Today I turned 32 – I didn’t think I would make it past 13

I wrote the below on the 31st March, when I turned 32. Warning – the content is that of mental health and suicide ideation, some may find triggering. I have tried keeping it as light hearted as possible but with a serious undertone. The moral of the story is, I am happy I am alive today.

Today I turned 32 even though 3 months ago I made the decision to not get any older. I wanted to take control of my life and to me, that meant end it. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 31. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 29. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 20. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 19. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 18. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 17. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 16. 

I didn’t think I would make it past 13. 

13 going on 30?

13 going on get me out of this place! 

Suicide ideation

I came to the realisation, along with my therapist, that I have suffered from suicide ideation as far back as I can remember. It is almost like it’s a ticket out of my head, a fall back plan if therapy doesn’t work, a safety net of sorts should all my efforts to mind half-fulness seize to flourish. It is of course not a safety net in any way because at the end of December 2020 suicide ideation became suicide infatuation. A done deal. I knew how, I knew when. I pre-wrote a message I would send to my friends. I had booked my no return ticket out of this world and classic me, I wanted to do it in a morbidly romanticised way. I was to be found lifeless in the bath, after fading away to songs playing out loud my feelings that I struggle to articulate, looking pretty with my make up on and my hair done.

Of course, things didn’t work out that way because luckily for me I fucked it up royally. I woke up screaming in a Hospital bed, being pinned down by nurses, sick in my tangled hair, makeup smudged over my face and soaking wet in drenched clothes with absolutely no recollection of how I got there and extremely upset that I was still alive. Feeling as though I was still dying and crying out for it to happen quicker.  

Lost myself again and I feel unsafe

Help, I have done it again
I have been here many times before
Hurt myself again today
And, the worst part is there’s no-one else to blame

Be my friend, hold me
Wrap me up, enfold me
I am small and needy
Warm me up and breathe me

Breathe me – sia

I had these lyrics playing over and over again as I wallowed in the depths of my blackest hole. Screaming out for help but no sound was emitting. The emptiness wasn’t going away this time, the constant pain of what I can only describe as feeling heartbroken. The nagging voice that told me I was a burden to everyone around me. A voice that told me my friends would be better off if I wasn’t around to bring them down. A voice that tells me everyday that I am not good enough. A voice that tells me most days that I am the mistake in the universe and that is why I don’t feel right. The voice that tells me that taking me out of this world will restore all that is wrong.

As if I would have that much power!

Got stuck in oblivion

I hadn’t got drunk in over 6 years and I sure as hell wasn’t going to take my life sober so I needed some liquid courage and bought a full bottle of raspberry vodka. I started guzzling that down like it was water. 

Turns out after 6 years of not getting drunk = masssssive lightweight!! 

Some of you reading this may recall a night of Instagram stories where I was acting rather strange, shuffling McFries into my gob and rapping ‘Shoop’ by Salt-N-Pepa, whilst having a big lipped and wide eyes filter on. I was also posting cryptic songs that were describing my struggles so it would all form part of my goodbye. You may also recall me posting a picture of you expressing my gratitude for having you as my pocket pals … I didn’t get to finish this part and mention all of you that have made my experience online a good one because the alcohol took over and things became somewhat blurry. These pictures were my attempts at a goodbye.

I was later horrified to find out that I had phoned my ex (who is one of my best friends) and when I refused to talk to him anymore he got his girlfriend to call me! Embarrassing for me I apparently answered and the conversation went something along the lines of: 

‘I want Aidan and Pete but they want yoouuuuuu!!!!!!!’ *crying hysterically*

(I have used Sex and the City’s Aidan and his dog Pete instead of their real names.)

Again, I clearly wasn’t in any fit state to express what I actually meant by that, which was I miss my best friend but – not in a romantic way, but in a – he’s a huge part of my life, best-friend way. He was my safety for 10 years. This incident also made me realise I need to find safety within myself, for which I am still working on.

A cry for help or just crying?

Was it a cry for help? Not intentionally. I guess when these things happen we are crying for some kind of help.

Am I happy that my cries saved my life? Absolutely.

Did I need help? Most certainly, yes.

Have I given up trying to get this help? Not today and not tomorrow.

Am I baffled at how I let myself get to such a bad place? Sadly, no.

Am I grateful for my best friends that were there for me in an instant? I cannot begin to express how much gratitude and love I have for them.

Do I still worry that I am a burden? Most days.

Do I still listen to those voices telling me I am a burden and not good enough? Sometimes, but I’m working on it.

No details necessary, just a message

I am not going to delve into the details of how I had planned to end my life because I don’t want to trigger anybody and frankly you don’t need to know because that is not what this story is about. My life story so far is complex, gritty, sad, funny, full of blackholes and sunrises. I cannot let the downs become constant and I cannot lose sight of how happy I am that I am alive today.

Am I scared? Always.

Am I hopeful? Sometimes.

Did I relapse with my mental health since? Yes

Did I bounce back quicker than before? Yes

Am I a survivor? This is the most difficult question to ask myself. I don’t like to say I am a survivor because that would be having to admit I have been a victim. The word ‘survivor’ sounds strong and at times I don’t feel strong but this doesn’t mean I’m weak. So my answer to this is… I must be.

The one question my friends asked me after what happened was:

Do you want to die?

The answer is no, but then again the answer before would have always been no because I didn’t want to die. They were asking the wrong question. The question most appropriate to ask me would have been ‘do you think you can live?’ The answer 3 months ago would have been no. The answer today is, I really do hope so.

Even in the darkest moments of wishing death would come, was there any part of me that wanted to survive? There must have been. I wanted the pain to go away, then when the pain of what I thought was dying came, I also wanted that to go away. Whether that be to let me die or to turn back time and not do that to myself. I would have taken either one at that moment.

The scariest thing is not wanting to die but not knowing how to live. That is what drove me to the decision, I just didn’t know how I could live anymore.

Until next time…

I don’t know how to end this article so I am going to end it by saying this isn’t my end. I will be back and not in a scary terminator way but in a kick-ass, fuck you mental health way. And because I know there is more to come from me. I don’t want to let myself down. I can’t give up on her.

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