Occasionally, I get emails from people asking if I will allow them to tell their story. I always oblige if I can. This one? This one hurts my heart because I cannot do anything that will help them. All I can do is give them a platform and hope that by writing this down, it will be a kind of therapy for them.
If you are affected by this story and need to seek help, please contact
The Samaritans 0845 790 9090
your local doctor.
or MIND http://www.mind.org.uk
I am adding Trigger Warnings to this post, please be aware it contains experiences of self harm and suicidal thoughts, but they have asked me to share their story, and I promised them that I would.
Their story continues below.
ANON, Welcome to my World
I’ve thought about writing this post, I’d even put pen to paper many a time. And started typing only to delete soon after. But there’s a reason. You see, every few months I update my ‘goodbye’ letters to my friends and family. And here’s why.
This isn’t a woe is me. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge and like I said, great friends. Both real life and on Twitter. (It’s amazing when virtual twitter friends become real friends.) Your whole world opens up. Or at least it does for me. It’s not just about talking about TV, music, sport etc. it’s a chance for me to connect with people like me. People who are damaged but still persist in trying to live their life.
It’s just that sometimes it’s harder than most days. Something bad could happen or something innocuous that throws me and I go straight to Def Con 1 panic mode. My heart and brain start racing – where’s the nearest bridge I could jump off? Where can I jump in front of a train? How quickly can I swallow enough pills to kill me? And they’re constant refrains. Getting louder and louder as my heart beats faster and faster, and I start to feel dizzy and my eyesight goes wavy and I’m crying so hard its physically painful.
The crying is relatively easy to stop compared to the other things. The best way to stop crying for me is to self-harm. Something even worse than crying, but, it’s what helps me in that moment in time. So much so, that I always carry something sharp in my handbag. Last year it was a Stanley knife and a tile cutter. DIY stores are great for self-harm tools. I wonder why they never market themselves like that? Not really, but it’s just so easy. This year so far, I’m carrying a staple picker and I love puncturing the back of my hands. Seeing the red dots calms me down. So then I use it up my arms. It has to look like a pattern. The ritual of self-harm and the method and the result are all intertwined with my OCD.
And all this is going on but I still work. And I work full time. Sometimes I wish I was in sheltered housing as then I wouldn’t have to take care of myself. I’m barely taking care of myself as it is. And this hits me with the realisation that no-one needs me but that I need other people. And for someone whom is independent and has never had to rely on anyone else, this is where it gets hard. There’s also a slight dichotomy of how can you care for others if you cannot care for yourself? I don’t have the answer to that.
The pain of nothingness punches me in the chest. And whilst it resembles nothing, it’s beyond heavy. Like a pachyderm using you as a stepping stone. And it becomes unbearable. And that’s when I start updating my goodbye letters. Have you tried to say goodbye to someone you love in a letter? This isn’t like The Notebook. This is real life. So I read through my previous letters and start writing updated letters. And it calms me down. Because I’m safe with the knowledge that should I take my life, I will at least have tried to explain why to the people I love. And that gives me a modicum of comfort.