This is a personal piece. Please be aware some content may be triggering. This post will mention suicide but no methods will be shared.
14 years ago today I tried to end my life for the first time. I was 15. I had already been showing signs of mental illness for a couple of years as I had begun self harming. This had been picked up by my head of year at school but nothing had been followed up and I had no support. My parents were not aware of any issues and would remain unaware for a further 5 years.
My first suicide attempt came about as a result of many different things that were happening at the time as well as my past. Everything was overwhelming and suicide felt like my only way out. The final straw came when someone I was at school with told me “why don’t you just kill yourself?”. It cemented my decision.
I was home alone when I tried to end my life. I felt isolated from everyone in my life and I couldn’t see a way of coping. I didn’t know that I was ill. Mental illness was nothing I had heard about before. It was definitely something that wasn’t talked about at school or at home. Also the safeguarding of children surrounding mental illness didn’t seem to be in place as at school when they had become aware of my difficulties with self harm nothing was reported. Could this of stopped my suicide attempt? Maybe.
Since my first attempt to take my own life, I have attempted to end my life many more times, but this first time stays with me more than others. It felt like the start of something that still plaques me until this day. On the anniversary of this day I have made further attempts to end my life. I have felt the dread around this date. It hits me every year. The consequences of my first attempt are far reaching.
If you are feeling suicidal then I know it is difficult to ask for help and I know it is not always forthcoming, even when you ask for it. But things have changed since my first attempt. There is more awareness and acceptance of mental health and mental illness. It is more acceptable to ask for help and discuss when you’re having problems. It’s not perfect but please know that you do not need to suffer alone. The Samaritans are available at all hours, every day in the UK and Ireland. If you are from another country then please look at the crisis contacts in the drop down menu at the top.
If you are concerned about someone who you think is suicidal please reach out to them. Let them know you are there and will support them. Also don’t be afraid to ask if they are suicidal. Asking the question will not put the idea in there head but may save a life.