World Mental Health Day: Suicide and me

Trigger warning: Mentions of suicidal thinking, mental health issues

Life is precious isn’t it?

That’s what we’re told, meant to believe and feel, but what if you don’t?

What if your reality is that you don’t really even feel alive? more like you exist and struggle through each minute of each day.

You feel so worthless, so helpless and so desperate that you don’t want to live. You find no reason to wake up in the morning other than you feel it is a duty to the people around you.

There was a moment in my life where I felt this deeply. I was depressed, in the throws of an eating disorder and in a job that made me very unhappy. I was functioning but didn’t feel alive.

I had a very vivid image of how I would kill myself, it seemed like the only way I could escape pain and unburden myself from everyone.

I thought of it so often it almost became a comfort, the thing I could escape to when all around me reality felt too hard.

Deep shame flooded me when I thought of it sometimes, how people would judge me when ‘life is so precious’. Yet I couldn’t stop that image from appearing, it was my secret.

I sought counselling because I knew I wasn’t well and somehow I managed to tell my counsellor about the images I had in my head, the thoughts that enveloped me all day.

She was very kind, understanding and didn’t judge me. She informed my doctor which was absolutely terrifying as then it was ‘real’ but I’m glad she did.

She did not tell me life was precious, she listened, encouraged and supported me through the darkest time in my life. I began to separate myself from the overwhelming thoughts and images. I got slowly well again.

It would be a lie to say that I never feel suicidal, life is complicated and messy but feels worth it.

I am lucky to have love all around me, I feel it acutely, it wraps itself around me and I feel alive.

Today is Mental Health Day. I’m sharing my story because it may help. Don’t suffer in silence. There is light to be found on the darkest of days, I promise.

Recently I read Matt Haig’s book ‘Reasons to Stay Alive’ and I’ve never seen suicide or mental health written about in such an honest, helpful and non judgemental way.

Contact Samaritans free and mental health resources.

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