Trigger warning: This post is about my honest experience with feelings of suicide and mental health. If this post is beginning to upset you or cause an adverse reaction then please stop reading.
To some people who know me personally this post will be a shock. There are very few individuals in my life who know the truth about how severe my mental illness is which is my fault because I do not divulge. I am starting to and have been told that this is something that will help the healing process however I do not want to be defined by it. My mental illness has made relationships with family members and friends suffer and for that I want to apologise.
I hope that by writing about this specific event it helps me as a cathartic measure but it also shows that what is presented on the outside, is not necessarily what is real on the inside [if that makes sense]. Very rarely will I ever let my guard down, let my mask slip off. I want to be known as the happy person that I believe is still in there waiting to be freed and I will not let my depression win.
I never thought that I would be one of those people who would be able to understand suicide and how a person could get so low or think so little of themselves to commit that act.
Unfortunately on August bank holiday weekend I got to those depths of my depression. I wanted to extinguish the remaining spark that I had been clinging on to.
I had believed that my depression and anxiety was under control. Foolishly, I did not like the fact that the original medication that I had been taking was dulling my emotions so at the beginning of 2018 I took myself off them. I thought that I still needed to attack the source of my depression so was undergoing talking therapy which was helping but recently it all got a little bit too much.
I had been ignoring the trigger signs of my low moods. I was not taking time for myself and I was not talking to Kristian about how I was feeling, partly because I did not want to burden him.
The week leading up to the bank holiday weekend was difficult. I was getting worried and panicky but just put it down to my feelings of inadequacy around having to solo parent because Kristian was going away on a stag do.
I tried to think positively and arranged my weekend around people. I did not want to be stuck in the house with the kids not seeing anyone all weekend.
Kris left really early on the Friday morning and then later that morning my friend cancelled on me. It was too late to organise anything else so I spiralled downwards. Reading this back, it seems really trivial that something like a change of plans could have done this to me, but I was in a very irrational place.
The dark thoughts were consuming me and what had been going around in the back of my head came to the forefront. I honestly thought that my family would be better off without me. Sure, the kids and Kris would be sad at first [of course] but once all the practicalities were sorted they would be able to rebuild themselves and have a better life, Kris would find someone who would love him and the kids and they would be happy eventually. They did not need me.
Writing this is making me sad – that I would think so little of myself, to think that I would not have an impact on their lives, that they would ‘get over me’ in time, that my worth was just due to practical measures. Not once did I think about love. I did not think about the real consequences – how would they feel living without a mother, how they would feel once they found out what I had done, whether they would blame themselves, or how would Kris actually cope as a single parent. I never ever want to think of myself in that negative way again.
I hated feeling so worthless; as a wife, as a mother, as a person. Maybe I could start again somehow? I’ll admit, I was incredibly distressed at this point [which now that I have discussed it with my therapist, I know I probably would not have taken the step to end it because of the state I was in].
I just sat on the bed and cried into my dressing gown. I’m ashamed to say that the kids heard me sobbing and Cecily came up onto the bed and mothered me. She was taking my face in her hands and telling me that it would be alright.
Just at that moment, my mother in law rang and I picked up. Usually I would have ignored any calls if I was feeling down but I am so glad that I didn’t.
She heard how distressed I was, it upset her and she started crying down the phone. She jumped in the car and drove the two hours to get to us. I had to promise her that I would be ok whilst she was getting to me. In my heart of hearts, at that point I knew that I was not going to go through with it. I could not have my kids discover me.
I was a lot calmer when she got here.
It is a different medication from what I was on before and seems to be agreeing with me which is great. It has levelled me out somewhat. My anxiety is not at the same level that it was before and my moods are not really low but it is early days.
I broke down when I had my first counselling session after the incident.
I was shocked that I could have even gone there and I was scared of what I was thinking of doing. I was also ashamed of my potential actions. The shame was brought home to me when someone in the blogging community lost their fight with cancer a couple of weeks later. I explained that I felt shame and embarrassment for what I was thinking of doing, when this person had their life taken away from something that they could not control. They had everything to live for, they wanted to live and I had selfishly wanted to extinguish my spark.
To this day I am still getting over that weekend. I know it has only been about 6 weeks but I am still haunted by what I was planning to do. I have dreams where I wake up just before I do what I was intending to do. I have been told that this is the brain’s way of trying to shock me into understanding that this was not the way forward but it is still something that I want to stop. I felt physically sick writing this because it is still quite raw but I can look at it rationally now.
I have been able to write about this specific experience because I feel that I have come out the other side [or at least working towards that]. Writing about my depression and anxiety experience is a different matter for the moment. I am still working through this and writing about it hurts me too much but I have to accept that I am still very vulnerable. Maybe one day this will be different. I hope it will.
If anything in this post has affected you then please seek help from your GP or visit the NHS website for more information.