On the 7th of February last year I tried to end it all. I woke up in a hospital bed with a drip in my arm and wires across my body. I had no idea where I was, how I had got there and I didn’t understand what was going on. The day before I had sent my now ex husband out, as I needed some peace and promised him I wouldn’t do anything stupid. I had lied to him and for the first time in weeks I was emotionless, I felt no fear, no guilt and no sadness. Today was the day I wouldn’t have to feel anymore. I didn’t think of the consequences of my actions and just saw it as the only way out. I was fed up of fighting PND (postnatal depression) anymore and felt like I had lost any type of control I had over it. It was a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but I couldn’t see that at the time.
That day whilst under the crisis team care I went into hospital to see my doctor who decided after two weeks they would discharge me. I told them I still felt suicidal and I was scared to be discharged without any other support. Just that conversation sent me into a downward spiral and I felt hopeless even though they said they would see me again in three days. I went home to end it and took as many lorazepam I had (about 10mg), coupled up with a handful of quetiapine (antipsychotics) and zopiclone (sleeping tablets), which I washed down with whiskey. I don’t even enjoy the taste of whiskey, but it was the strongest alcohol in the house. I sat back and let the feeling of calm wash over me, whilst I slipped in and out of consciousness, finally at peace.
What happened next I don’t really know, but this is what I was told afterwards. An old school friend had been checking in with me by messaging me on and off. I didn’t make a huge amount of sense so she contacted my sister and a well fair check was arranged. My husband returned home with the kids and around the same time someone from the crisis team and also a police officer took me to hospital.
The next morning when I had realised what had actually happened the feeling of guilt was horrendous. Knowing my children had seen me in such a state and that I had lied to my husband was terrible. I knew from that moment that I needed to fight, my children didn’t deserve this and if I kept going like this, I would lose them one way or another. I would either be sectioned, dead or I would lose my children and all would take me away from the children I love so much.
I was taken in to talk to someone from the crisis team and told that if I was sectioned that I would never get better. As I have BPD (borderline personality disorder) the worse thing for me, would to be sectioned, they gave me the choice, but I declined. 40% of all inpatient have BPD and once you’re in, its hard to ever get out, as this condition is untreatable with medication and the only way to over come it is to complete DBT (dialectical behaviour therapy).
I started DBT quickly after, but I found it impossible to attend as I couldn’t get help with childcare and had to quit. Eventually once my marriage broke down and I started to get help again I was able to start DBT. I am now 5 months in and it has changed my life. It’s changed the way I deal with my emotions, given me inner peace and helped me regulate when I go into crisis. Things still haven’t been perfect and I still struggle, but I am always making progress. To see where I was a year ago and how I am today, I am proud. I am a better person, I am happier and I’m back to being the mother I want to be. I know that as a single parent that I need to get better as I could lose my children if I don’t and that is my driving force behind my progress.
I share my story in hope that it helps other people going through the same struggles. Admitting you feel suicidal does not mean your children will be taken away from you. I know this was my biggest fears, but social services were actually pretty helpful to me and arranged extra support I needed. If you need support ask for it, call Samaritans, contact PANDAS, text a friend. Please don’t suffer alone as it’s too much to take on by yourself and it needs to be shared. This does not make you weak, but actually incredibly strong. Life can change so much in a year and I am proof of it. Keep fighting, you’ve got this.
Progress is key.