A prologue to the note

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.

 

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7 thoughts on “A prologue to the note

  1. I care. I know I don’t know you, but I stumbled across this at nearly 4am, quite unexpectedly, and I care. Please, please contact me when you have nobody else you can talk to, whatever time it may be, because you can talk to me. And I want you to stay safe. I meant it, please. 07779960518 x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I already wanted to wrap you gently in a blanket and get you all your favorite drinks and foods, after reading your Glastonbury thank-you note. And now, this…

    You are an immensely brave person, and I’m so sorry your medical system is failing you so. Mental pain is terrible – there’s nothing for one to point at, as one could do with a broken limb.

    I’m looking at the time-stamps of your latest two entries, and hoping your efforts have paid off in gaining the effects of the medicines you’re taking (rather than just their more unpleasant side-effects). Please keep writing here, if you can. I can also try and be supportive in private emails, if you like – I’ve been a life-long depressive who only got properly treated after leaving the family home (parents had too much investment in me not being mentally ill, I guess). Perhaps words with someone who’s been around this block a few times can help break through solitude and pain.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. These lists of numbers for specialist services, usually independent charities, don’t tell you that the service you contact may not offer that particular speciality, and if they don’t they refer you back to the list. So what you have to do is go through the whole list.

    But it sounds to me like you’d benefit most from counselling, which is an NHS service that your GP can refer you to.

    Like

  4. I have worked in mental health and suicide prevention for more than 10 years and I think this is genuinely the best blog I’ve ever read on how people feel when they’re thinking about suicide – and especially on how much the services needed are failing in the supports they currently provide.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences Laura, your blog is so, so powerful. I know from your later blogs you are now getting help and I hope it’s helping. Take care of yourself and good luck in your recovery x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I care.
    I know how you feel. I FEEL how you feel.
    I have spent the better part of 20years on this roundabout of supposed treatment.
    It’s a plaster approach; you spend most of your time with no help, things get worse and worse until you snap. And when you do snap you’re seen a couple of times if you’re lucky. They stick a plaster over your cracks and then send you on your way.
    They don’t have either the funding nor the resources to do anything else.
    So you sit at home, barely held together by a bunch of old, tatty, fading plasters and the cycle starts again. The cracks get bigger, they take more of you over. They steal more of the person you were and should be.
    Your past cries for help echo in your own ears. No one else hears them anymore.

    I keep a list of all the things I am grateful for; the people I love, the things I enjoy, things to look forward to. When I feel at my worst I go over that list in my head. I try to block out everything else and look at pictures that make me smile. My family, friends and memories of times I felt happy. I try to capture that happiness, even just a tiny pinch will make me stronger, make it easier to block out the pain and negative voices.

    And I write it all down, I make lists of everything. Over and over again I make my lists. Writing them down helps to quieten my mind; if I have written down my thoughts then I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything, missing something. None of the things that I worry about realistically matter in the grand scheme of things but to me, they are essential. I NEED to do them.

    I am so sorry that you are having to go through this and I just want you to know that you’re not alone!
    You sound like an incredibly strong woman and you deserve a medal for each day that you get ot of bed.
    And those days that you can’t get up you’ve yourself a break and recharge.

    Best wishes for the future

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear, dear Laura,

    Reading your story and the experiences you’ve endured please know what a beautiful person you truly are and no matter what these people have done they can never take you, they can never bury you, they can never win. You will and you are conquering this, you have gone through so much and everyday you are growing and while it often may not feel it, whenever you look back, look at just how far you’ve come.

    Hopefully this isn’t the wrong thing to say and please dismiss it if so but the deeply dark and painful things that happen in life often have an invisible purpose that take time to uncover. Keep going. Each of us is on a different path and, perversely, life will never throw more at us than we can handle. Clearly, while it may not feel it much of the time you have a strength that so few possess and you can do this. It’s a different way to look at pain and suffering but personally it’s helped me at the darkest times to know that whatever I’m feeling, the pain, numbness, grief, is there to develop me, to help me grow.

    These people may have robbed you of you for a time but they can’t and won’t forever. The real you is still there, you will always be there and step by step by step you will rediscover yourself and already you are doing so because you’re here, writing and fighting. And as you rediscover you, you will marvel at what an exceptionally beautiful person you are. That thought will cease to be abstract, you’ll really, really feel it. If they made you feel worthless you will see and feel your worth, if they made you feel ugly you will see and feel your beauty. Whatever they temporarily took from you, you will get it back. Ten fold. Keep going.

    Sending you so much love. Take care X

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You are special You are through the roof, wonderFULLy, as if by magically shit hot special. You are .
    Thank you for not leaving us.
    We need people like you out here.

    Liked by 1 person

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