I don’t quite know why I am sharing this extremely personal story with you now, except that there is a little voice pushing me to let it out, and I am acting on that.
This story might be upsetting for some and it might make others feel angry and for that I apologise.
I want to tell you about the night I gave up on life.
It was back in 1990, my life looked as if it was going well, I had a lot of friends, I had a decent job, I had travelled a bit, I had good looks, I had money in my pocket, the works. The thing is I wasn’t all that happy and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was unhappy inside. I used to fantasize about ending my life, it was actually a real comfort to know that I had the choice of living or dying.
I used to plan how I was going to end my life so as it would look like an accident to lessen the pain on my family, my favourite fantasy was jumping off a tall building.
One night, I was working in a bar and I was walking the 2 mile walk home late at about 1am. The rain could be heard thundering down onto the pavements. I was walking slowly in the rain as I liked the feel of rain against my skin. I noticed in the distance a dog, and it was limping quite heavily. When the dog got closer, I noticed the dog had only 3 legs as it ran past me. For no reason, I started crying uncontrollably as I felt so sorry for this dog. I couldn’t get the dog out of my mind the next day, and wondered why I was so upset by it. I realised I felt like the dog: alone, soaked, not fully functional and nowhere to go.
A few nights later I decided that the jacket of life no longer fitted me and I was taking the jacket off for good. I said goodnight to my mum and dad, I called my sisters earlier on to tell them I loved them. I took 26 strong sleeping tablets up to my bedroom after telling my dad not to wake me up in the morning for work as I had a days holiday. I sat in bed with the tablets, a glass of milk and cried as I took each tablet. I cried for my mum, and at how heartbroken she would be, I cried for my dad as I had only told him I loved him once in my life. I cried for my sisters as I would miss them terribly and knew they would miss me. I took all 26 tablets and put my head on my pillow to die. I am crying as I write this just now.
I can’t quite remember when I woke up, I was in hospital and two of my friends were there with my mum and dad and sisters. I had been unconscious, I honestly don’t know how long as I have never spoken of this to my family since. The morning after I had taken the tablets my dad was up for work as normal. He didn’t wake me up as I had told him not to, however he heard a bang when he got up at around 5am. Apparently I had fallen out of bed. That fall , and my dad hearing it, saved my life, I believe.
When I woke up in the hospital there was a lot of crying, a lot of questions and a lot of explaining. The hospital psychiatrist came round and asked if I needed help. I told her I knew why I had done it and I was going to rectify the issues in my life. I felt ashamed, guilty, upset and angry at myself at having to put my family through something as awful as this just because I didn’t have the balls to sort out some of my problems.
I didn’t feel I fitted into life, with the friends I had, the job, just everything. What did I do? I started over. I dropped my friends as I realised they were drinking buddies and not friends, I changed my job, I upgraded my skills, I got my finances sorted out and moved to another city. I have never looked back since and I have been on a quest ever since to find myself and share the knowledge I have with others.
Lessons From That Night
Nothing and I mean nothing is so bad that you have to take your own life. There are always options and if the worst comes to the worst, drop everything and start again. If you are in this situation just now, please believe me when I say it will get better and there are people who can help.
I’ve learned to tell others how much I love them and how much I appreciate them.
I’ve learned to look for the signs that others might need help.
I mentioned earlier the jacket did not fit, what I realised when I awoke in the hospital was that the jacket can be altered to fit me and I didn’t have to fit the jacket.
I have learned so much more over the years since that night and my long standing depression was lifted in one decision – I will change my life to suit me.