It was put to a group of people to write their story of hope, of survival over suicide, of their personal experience or that of a loved one, and I have struggled with this. I have written and re written my story several times and have always decided against emailing it.
I suppose the main reason why is because I didn’t know what angle to approach it. Another reason is exposing myself, not to anyone in particular, but to myself. Accepting that what happened, happened and there was nothing I could do about it.
I had a difficult childhood where various things happened that a child should not have to endure. I also brought my father to hospital where he subsequently died within a week, I brought his personal effects home, wallet, drivers licence, house/car keys etc, and left him there. I was 15 years old.
At 19 I was diagnosed with depression. I had lived in denial of my father’s death for 4 years but eventually it caught up with me. It was 1983 and the solution was medication for a month so that I could sleep it off!!! There was no follow up help, there was no counselling offered, there was nothing. Around this time I met my now husband of 27 years and before we ever got together we were just friends. We talked and talked and talked and as it turns out, it was what I needed. I had my own private counsellor!
Time passed and we married, had three children and life was good. I had my ups and downs with depression but then in 1994 I hit rock bottom again. It was a year after my last child was born and I was struggling with life. I attended my G.P. and his response when I mentioned depression was “ah sure that’s not you at all, sure you’re not like that”. I left his surgery more lonely than I could ever have thought possible. I left with no help, no support. I had three children, a husband who worked very hard but very long hours. I was so alone it was scary.
At this point I felt I just couldn’t carry on. If people asked what you did for a living, I would reply that I mind my children, and to this you would get, oh you don’t work. When filling in forms for various things like insurance, etc again, you were classed as a second rate citizen, because I choose to give up work to raise my family. I felt so worthless, so down trodden by society, so useless. I felt like I was nothing. The more I felt like this the more the thoughts of suicide crept in. After all who would miss me. I reckoned my children would be better off without me because I was at that time so unhappy. Surely my state of unhappiness was affecting them. It became like an obsession, how would I do it, when, where. I had picked a few different methods of achieving my goal and on one occasion, went out for a very long walk on my own (hubby had kids) and gave it serious consideration. What if I just never went home again, what if…..
Then the realisation sank in, my husband works long hours, who would look after my children? I reckoned he would get over my death as he is a very practical person, but my kids, they were a different kettle of fish. What would they do. How would they explain where their Mammy was, how would it effect them forever!
This was my turning point, and though I still get bouts of depression and if I am honest suicidal thoughts, I know now that I will never attempt it as it is so final. The only one for whom anything ends is the person who commits suicide. For everyone else around them it is a life long sentence of why’s? what if’s? what could I have done?
Roll on 20 years, the last 11 of which I have cared for and supported two of my children with an eating distress. Have I felt guilty for their illness, yes, is it my fault, well no. This is something I have struggled with based on my history, but at the end of the day if it was some other genetic condition that I passed on, am I to blame for that. I have done suicide watch with them, and one of them has been hospitalised on various occasions for her safety.
The positive thing is I am here to support them, I am here to help them through their journey, and probably more importantly I understand a lot, not all, of what they are going through. I understand that feeling of self worthlessness, that feeling of being on the outside, that feeling of who would miss me if I wasn’t here. I understand that blackness when the light is blocked out. But I also understand survival.
So take that chance, choose life, work towards that light of hope, it is there, it is just a matter of finding it.
I did and it is worth every minute of it.
This personal story was written by someone who is a fantastic inspiration of hope and her story proves that no matter how negative your thoughts get, there is always a reason to choose life. You are always important and you are always needed in this world. As the author says, life is worth every minute that you choose to live it.
Have a wonderful week!
Dare to Live SOS