“Suicide Prevention Day is a day very important to me. I would not be here if it were not for the people who cared enough to make sure I was okay and that I got through. Back in my darkest days I could never have dreamt or imagined how good life could actually be. I could never have imagined what I would go on to accomplish and the bonds I would seal for life. For anyone who has not been suicidal let me try help you understand what it is like by using my own personal experience.
In my early twenties I began to lose grip on life. All the coping mechanisms I had in place to cope with life were not working, but sure how could they as they were never healthy coping skills. I experienced trauma throughout life from a very young age. My words were never heard and the truth was never seen. My life was built up on a foundation of lies, the biggest lie of them all was that I was happy. In my early twenties I did hold down good jobs but all were meaningless to me. I was partying a lot and the self harm that I used to control my emotions started to control me.
I had many people around me, many close friends but I was in such a dark place I could not understand why anyone would want to be friends with me. I felt horrible in my own skin, I hated myself. I could not see anything positive about my being and each morning I woke up the light grew dimmer. Soon my whole life was in darkness.
It took a long time for my life to get plunged into complete darkness but I was so scared of how I was feeling I didn’t let anyone know. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening to me, I was terrified. This darkness that crept in was at first like slow creeping ivy, it crawled through my veins, I could feel the physical weight and it really slowed me down. I was turning in late to work, I was calling in sick, I was so lost I couldn’t see a way out. I had great people around me but I didn’t feel connected to them. When they spoke it just hit an emptiness inside and there words got sucked into this black hole that was growing within me.
Eventually I let those closest to me know how I was feeling but I never fully explained just how bad it was. The words just wouldn’t pass my tongue. I felt so alone, I felt crazy, I felt no one would ever understand. Eventually the slow creeping ivy made its way to my heart, to my soul, it smothered me. I reached out for professional help but I felt as though I could not let them know what was really going on. So I sat in therapy in silence and my vocal chords were clawing at words I felt the words made no sense.
Every day things became this hugely tremendous task and in all of this I was trying my hardest to fight it but each day my strength was been taken away from me so eventually I just gave up. It was a scary experience. Eventually I ended up attempting suicide. It was the darkest moment of my entire life. I believed I was saving everyone from the my pain, I believed everyone would be so much happier without me, I believed what I was experiencing was dragging everyone else down but all of these thoughts couldn’t have been further from the truth.
After that horrendous night and the few weeks that followed I decided I was going to fight but most importantly I decided to speak. Those closest to me and my therapist were hugely supportive, even in my silence they never gave up on me, ever! They encouraged me to write down the things that I found too hard to vocalise, they provided a listening ear, they provided encouragement and most importantly they provided compassion. What I was going through was too heavy to carry on my own and once I began to share my experiences the load became lighter. They waited patiently over months until I found my voice and I began to speak.
Once I found my voice I began to feel empowered, I felt for the first time in life I was gaining a bit of control. The supportive people around me in my darkest times helped light my way until I could find my own light. When I went through my bad days, there was always a hand waiting there for me to hold so they could guide me through. Sometimes it was just so comforting when lost in the darkness to have someone come in and just silently sit there with me. These were powerful experiences for me and ones that saved my life.
Today five years on I can say honestly for the first time I am glad I did not die that night, I am living my life to the fullest and I am so very grateful. It hasn’t been an easy 5 years. The first three years after the suicide attempt were the most difficult years but yet the most rewarding. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears. It took a lot of searching, a lot screaming, a lot of crying. I began learning to love myself and be compassionate towards myself. It was painful but there was a lot of courage and strength growing within me. I grew into this compassionate, strong, vocal young woman, I became a person that I love and I became the person I always wished to be.
When my hope was lost, other peoples hope carried me through. It was excruciating, it was nowhere near easy, but in the end it was worth all of it, it was worth all the pain, all the tears and all the sleepless nights. My experience has set a fire in me, it really ignited my motivation to pursue a career where I can provide to other people what I received in my darkest days, for without the compassion and care of others I am certain I would not be sitting here typing up this article. Since I found my voice there hasn’t been any obstacle too big for me to overcome, my words, my voice are so very important to me and ultimately it was my voice, my words, my want to be heard that saved me. If I can do it, you can do it too, never give up, stay strong, it is worth the fight, I know because I have lived it. And for those who know anyone who is might be suicidal, do not be afraid to reach out a hand, to offer compassion, you never know a few simple words, or even a hug or a smile could save some bodies life. It is the small gestures that provide the biggest and the most profound impact. Never underestimate the power of compassion that we all have within ourselves.”