I was sitting at Birch service station after driving there, recklessly, in floods of tears typing out my suicide note on my iPhone. I was in my pajamas, I hadn’t showered in days and it was still daylight, but I was so numb I really didn’t give a shit.
I was studying the motorway bridge to my right, working out how to access the steps, wondering how many people would see me walk purposely over there, face streaming with tears, and if anyone would even care.
I was watching the traffic just past the hedges lining the car park zooming past, wondering if I could run out causing the least amount of damage to the people driving the car, and the most amount of damage to myself.
I was completely numb to it all, but the tears wouldn’t stop. My mind was trying its best to think as logically as possible, to make sure my note was thorough, to make sure I was hidden, to make sure I was picking the best method so not to upset too many people around me.
The only emotion I had really felt that day was anger at my timing. A few months before, a bridge close to my house had the perfect access for anyone wishing to jump. The drying mass of flowers tied to the railings showed that many had succeeded. But because of this, the council built the railings over 7 ft high, so that option was no longer an option for me.
This was last week.
I’m still numb, but I’m still here.
The doctors have said my medication has stopped working. That I’ve just become immune to it after taking it for so long, ‘So here’, she said, ‘try this one – and don’t take it all at once’ – a sly dig at my last attempt the week before, when I just needed the pain to stop, and with a moment of desperation, took a large amount of medication which has the effect of slowing your heart. And that’s it. That’s all you get.
You sit there, and you cry out, and say that you’re desperate, and you get the question that all doctors ask,
“Do you have any plans?”
Yes. I have plans. I’ve made plans. I have 5 plans. My mind won’t stop replaying these plans, if I’m sitting watching TV, if I’m trying to cook dinner, if I’m trying to sleep, if I’m driving to work – what if you just thrust that knife into you? What if you just spin the wheel to the right over that barrier whilst on the motorway? Why don’t you just jump when that train is coming? And the questions won’t stop, ever.
And you tell the lady in A&E this, the one who gets to speak to you after all the medication you took on purpose has left your system. You tell your doctors, who you’ve been advised to see by the lady in A&E. The doctors give you a list of numbers of services to call when you feel this desperate.
You tell the Samaritans. You tell Victim Support. And what do you get?
“Do you have a list of numbers of services to call when you feel like this?”
Yes. I’m calling you right now. You’re my list. So what now? What can you do now? Please. I’m desperate.
“Why don’t you see your GP and tell them how you’re feeling?”
Because they gave me your numbers to call when I’m desperate. Because they have referred me to therapy with a 6 month waiting list. Because I am literally sitting here, begging someone to do something, anything for me, please, because I don’t know how much longer I can do this.
“Why don’t we call you an ambulance so you can go to A&E?”
Because they will listen to me cry, and howl, and beg, and tell them of my plans, and I will be sent back to my GP the next day who will give me YOUR NUMBER to call again and we will be having the same conversation tomorrow whilst I’m sitting in the service station contemplating throwing myself off the bridge because the new medication takes 4-6 weeks to work and I can’t do this on my own and I can’t take the pain and the darkness and the parts of me begging me to kill myself anymore.
And the person on the other end of the phone says nothing. Because what can you say? I thank them for their time and hang up.
They don’t know what I do next. On the last occasion this cycle happened, my friend managed to coax me into coming home. So I did. And I sat and cried and stayed awake staring at the walls for 24 hours straight, cuddling my puppy and wondering when I’ll break next. But I could’ve easily hung up, walked over to that bridge and jumped.
The services are failing us. There isn’t enough funding to provide the support we need. The waiting lists are too long and the only chance you have of decent support is private care, which that majority of people suffering can’t afford. One of the nurses I saw said ‘We’d keep you for a few days to look after you if we had a spare bed for you – but we don’t think you’re a risk to yourself.’
I replied, in agony from the pain, that I am a risk to myself. I am terrified of what I’ll do when I get home, my mind won’t stop, can somebody please do something?
I paid for the parking of the person who had taken me there after overdosing, and went home, knowing nothing had changed. After they informed me how many more it would’ve taken for it to have completed the job. After not even asking if I had that amount still left in my bedroom. The answer is yes, I do. More than that. Because one of the GPs I saw a year ago accidentally prescribed me 4x the dose of what I was originally on when they carelessly filled in my repeat prescription. The services are failing us.
Those who say that suicide attempts are a cry for help are wrong. My cries for help are a cry for help. My suicide attempts are what happens when these cries aren’t answered.
I wish I could end this blog on a positive note, or with some semblance of humour like the others but I’ve run out. Maybe my medication isn’t working, maybe I do need therapy, maybe I do need to keep calling the services and talking about why I need the pain to stop again and again. And maybe I don’t want to die. I just want the thing in my head that’s telling me to die, to die.
And I really need help.