Updated: Jun 29
How he Came Out of Suicidal Ideation into Life Again, Through Therapy.
My experience with my Mental Health.
The only way for me to start this I guess is to describe myself. Id say I’m a typical 28 year old lad of today, I like and do the usual things. Have a big group of friends that I’m extremely close to. We party, we partake in sports, everything that friends do. I’ve got a great girlfriend and we are both pretty lucky to be able to work good jobs and own the house we live in. My family are all still with me for the majority and supportive of me.
As of today I am happy, but if we go back a year, before id met and spoke with Lee. All the things above were still the same and on the surface I looked to be happy and id tell myself I was happy, but reality was I was not. Its hard to put into writing this sort of thing so I’m just going to write and see what comes out. There’s no one thing to point to, to say that’s when and why my mental health started going down hill, but a mixture of things from past present and future, too many things to go into but they all added up over the years. When it did start to deteriorate, it happened pretty fast although it was probably a long time coming. When I was young my uncle unfortunately lost his battle with mental health and committed suicide in 2004. I was extremely close to him as a child but it didn’t really hit me till I was an adult. Whenever it did start to happen that was one of my first worries/anxieties, that one day I might end up doing that too. Those worries about maybe doing it, quickly spiralled into thoughts about doing it. And then after that I remember the next place my mind took me, was somewhere that was just Dark. That is the only way I can describe it to be honest, I was alone in a dark space in my mind where nobody else existed. My love for family, friends and girlfriend couldn’t be found, it just couldn’t get in. Despite being around people at that time I was alone and afraid and the only thing going through me was “I want out of this, I want this to stop” in other words I wanted to die. Thankfully I wasn’t in a position at the time to act on any of this and it really scared the hell out of me. I told my girlfriend to keep asking me what was wrong as I knew I couldn’t leave it and after a few days I managed to open up about it and I will always remember her response. She grabbed me hugged me and said “Babe why didn’t you come and get me!” (she was downstairs). The reason that’s stuck with me is because I had to tell her that she didn’t exist in the space my mind took me to. And the same with my Mum and everyone else that said to me afterwards “why didn’t you speak to me, we are here for you!” Because you are not there for me In that space, your love or existence doesn’t matter to me. That may sound harsh or brutal, but if you think about anyone that has ever committed suicide, if they were thinking about how much they loved someone or how much that person loved them. They wouldn’t do it! For some reason when our mind enters that space all the things that matter to us and the things that could help bring us around just can’t enter with us. Its like there’s a no entry sign at the door for all of it. I always used to say when I was younger that committing suicide was selfish and had no idea how anyone could do it. I’ve obviously a different view on it now, I can see how someone could end up in that space and not be able to come back. I think of if like a circle now, each state of mind is a circle and each layer you go down gets darker and darker until you’re in that Dark space (black circle) where nobody else can enter with you. And the only way out looks like the white circle which is effectively suicide. Obviously some are lucky to come back from the black circle and a lot aren’t, so I am grateful!
After this like I said I was terrified and realised I needed to speak to someone. Or who knows what may of happened. And I remember sitting in my room holding my legs, crying to myself thinking I was broken. The thought of going to therapy seemed to be so negative, like id failed. ( Just to put it out there its the single greatest thing I’ve ever done for myself). Thankfully a friend put me in touch with Lee and we began talking every week and over the months we started getting to the bottom of everything for me. It became that thing I was looking forward to, every day id be thinking “only ... days till Tuesday” (Tuesday was day of my session). Talking with her was never forced, it never felt awkward I enjoyed every minute of it. It never felt like I was talking to someone doing their job or someone there for the money. It felt like I was talking to a very close friend, in fact I opened up more to her than anyone else I ever have. She became an extremely safe place, which made it so easy to talk to!
We all know Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 40, I am proud to say with help from Lee... I Survived, who knows what might of happened if I hadn’t met her. Something I remember saying during our sessions was about how men do not talk about their mental health and the stigma behind it. “I feel like part of a machine in terms of, every time I see my friends before hand I’m putting on that lad jacket and getting ready to laugh and joke. So all those feelings and emotions get pushed into the background and never get a moment to be expressed”. Firstly EVERYONE needs to create a space where its comfortable to talk about feelings as men. Yea taking the piss out of each other is great but just stop for one moment and get serious. Those moments are invaluable and by doing it you might just give someone the chance to get something out they need to, or even save someone’s life. It IS that important!
So to anyone reading this thinking about maybe starting therapy, it doesn’t mean you’re broken, it just means life is hard and you need a gym for you mind (I think Lee described it like that).