I’m stepping out of my comfort zone here a bit and I’m going to write about a very personal experience ….
1st Jan 2014 I took an overdose of lorazepam. I had been given the pills to deal with anxiety and panic attacks. There were a number of pills left as I decided that to use them would be a sign of weakness.
I’m not going to go into the details of why I thought suicide was a better option than staying alive. I’m gagged by law on that one but when I am not I promise to speak out about it.
Mental Health Awareness week starts tomorrow (12th – 18th May) so I thought I would use this to share my own experience of mental health problems.
I have had depression on and off since I was a teenager. Most of the time I would say that there seemed to be no tangible reason why I felt so low. I did not grow up in poverty, my childhood was pretty normal etc etc But New Year’s Day was the day when I decided enough was enough. I felt exhausted and powerless, life had defeated me. The shame I felt at feeling this way was immense and crushing.
Standing up and saying ‘I have mental health problems’ is still such a taboo. People step away from you, view you differently. You are made to feel that you are less of a person and that you haven’t tried hard enough to be happy. Why can’t you just get over it? I wonder how many times people with mental health issues have heard that one?!
So what I am trying to say? I’m trying to reach out to those of you who are finding that life is hard, that there seems to be no hope. There is hope and life can improve. I’m still working on it, sometimes on a moment by moment basis. Life is precious and fragile and bloody difficult so don’t feel ashamed if you feel low, don’t feel ashamed if you need medication to help you face the day. You are as worthy as the next person, you deserve happiness, love and security too. Call the Samaritans, speak to your GP, tell your loved ones how you feel. Shout it from the roof tops if it helps. Suicide is so final, there’s no second chances.
Hold on to this thought
‘This too shall pass’
It does, I promise you.
Massive love, hugs and tea