This (below) is something I wrote this morning [Today is World Suicide Prevention Day]. I’d quite like your help in getting the message out – I know it would have helped me.
Turns out it’s quite easy to say “I’m not coping, I need some help”. I should qualify that by saying it’s quite easy when the alternative is saying “I tried to kill myself”.
About two weeks ago I took an overdose. I was rushed to A&E by my housemate and she called my best friend. The whole thing is quite blurry – but one thing I will never forget is the first of a series of drips I was put on which had me on all fours on the hospital floor being violently sick, and scratching my scalp with such intensity that I drew blood. Looks like I have not done any permanent liver damage, which is good because, as the psychiatrist explained, they tend to not put people who try to kill themselves on the transplant list.
How I got to the point that I thought two boxes of paracetamol was my only option is something I don’t understand yet, it’s something I may never understand but I’ve got to try. I’m in my late twenties, have a good job and an excellent group of friends. In other words I have everything to live for, never have I understood this as much as talking to a man in his early forties on the ward beside me. I was still pretty groggy but I clearly remember feeling overwhelmingly guilty as I listened to how much a struggle he is having on Chemotherapy. Literally fighting for his life. The gentlemen on the ward were polite enough not to ask any questions. It was pretty clear to everyone when the psychiatrist introduced herself why I was there.
I’ve only told one other person, my other best friend. Trust me on this, saying “I need some help” before taking the overdose would have been much earlier than having to watch the concern and confusion on his face as I told him what I had done the previous week.
One thing that has come out of all this is I am getting help. I’ve seeing a therapist twice a week. I’ll talk more about that later. But I also now have three friends who I can’t fool anymore, no more pretending to be on top of everything. No more trying to be superman. Three people who are going to check in with me and given what they know that I have a responsibility to be honest with.
In my defence I had tried to find a therapist a couple of times before but never really followed it through. I’m now seeing someone working in the My Mind centre I’ve a feeling I’m going to be seeing her for quite a while. But I already feel like there have been baby steps of progress.
I’ll be writing about my “journey” (I feel quiet American now I have a therapist) on my blog (see below) over the coming weeks and months. I’d quite like to keep my identity to myself so I may not be also to share all of the gory details but I’ll try to be as honest as I can.
Kate Fitzgerald’s article to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, September 2011