Today is Sunday, making it the last day of the week and therefore, the last day of Suicide Prevention Week.
Notice how it’s ‘Prevention’ instead of ‘Awareness’ as they are usually titled? I feel like that’s because we are already so aware of the suicides going on all around the world however it isn’t being prevented as much as it probably should have been, for example in 2014, 6581 suicides were recorded in the UK and the Republic of Ireland alone, and that’s 6581 more people than there should of been. That’s 6581 families left behind and grieving for their loved one.
‘Pick yourself up off the ground. You’re sure as hell too good to let them hold you down’ – All Time Low
From a young age, I’ve essentially been surrounded by people with mental illnesses and suicidal thoughts. At seven years old, my mother was diagnosed with depression. At eight years old, I witnessed my mother take a pair of scissors to her wrist. It was an event that will forever be imprinted into my mind. At eight years old, I also witnessed my mother finally get the help that she needed, and begin to smile again. At ten years old, something happened to me on a bus, on holiday, that would eventually be the beginning of my depression. At twelve, I began to self harm ‘properly’. It’s a known fact that I self harmed as a toddler anyway, which in a way breaks my own heart. At thirteen, I was introduced to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) and they pretty much didn’t help at all but hey ho, they were still someone to talk to. At fourteen, my best friend at the time would sit with me while I waited for my mother to pick me up from school because I couldn’t make it through the day. Also at fourteen, the same girl rang me up one evening and spilled her heart out to me. Letting me know just how much I meant to her, and why I should live to see another day and little does she know, she saved my life that evening. Every time I didn’t want to live anymore, my thoughts would go back to that evening. At fifteen, I would spend near enough every lesson in the pastoral support office. At sixteen, I failed near enough all my GCSE’s bar about two because my mental health was so horrific that I couldn’t concentrate. At seventeen, I lost my grandfather to Alzheimer’s which threw me downhill all over again. He was like a second father to me. At seventeen, I also got into a relationship with someone that destroyed my mental health even more. I loved them, more than I loved myself without getting anything back and I learn’t from that mistake. It will be a mistake that I will not make again. At seventeen, my grandmother was also diagnosed with the big ‘C’. I guess you could say that seventeen wasn’t the best year for me at all. At eighteen, I’m writing this post sat in bed at HMS Raleigh, doing the job that I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember.
‘Sometimes, life has to get really ugly before it gets pretty’ – Shay Mitchell
When you’re in the midst of your struggles, you never imagine yourself getting through it stronger than ever and yet here I am, finally comfortable with talking about it in the hope that maybe, just maybe, I can help atleast one person. I don’t have every single answer, but I know that is definitely possible to overcome it. I remember thinking my mental illness would forever be a part of my life and now I’m here, at 18, in control of my mind and body. I’m still on Fluoxetine but I’m on a much lesser dosage than I was before and I can regain my control whenever I feel myself begin to slip. It may seem impossible but take it from me, you can win at life if you stay alive just one more day at a time.
If you take anything from this post, then please remember that no matter how crap your life may feel, it will and it does get better and you should be around to see that happen. Even if you don’t suffer from suicidal thoughts or depression then try your best to be the light in someones life.