I have hinted that something has not been right in our world for the past couple of weeks and I am hoping that the following story from my son will shed some light on this.
I asked my son to write this and he has willingly done so. He has asked that I edit it however I have edited it only to make it a little easier to read. These are his words and they are from the heart.
Just 3 weeks ago I sat on my Couch thinking of ending my life…. I was over it, not because I had a bad life, because I didn’t, but because my brain was telling me to… I fought it and fought it. My wife got home and we went to bed, where I lay awake until 3am. Just lying there. The room black and my wife asleep.
I got up. I went to the kitchen and I was ready to end my life. I Had everything I needed right in front of me. I was upset. I don’t know why, but I was! I started to Sob and I found myself taking tablets to begin. Tablets to make it easier. Not a lot, but hoping they would calm my nerves…. But they didn’t…. I had a friend who I contacted from the USA and I said Goodbye to him, and he immediately clued in and stopped me, if it wasn’t for this Man, I wouldn’t be here today.
I went back to bed. The tablets I took knocked me out and I slept. After lying for only a few more hours, I got up, dressed roughly and forced myself to travel into the city for a meeting. I arrived, but all I could think about was hopelessness. I left straight after the meeting, un-characteristic to who I normally was. I was standing on the train platform thinking how easy it’d be to jump in front of a train…. I didn’t…. (Note from Sue: During this train trip my son was messaging me and telling me that he wanted to throw himself on the tracks. I kept the phone beside me for the next 24 hours).
On the train I argued with myself, over and over and over and over again! I was so upset, I would think of hurting or killing myself, then moments later would change my mind and realise how stupid I was, which would then barrel into these thoughts again. I received an email from a friend, also from the USA and also who I sent prior to then a goodbye email. He didn’t realise the situation and he was apologising for not getting back to me sooner…. He forced me to promise one step at a time… Over and Over again to promise to get to the station, then to get to the doctors etc…. Again, if it wasn’t for this Man, I wouldn’t be here today…
But I got to the doctors, and now I am here. Alive…. I wont go through what happened after that, but I will go through my thoughts of the past few days.
I have been listening to a book. ‘The Fault in our Stars’ By John Green. About a girls battle with Cancer and her lover who she meets in the book and there love for each other, but never forgetting that she is dying. I listened to the whole 7 hours long book very quickly. It goes on to say how her boyfriend’s cancer which was in remission comes back and then he dies.
Why has this book had such an impact on me. Why had this book created such a feeling in my heart. Because these characters had received a death sentence. A death sentence that, they could do nothing about. Regardless of how good there life was, there was no options for them, other than to possibly try and extend there life. This sounds sadistic for this to give me a positive feeling. I, (whilst arguably I still to this day say I didn’t), do have some sort of control over my life. To live or die, it is in my hands. Where these two lovers had nothing. They just had to live every day like it was there last, right up until the day it… well…was there last.
My thoughts pondering the book make me sad, I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to stay engrossed in there lives, however sad, because for a moment there sad lives made me feel good. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t just sit there and stay in there life, no matter how much I wanted to. I have to live my own. Some people have a choice to live or die, whether you choose to live or die is in your hands and right where it needs to be. And am I mentally stable to a point where I am my old self? No! Far from it! However, I am learning to FIGHT this sickness. It can only kill me if I let it. I am my own person and I daily remind myself of that. It can control my moods and emotions (for now) but it can not kill me, unless I let it.
Please, PLEASE look for signs in people… Find things that may be uncharacteristic of a person.
Like I said above, there are 2 pivotal people who saved my life because they read the signs. Take time to remind people they are loved and that they are cared for… Take time to confront people if you need to. To ask them if they are thinking of hurting themselves. Research and find out the many signs that can give it away. You too could be a life saver…. You too could be someones hero…
This was difficult for me to read. I lived most of this with my son from the day following his attempted overdose until his eventual admission to a psychiatric hospital and the days following. I watched the effect of the medications given to him by the staff of the hospital upon his body and saw the results of the side effects (including psychosis and self harm). I spent days with a son that I did not recognise but I knew that he was still in there under that fog.
Now he is home.
He is doing his best each day to look forward to the rest of his life. A life that includes his beautiful wife and coming child.
In the past 24 hours I had a conversation with him in which I heard him laugh as he talked about his wife’s ultrasound and seeing his baby. My heart was gladdened.
I know he is finding all this hard because he wants to be the ‘old’ him once again and get better. When I was discussing this with my oldest daughter the other day her reply was “Mum, you aren’t better. I’m not better. I’m sure that (the GG) isn’t better. What we have learned is how to live a new kind of normal and one day he will realise that also.”
And she is right.
Our new normal includes looking for the beauty in the every day and being grateful for the blessings in our lives. It includes eating well and looking after ourselves. But most of all our new ‘normal’ includes being aware of and responding to those we love in a whole new way.
On the day that Robin Williams ended his life, my son called me from the hospital and told me. He (and others in the unit) were incredibly shocked and saddened that someone who appeared to have it all together (unlike them they believed) committed suicide. I haven’t written about Robin Williams’ death because quite frankly it hit a little close to home.
If any good has come from this tragic event it is that people are now talking openly about depression and suicide.
It is my hope that this letter from my son will also help others to look for the warning signs in their loved ones.
Blessings to you all.