m in no way saying or even insinuating that I’m depression free or even in control of this one, it still comes around, reminds me it’s there, but that nagging voice is a mere whisper now compared to the screaming that it used to be. Surrounding yourself with positive people and positive things is always the best option, have your own mantra, pick a book that you’ll read when you’re feeling low to lift you back up. Do not be afraid to speak up. Other people are going through something similar and there’s always someone who has your back no matter what. You are not a burden. You are loved. It will pass. You are wanted and you are strong. It will get easier to handle. We were built as warriors and we deserve the life given to us.ॐ