Saturday, 12 November 2016

I am a suicide attempt survivor

More than 55,000 suicides occur in the European Union each year, including more than 6,000 in the U.K. and Ireland.

This figure means that each hour, 1 person commits suicide. This isn't counting the number of people who attempt suicide. 

Whenever I hear that someone has committed suicide, whether that be through social media or the news, I can't help but feel extremely sad, and my heart aches. I feel for the family - the parents that will never be able to hug their son or daughter again, a sibling that will never be able to play fight with their sister or brother. I feel for the friends that will never be able to celebrate their friend's birthday with them being here. I feel for everyone that knew that individual, because they will never be able to see them again. I feel so deeply, and why? Because I know what it's like.

I am a suicide attempt survivor.

I can't put into words how miserable and fed up I must have been, to try and end my own life. "Selfish" and "attention seeking" was what I'd get told sometimes, all because I failed. As someone who has survived countless suicide attempts, I am not selfish and I was not attention seeking. I, and many others who have attempted or died by suicide, have been in excrutiating emotional pain when carrying out that attempt. Imagine being set on fire, but the fire is in your head instead. It's that painful. I didn't necessarily want to die, but I just couldn't stand living in this much pain anymore. If I was selfish for being in so much pain that I tried to end my own life, then why did I carry on living for so long? Why did I drag myself through everyday, despite not wanting to live? Because I knew I would tear my family and friends apart. And it only got to the point when I wasn't eating, sleeping or looking after myself, that I thought, I can't do this anymore.

I couldn't physically or mentally cope with the amount of mental pain I was in. I knew it wasn't a quick fix, and if it couldn't be quickly fixed, then I didn't want to live. When I made that suicide attempt, I didn't take into account what impact it would have on those around me. I tried to think of others, but it was as if my brain had blocked it out. 

When I made that suicide attempt, I didn't think I'd be here today, writing this blog post. 

As a survivor, I am dedicating this post to anyone who has, or wants to, end their life.

It's not worth it.

I didn't expect to survive, so I didn't think of anything I'd have to deal with as a consequence. I didn't think of how distraught my family and friends would be. I didn't think of anything but how I felt.

If you're in the position I was a few months ago, and you're even just thinking about ending your life, let me give you a few reasons not to:

1. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. You won't get to see your family or friends again, you won't be able to do anything. You'll be gone forever.

2. Life will get better. Maybe not now, or next week, but it will. I am living proof that life gets better. A few months back, I never thought I would be content with my life and stable, I never thought I'd be getting myself job interviews. I didn't for one second think I'd ever enjoy life again.

3. You have so much to offer in this world, this life. Don't throw it away over a problem that will get better. 

4. You may not think it, but everyone will be distraught if you died. Your family, friends, even people who didn't really talk to you much. They'll not be able to stop blaming themselves, thinking that they could've done something more to help you.

I promise you, life will get better, no matter how bad you feel or how dark a place you're in right now.  I went from being not being able to get out of bed, hardly sleeping or eating, not looking after myself and landing myself in hospital every week. For months on end, I don't think there was one week that I wasn't in hospital. And now?

I smile and laugh, and for once it's genuine. I don't have to hide how I feel anymore, because I'm not ashamed. I'm not ashamed to say I've struggled and that I am a suicide attempt survivor.

I am a survivor, and you can be too. 

"Someone once asked me how I hold my head up so high after all I've been through. I said, it's because no matter what, I am a survivor. Not a victim." 

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