I have sat for a good couple of hours at the opening paragraph of this blog entry, trying to put into words just how I can convey the idealisation of suicide to my reader. To explain just how one arrives at the point of not wanting to live for one moment longer. But I can’t. The following is the best I can do…
I remember the day very well. Though my mental health was already at breaking point and all the therapy I was having seemed ineffective, a particular incident occurred that made me want out, and quick. Whilst I will not mention the occupation, a long and very long winded job application came to a shuddering halt through no fault of my own. What is particularly important to mention at this point is that it was this role that for me, at the time, was an everlasting light at the end of the tunnel. The ‘thing‘ to hold on to, so my therapists, doctors and family advised.
I have had a history of suicidal thoughts before, though they were never acted upon. One friend in particular commented she could ‘feel the darkness flowing out of me‘ and to date, I still cannot think of a better description of my mood and mental state at that time. I suppose that what I’m trying to explain with the above sentences is that, though the aforementioned news was devastating to me, my actions were not that of a petulant child throwing their toys out of the pram because something didn’t go my way. It was merely the tip of the iceberg. When the very thing you hold on to is ripped from under your feet, I truly felt I had nothing to live for, and I did my best to make sure of it.
I received the news at just past 10:30am, it was a nice day, the sun was shining and I actually woke up feeling positive – far removed from the crashing thunder, lightening, torrential rain and darkness some of you may have in your mind! I had to go out for what I believed would be the final part of my application. I was up early, dressed smartly and stayed up most of the night before to ensure I was fully prepared. I had a 90 minute drive to my destination and no sooner had I walked through the door, the end had already begun.
The drive back seemed to take five times as long as the journey there. I arrived back home without any visual recollection of the drive and immediately broke down into tears, rage and confusion. At this time, I still lived at home with my mother who cared for me under the guidance of doctors. She asked what happened though I think the answer was very plain for her to see. She cancelled all of her plans that day to ensure I wasn’t left alone at any point and every 30 minutes she would peer in through my door, only to see me red eyed, motionless, laid back on my bed in the silence staring at the ceiling.
I knew what I was going to do 10 hours before I tried. My mother’s house is an old converted barn, and there was a beam that ran right through the centre of my room. In the evening, my mum told me she was going to sleep and she made me promise I would wake her if my mood worsened. I lied to her and said I would.
I didn’t have any rope, and to be honest, I probably wouldn’t know what to do with it if I had. The tieing together of said rope looks far too complex for me to manage and pull of successfully. What I did have, was plenty of ties. As soon as I was satisfied, I stood off the bed frame that was supporting me in the preparation stages. Surprisingly, I remember it didn’t hurt. I have never self harmed, I was too afraid of the pain and the scars. Plus, I always felt that you either do or you don’t want to kill yourself – there are no half measures. Suicide is not a cry for help (my black and white theories again). I didn’t want to cut my veins on my wrists as what if I bled out enough that I would pass out, but not enough that I could be saved? I also felt shooting myself would be a good idea, as there’s no real mistakes to be made there, but I didn’t own a gun and could only get one by stealing one from a local farmer (there are plenty about). Hanging seemed like the best option, and I had also researched I could slip into a state of euphoria before my major organs gave out. That appealed to me – reminiscent of my druggy days, but that’s for another time.
I hung there suspended. I’m 6 foot tall and my feet were only inches from the floor. Unlike a movie scene, I didn’t swing, I was fairly stationary, I didn’t struggle. I felt my head boiling, no doubt the rush of blood. I was facing my magnolia plain wall and I simply stared at a spot. I thought of nothing, for the first time a family member finding me didn’t make me feel ashamed and my life did not ‘flash before my eyes‘, I was as motionless as I was 8 hours ago. It was very un-Hollywood. Not once did I think about trying to stop the process, I simply hung there as though it was already complete. Then I heard the tear start.
If there was ever a proving ground as to why you shouldn’t buy cheap ties in the sale, this was it. I weigh 12.5 stone (79kg). Though I had tied the tie many times around the beam, it was now struggling to hold me. My neck was secured well but as I heard a small rip, I knew what was happening. I looked up to see the seams slowly tearing apart, and it was if as the life in me started to give out, so did the fabric. I did not crash, merely stumbled onto my feet. I gasped for air as the pressure had been released, then I slumped down and broke down again. To me, it seemed like another failure and something else for me to be mad at. I can’t even leave when I want to, I can’t even kill myself when I try. I did not attempt again that night, I simply sat there, shrouded in defeat and joined the darkness of the night.
Here’s an answer for you. There seems to be some debate at the moment around the phrase: ‘Commit suicide‘. In the UK, it has been recently argued that the word ‘commit‘ should be removed from the phrase as it sends a shameful message, that to commit something has negative connotations. Instead, it seems widely accepted that the phrase ‘death by suicide‘ is more acceptable. Just in case you weren’t aware, we don’t give a shit. If, like I was, someone is in the frame of mind that they do want to live a moment longer and chose to take their own life, the terminology is completely disregarded. There is no feeling of shame or weakness, in fact the majority of any kind of feelings have completely deserted the body by this point. The point of this blog entry is to reach out to anybody who feels they are in a similar position, you don’t know me and I don’t know you. But I was there, and I am better now. And you can be too. Let’s talk, no holds barred, nothing off limits. No judgement.
I don’t want to make this seem like a Batman-esque: ‘Find out next week on…‘ but you can follow my mental health journey on this blog. Stay strong.