****Trigger Warning: Discussion of Suicide Attempts and Their Aftermath****
On this day, a year ago, my heart stopped beating. I had been in a psychiatric hospital for 4 months and my mental distress was at such a height – combined with not a single drop of hope – that I decided both that I could not cope with living and that the world would be a better place without me. My body was discovered and, 20 minutes of CPR later, I found myself on the way to A&E in the deepest pit of despair, wishing more than anything that I hadn’t been found in time. 12 hours later, I tried to finish what I started and – after further CPR – I was trapped even deeper in darkness and self-hatred.
The fall-out from that day brought me the most traumatic experiences of my life (including that experience of taking what I believed to be my last breaths as my heart stopped beating), although I don’t want to delve into too many details as serious investigations are currently ongoing.
What I wanted to reflect on is where I am today. I wish things were different. But – and I imagine that others may view this as sad or disappointing – what I wish most of all is that those breaths really had been my last. Today may have been less dramatic when viewed externally, but internally it has been filled with equal mental/emotional torment and despair, with the addition of the trauma over the past 12 months which has left me eternally trapped in this torture. I’m terrified. I’m confused. I’m lost. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t think that I can carry on living a life in which I believe that everything that I think, feel, say or do is the end of the world; that I continually ruin everything. I am tortured 24/7 and I’m only just hanging on by my ever-weakening fingertips.
I’ve been fortunate to have incredible family and friends supporting me through all of this, who have behaved compassionately, with understanding and maturity – people who don’t deserve to have their lives darkened by my existence. I am also blessed to have been under an amazing mental health team since November, who have fought for me non-stop, held my hope, and who are still fighting and coming up with new options even when it feels like the barrel has been scraped. For these amazing people, I will be eternally grateful; I am also filled with guilt about receiving this support that I don’t deserve and for letting them all down.
So, a year on, I’m a terrified mess of a shell of a person. I’m still here but I’m not sure why and I still don’t think that’s a good thing. But, for reasons that I can’t begin to wrap my head around, through it all I have been blessed to both maintain wonderful people in my personal life and gain some of the most dedicated, talented professionals I could wish for.