Thursday, 11 February 2016

time to talk day 2016

Again, I'm a little too slow. I started writing this introduction last Thursday morning, thinking I would be home after therapy to finish and be part of Time to Talk Day.

Then 30 hours of work (over a couple of days!) later I got to bed and now it's Thursday again. My brain is very slow at the moment. I've just started a new drug and, well, the side effects are not delicious.

Shall I try, one more time?

It's Time to Talk.

So another day of talking. Mental wellness is something I think we almost take for granted. It's very difficult to quantify before illness arrives, because mental ill health can be incredibly insidious. It's part of it's clever arsenal of misery, to make you think you are not worthy of help and that if you just tried a little harder everything would be fine.  It's not just about being happy, it's about being safe and hopeful.

"the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist"
Charles Baudelaire 

Why am I going to add my voice today?  Why am I going to reveal more, reveal something so intimate and painful?

I'm talking because despite everything, I still want to help people. I think I want to help myself. It's definitely why I'm still alive. Above all I do still want to help others. Others who don't have as loud a voice as mine, and for the most part my voice is incredibly weak.

I'm going to talk about my acute suicidal ideation. We don't talk about suicide, it's something thought to be incredibly shameful and that it will never affect us. I'm not saying it's a nice thing to talk about. Oh, gosh no. It's hideous. However, if your head constantly tells you, that you are "pathetic and useless" and seductively invites you to sit on the edge of life and death it seems incredibly rational. Oh readers, it is not rational. Even though, every moment of every day I feel like a failure. However for young men it's a big killer. For me, I have a lot of help right now but it's just not the case for many.

I want to reiterate what others have said, that suicide isn't selfish. It's not anyone's real first choice. 

So if you need help, please try and focus on that sliver of hope, perhaps it's not even you holding on to it. There is always hope my darling. If you can't see it right now, find that person who wants you to have hope. If you can't love or even like yourself right now, someone out there wants you to live. Perhaps they are your best friend, parent or lover. Or perhaps they are me, no-one deserves to feel the way you feel right now, you do exist and the whilst the feelings you are experiencing are real, they are not you. You can be more than your illness. You can keeping on trying. You can survive.

If you're in the UK, call 999 if you feel you can't stop yourself from hurting yourself. I urge you to give yourself one more chance. It's bloody scary to feel be on the edge and whilst I don't think A&E is the best place for someone acutely suicidal, it is at least a safe place. I so want you to be safe.

Maybe 999 seems too much, could you try and call the Samaritans on 116 123 (yeah I don't understand how that's a phone number either!). Even if you don't say anything, perhaps it will give you a moment longer to think.

And if you are in touch with your local mental health services, I know they don't seem the most kind at times, and that continuity of care is incredibly disjointed but do try and call their crisis line.


Perhaps no-one will read this - perhaps I'm hoping that when I need to try and stop myself again I'll read this and focus on the hope. I find it hard to direct these empathetic feelings towards myself, I know others are the same. This is unashamedly for me too.

So this was my January. I'm not sure why I'm writing this down. Perhaps it will make me understand myself a little more. I find I can express myself more clearly. Perhaps I'll learn something. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...

TRIGGER WARNING, please don't read this if you are teetering on the edge. Call 999 or the Samaritans or anyone, just don't read this. Anna if you are close to the edge the next time you read this, call Bean, call 999. Please don't try and take your life again. I know you don't think you are but you are so loved. Please sweetpea, just try to talk to someone.

Oh how I was going to write.

I was going to write every day and I was, I was, I was.

Slowly each day that passed would allow me to start to write again and I would find joy. I am under no illusion that I am a writer but I do recall a time where I enjoyed trying to write. Trying to rebuild a little of my life I used to enjoy. I really loved being part of a caring community of bloggers who became my friends.

Days passed. I went to therapy, I went to work and Thursday came.

Those days before I felt I'd been screaming for help (albeit metaphorically) but at the same time I was pretending I was fine. 

That morning, after Bean had left for work, I took out the hundreds of pills I'd bought over the past few days and I sat down on my bed.

Those little pills and I looked at one another for a time.

My plan crystallised. I should take some tablets now, pretend everything is fine whilst I attend my therapy and after Bean knows I've been "good" I can go to a hotel and end my life.

