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My Story: World Mental Health Day

Picture: Personal Excellence

Putting your head in the sand; that resembles society, Britain and in some cases my family as a whole. We deal with things after the event and not before; Brexit and an icy birthday party, then really the only thing iced should be the birthday cake. it’s the lack of not dealing with the creeping xenophobia and discontent, plus the nepotism. Ignorance is bliss, they say.

I firmly believe this is the case with mental health, and huge repercussions surrounding that including suicide.

My first experience with suicide happened when I was around 14 or 15. Around the time I was 13, I stopped hanging round with a group of girls (more on that here), to hang round with another groups of guys and girls who shared, mostly, the same interests as me and generally we all had a shared empathy for the bullying we were all receiving at the time, at varying levels. There was one girl, I won’t go too much into her background, her parents separated and she had various half sisters and half brothers, her parents didn’t drive the latest car (I really don’t like saying the word poor), and sometimes more often than not she would come into school with poor hygiene. The girls I used to hang round with were consistent with their campaign of hate and turned their attention to her. I couldn’t tell you what happened, whether it was lunchtime or what. But I found out years later she overdosed on painkillers, luckily she went to hospital I think, and she’s ok now more than ok - happily married with three children. Back when I found out I was horrified, and I guess I blamed myself, wanting for the girls to continue their grief on me because I could handle them and their patterns, yet I felt this other girl couldn’t.

I was 26 when my next experience with suicide occurred. I had just come out of a relationship; mutual decision. But whilst mutual, it was extremely traumatic for us both. it was a very stressful period and various things happened at once, between jobs, and I had to move from the flat i shared with my ex to a room in a shared house and it just felt like everything was happening at once. one night so depressed I was on a mattress on a floor in a room in a town I only really moved to be with my ex, where due to the isolation my ex put me through, there wasn’t anyone I could confide in, and I didn’t wish to speak with my Mum and Dad as they had there own pressures. And as I’m so used to being able to talk, and being honest about my feelings I couldn’t, so I bottled it and it manifested into an anxiety attack.

I was eventually on the phone to Mum (she can sense my mood) and I got out the words “I’m sorry…I don’t want to be here anymore” (or words to that effect)which is difficult to admit to someone who put you win this world. It was awful…

Prior to coming out I had never said ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’ out loud, worried that I’d draw attention to myself, trigger eye rolls from my family, or distance my already few friends. I tried to work out when all the anxiety started - ok i justified and apologised a lot to my grandparents and other relatives, i sort affection in the wrong places and accepted the love i dissevered which would in turn make me self conscious, paranoid, anxious and at times really depressed - the long time spent coming out and being bullied really didn’t help. A panic attack in the street two years after I left school having bumped it not someone who once beat me to a pulp. A breakdown in the toilets after being threatened my friend was going to tell the teachers and parents I was gay. But that wasn’t anxiety - I was already out, happy and more importantly that was years ago.

I debated internally as to whether I should use a pen and paper to help sort my thoughts, but I shook my head which provoked a look from an onlooker who from her body language was demanding to know why I was there when I looked fine. An hour of waiting and I could see my name on the sign calling me into Dr. Ahmed’s room. He had previously seen me a couple of months ago when I was sick then, and he asked me smiling how I was. I hate being asked how I am, when I’m not ok as I cannot lie. I burst into tears, and he immediately looked concerned and gave me tissues. standard. I told him of everything that had been happening; the stress, the anxiety I was feeling, the psychological abuse I went through asa result of what my ex was putting me through

I didn’t know what to tell her. I didn’t know how to tell her that I didn’t want to be here anymore. That I was scared I was going to act on impulse and do something if I couldn’t have help. That’s what I was scared of. I just couldn’t take it any longer.

Needless than 48 hours later I walked into the GP with Mum and had the strength to speak to my Gp about what had happened, how I had been feeling. They referred me on the waiting list for counselling with the NHS for up to six months, high dosage of anti-anxiety tablets as well as stress management group therapy classes.

It wasn’t an easy journey, and I am still on them now even after everything and things seem to be more stable.

That same year an old school peer committed suicide. It was a shock...and it's still disturbing even now to know that the system is still failing these numbers. This person wasn't a number; he's a son, a brother and boyfriend.

I just want you to know that it can and does get better; so please talk to someone.

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