And when suicide goes wrong- suicide prevention week 2016

I was there, I was no longer scared. I was sure. It wasn’t want I had planned, but it was the only option I had. I sat for what felt like a life time, but was a matter of seconds- I heard my mum come. It was now or never. I jumped. 

Flash: a tube been inserted down my air way.

Flash: screaming for my mum as the ceiling moved past me.

Flash: ‘it’s going to get a bit noisy’ as head phones were placed on my head. 

Flash: ‘I don’t know who he is, but I like him’ a statement I was told I kept making every time the nurse did anything. 

It wasn’t until 2 days later that my memories become more constant. Until my vision returned and I could finally process what happened. 

My back, broken, now held together by metal rods. My ankle in a heavy cast. My chin help together by glue that I desperately wanted gone. 

I still don’t know all that happened. Most of my memories are still flashes. Flashes of sound, before fading out again. And I don’t regret it, it was a vital part of my journey. But I survived and I have never managed to make peace with that. 

Survive is always a risk when it comes to a suicide attempt. For every successful suicide, there are 40 failed attempts: the odds really aren’t in a suicidal persons favour. But when suicide becomes an option, life is so unbearable, that the risk is worth taking. That doesn’t mean survival is easy though. 

For those close to a person who attempts suicide, a successful suicide creates a painful grief. However when a person attempts suicide and survives to tell the tale, the situation isn’t only about emotionally distressing and worrying for family and friends, it also brings a heavy disappointment for the individual. A disappointment which lingers and increases the negative and driving thoughts behind the attempt. 
I have never felt relief after surviving a suicide attempt. I often am left feeling angry and disrespected. I made a decision to die. A careful and weighed up decision and that was ignored and overrode by another. I will argue at that time that if someone cared for me they would respect my decision and let me die. Unfortunently, it doesn’t work like that. 

Human nature is to save people. Although it feels others are acting out of selfish intentions, the reality is, is that they are doing it out of, not only instinct, but also care. People in your life want you to be alive and are willing to make you temporarily angry, in order to give you a chance at life. 

Surviving a suicide attempt, for whatever reason, it’s distressing in its self. The consequence of surviving can be life changing: chronic pain, disfigurement, paralysis, liver failure, brain damage….but emotionally the consequences are equally as difficult. The worry and distress around causes guilt. The judgments and stigma cause shame. No only because you are ill, but because you acted in such a way can cause you to loosing out on a job or a dream. 

But sieving isn’t all bad. Yes initially it is hell. You are instantly dumbed back into the hell you wanted to leave. But this is your second chance, theirs chance, *insert number* chance and it’s up to you what happens. You can mop and continue to let your mind steal your life, or you can fight back harder than ever. Change is possible, but it has to come from you, not anyone else. It will take time. It will take steps backwards as well as forwards. It will involve meltdowns and moments of elation. But it’s possible for you to recover, move forwards and life you life, whilst achieving all you ever wanted.  

Death is permanent. We can’t bring you back to life. Death ends everything, not only the bad, but also the good. Death cuts your life short, but causes drastic and emotional changes to all those in your life. 

Yes, sometimes suicide feels the only option, but it never is. Stop, slow it down and problem solve… Seek support. Express yourself in a safe way. Give yourself patience and kindness. And it gets better, one day at a time. Getting through the day might not feel great, but it feels better than the feeling of a failed suicide attempt. 


Suicide prevention week 2016

I’m starting a bit late, however apparently this week, 5-11th September, is suicide prevention week 2016. The angle I have decided to take this year might be slightly controversial, but it’s the hard questions that need asking and the hard questions which need answers in order for the stigma around suicide to reduce allowing more people to open up and seek help when they feel there is no other option. 
The idea of suicide comes around in different ways for everyone. A different trigger, a different reaction, a different thought process, a different ending. But suicide is never the easy option. The easy option is to curl up in a small ball, hide under a duvet and to just stop and for many, it’s the fact we can’t just stop and put a stop on all that is tearing us apart which leads to the seeking of different and more drastic options. For some suicide is an option the consider when they feel intense emotion, for others it’s an answer when they feel nothing. For some suicide is an impulsive decision, for others it’s a well thought out plan. But it’s never easy. 

You sit and hold the pills in your hands and you cry. You question if it’s possible to take them all, what will happen, will it be enough. You sit and tie the rope and you shake. You know the risk you are taking, but what else can you do. You stand at the edge and stare down. Your breath is stolen and you beg for another option. But if you don’t take this chance, what then? 

People say suicide/ suicide attempts are selfish, but when your world is that dark, hopeless and lonely, you truly believe you are putting others out of their misery. What you believe may be distorted in that moment, but you believe if you were gone others would be free from the burden you create, from the pain you cause, from harm. Others say suicide/ suicide attempts are for attention and the truth is, is that some people do do things which are risky and harmful in order to get attention, but maybe if as a society we were more accepting, we could create a world in which people are able to get the attention they need through talking about their pain and suffering- because needing attention isn’t a negative, we all need it in one way or another- instead of acting in ways which could accidentally lead to death. 

Suicide isn’t the only option. For those struggling with their mental health, psychical health, social health, their is always another option which isn’t suicide. But it’s not simply down to the person who is contemplating the idea of taking their own life to make a different choice, it’s down to each and every one of us. We need to all know it’s ok to talk about emotions, thoughts, stresses and troubles. We need to all feel safe and not judged or threatened when we are honest. We need to all be more accepting and open to the idea that sometimes, even if we ‘don’t really have it that bad’. We all need to become problem solvers, not only for our selves but for others. We need to all be better at letting a friend know we are their for them, even if they don’t want to talk right then. We all need to know which way to point someone when they are finding things hard, before it hits crisis point. 

Suicide is never the only option, even when there seems to be no end the the dark dark tunnel. But when you are in the tunnel, it’s difficult to see beyond the tunnel, beyond the darkness. When you feel so lost and hopeless and exhausted, it’s hard to remember that there are GP’s, charities, crisis lines, mental health teams, the police or a&e. When you feel so desperate, it’s difficult to trust someone enough to reach out, because you don’t want to be stopped. When you are fighting to talk, eat, move and simple breathe, it feels impossible that it will ever get better for yourself. We all struggle in different ways and to different extents through out life, but we need to stop judging and make sure that all those around us know regularly that no matter what there is an answer, however outside the box they and you need to look. Suicide can be prevented, but firstly, we need to make changes to ourselves as a society. 

Suicide is an upsetting topic, it’s a taboo topic. Suicide is a hard decision to make, maybe as hard as it is to accept. But more importantly it isn’t the only answer and it is preventable.