So I started to take the pills, by the time I'd caught the train I'd taken 80 pills.

Schadenfraude is a "funny" thing. Only the day before I'd sat moments before Waterloo East as a young lady pulled the alarm as we moved into the station. I'd bemoaned the fact she chose to do this just before the train stopped. I didn't see her set off the alarm but she was in my carriage and I could see her, I couldn't understand that even after she stopped the train she asked no-one for help. It baffled me. I arrived at work late and indignant.

So as I stood on the train to the hospital to attend therapy I started to feel rather queasy. Even in my slightly confused and nauseated state, I remembering giggling at the irony of the situation in which I found myself. Luckily for the other passengers I managed to contain my stomach and my arms. I left the train and found myself in hospital.

Hospital is meant to be a safe place and I'm embarrassed to say I made it unsafe for my fellow patients. I was overcome by the toxins in my body and they quickly saw that I was under the influence of something.

And so I was marched to A&E and I waited to be seen, alone. In that time I took another 80 odd pills. It was then I started to feel incredibly unwell and promptly vomited over matron. Sorry sir.

There I sat. I refused to let them call Bean. I refused treatment. I so wanted to die. I needed to die. Life had/has become so unbearable.

As the hours passed I realised I wouldn't be able to steal myself away (no matter how much I tried to slip away), being manhandled by security guards whilst being threatened with being sectioned is never nice.

I'd thought that death would come that day. I was so angry with myself, again wasting the time of the NHS. The registrar did a great job of scaring me. They kept taking my blood and showing me my results. My blood was already acidotic and my fear increased. It has never been my intention to die from liver failure.The pills have always been my ill-conceived backup plan and not my primary want.

And thus I relented, I allowed them to treat me.

I stayed in hospital for another three days. Hoping that my I hadn't ruined my liver. The words, "massive overdose" were bandied about by the staff and thus I was watched constantly. At least I managed to escape being admitted into a psychiatric ward - although perhaps that would have been good for me?

Each day I feel as if my mind is torturing me. (Note I know it is not real torture, having met patients who have been tortured I would not dare equate my situation to theirs but I cannot think of another way to describe the constant barrage of hatred which bounces around my head.) It slips out sometimes and it always surprises people, for this incarnation of me (and it is me - I can't hide from that) is a terrible person. And yet, this is the person I have to deal with all the time and people are surprised that it distresses me so? I know you would feel the same. Just imagine how it feels to be verbally devastated by someone and that's how my brain treats me, every day.

I think it would be so much easier if I just knew I wanted to be dead. It's just seems that a I still have a little bit of hope still inside me. The little sliver which makes me go to work, to therapy and try and be a real person. It's the hope that hurts. Death seems like paradise (albeit in my head that is nothing - death is absolutely nothing). To continue with the thoughts, the fear of being admitted to a psych ward, to never live the life Bean and I both wanted. The torture seems incredibly real and oppressive.

So whilst I talk, I know that others can't or won't. I appreciate this is an incredibly personal moment in my life and that many people might think that it's incredibly inappropriate to discuss this publicly. However the fact we don't talk is the reason people think they have no other choice. I'm so lonely. It's not a physical loneliness. I'm very lucky to be cared for by many people but it's a mental loneliness. I don't want anyone to feel the way I do. I wouldn't want to burden them with my thoughts of self-loathing and self-destruction. It just seems a rather cruel thing to do.

So, whilst you may be lonely, you are not alone. These are not good thoughts. (I know good and bad are the wrong words - according to psychology - but I really think they are right for this moment.) There is something wrong if you feel like suicide is the only choice. Please try and talk to someone, I would say talk to me, but right now I'm so very unreliable, I can barely concentrate long enough to write a sentence, leave alone read one, so if you write to me (and please do because I will respond eventually) please talk to someone that same day. Please.

It's my birthday this weekend. I'm nervous. Bean has organised fun but I'm scared I will ruin things. If not this weekend but in the days following. I know life is good for many people but it just seems as if it will be too hard for my little soul. I don't want to waste any more of Bean's time.

What will the next few days bring?

I hope I don't find myself in hospital. I hope I can enjoy my birthday. I hope there are all the flowers.

I hope I can connect with a few more people through this blog. I'm trying and for now that has to be enough.