(Disclaimer: Any views or opinions in this interview are personal and belong solely to the interviewee. Please, seek professional support from your GP or counsellor if you are having thoughts of self-harm or suicide or if you have been diagnosed with a mental health condition and finding it difficult to cope)
Tell me what life is like for you now?
Good, life is good. I feel good in myself, more comfortable in my own skin. I believe more in myself and have the skills to process things as they come up. I don’t let things build up anymore which is really important. I have surrounded myself with good friends, real friends, where we are able to talk to each other about things, life, work, and fun, just anything really. If I feel things are building up I go to my counsellor for a few sessions. I am taking better care of my mental health in general.
What was life like back then?
Then I didn’t talk to anyone. I was reared in a secretive family so it wasn’t ok to talk about things. If you had something bothering you, you kept it to yourself. I found it really hard to express myself. It’s funny really, when I talk about myself back then it’s like I am talking about a completely different person, that’s how much life has changed for me which is great.
How long had you been feeling unwell? What sort of feelings were you having?
I hadn’t been feeling great with a really long time. It got worse gradually but I didn’t talk to anyone about what was going on with me, I kept it all to myself. I remember feeling very alone, depressed, anxious and worried. Not that I could identify those feelings but I do remember being worried about the future a lot. I wasn’t sleeping or eating well and drank too much alcohol regularly which didn’t help.
Tell me about the suicidal thoughts.
I had been having suicidal thoughts for a long time, for a good few months. I was in pain, not a physical pain that most people can relate to. It was an emotional pain that I thought would never end. I just wanted it to STOP. It started with flashing thoughts of wanting to die. I didn’t think beyond that, I didn’t think about who would find me or how they would be afterwards, I couldn’t. That’s the thing when you are feeling suicidal, you aren’t thinking with a clear, rational mind. Every thought is muddled up on repeat in your head.
I didn’t even have a plan of how I was going to take my life, it was just thoughts at this stage. If I had talked to someone it might not have led to the suicide attempt. But I didn’t, which led to me taking an overdose but thankfully I survived.
Afterwards I remember feeling numb for a really long time, like it happened to someone else. It was really strange, like I was going around in a daze.
What would you say to someone who is having suicidal thoughts?
It’s a really scary place to be when you are feeling suicidal. Because you aren’t able to think clearly you can’t work things out rationally so it builds up. If you feel unable to talk to family then try a friend or your GP can help. You don’t have to cope on your own. Tell someone. If someone asks if you are okay be honest with them, it means they have noticed you are not yourself. It might just be the conversation that saves your life.
I found counselling really helped me. I learnt all the coping skills I didn’t have growing up. I learnt about feelings and how to identify them. I also learnt how to bring my anxiety to a level that is very, very manageable. I am very aware of where my thoughts can take me and don’t feed into the negative thinking. I actually choose my thinking!
All of this didn’t happen overnight of course, I had to work at it. I literally had to learn how to talk about things and express myself. It was really hard at the start and I was very frightened but it was so worth it. Life is great now, of course I have a bad day now and again, but nothing that lasts too long. I just have to take care of myself and I’m doing well. I’m happy.
To the person who took part in this interview Thank You so much for your honesty and bravery. I am so glad you made it through and are here to tell your inspiring story.
If you are having suicidal thoughts please reach out for support to your GP, parents or friends. You have a lot of people who care about you and don’t want anything to happen to you.
I really hope this interview will give hope to anyone who cannot see the light at the moment. Please have a think about the first step you need to take to get support for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big step, even just to admit to yourself that you aren’t feeling well, then find someone you trust to tell.
Worried about someone’s alcohol or drug use? Then join my free online support group. This is a private group whose purpose is to promote self-care and offer a safe space to family members to discuss concerns, fears, anger, hopes, happiness, and achievements