Trigger Warning – this article discusses suicidal feelings
On social media, I see people share horrifying and frightening statistics such as- more men
committed suicide during lockdown than more casualties of COVID-19.
The harsh reality is that I could have easily been part of that statistic. I was lucky. This is why I am
telling a part of my story.
I am hoping this would help inspire other people who may be or may have experienced similar types
of emotions, but obviously in different ways. The purpose is to make us more resilient, to never give
up. I am going to share a really difficult phase of my life to a certain extent, in hope that this can help
other people find inspiration of strength. And no, I am not doing this for ‘attention seeking’ reasons
as some people label this in society which I feel actually increases the taboo stigma of mental health.
My life was at the lowest points its been ever.
5 months of torture
I lost the will to live multiple times
5 months of agony
I didn’t want to be around anymore
Ive felt stronger than ever and as good as I have felt for a long time.
2020 has been chaos for millions worldwide
But I write this now, an entirely different person. A better one? No, but a stronger one and a wiser
I am wiser mentally because I have gone through the experiences I did, the emotions I endured and
the feelings of pure suffering and consistent agony that I am wiser, knowing how to deal with loss
better next time.
Where did all these emotions start?
I sometimes think my instability started years ago, when I suffered some personal traumatising
experiences as a young teenager, where I stopped going to school and paused my life. For 2 whole
years. It was a consistent cycle, I would feel high as a kite for a few weeks, jolly, mischievous, loud
and even rebellious as I got in lots of trouble at a school – whom didn’t really treat me well either.
And then it was like a click switched off. It happened in the most random times. I would just start
feeling down about something in my head. A negative recent experience I endured at such a young
age. It would happen at home in the living room whilst watching TV or it would happen whilst I am
listening to my teacher in a classroom as my mind wandered off to a new dark world.
And then, the negative feelings didn’t stop for a few weeks. It spiralled out of control in to a cycle.
I remember coming home from school, at the age of 14, locking myself in the toilet for hours, having
a mental breakdown, as I sobbed for ages, not completing a tiny piece of work. This happened
various times. Or the times, I woke up at 4am, and started screaming, where I became so paranoid
socially that I internally convinced myself I was dying, I thought my life was ending at that moment.
These traumatising experiences, I find it really hard to write down exactly what happened. Why?
Because its in the past? No, but in truth, I am embarrassed that something terrible happened to me,
and I would rather keep it private that public. One day I will be strong and wise enough to be willing
to share every detail of what actually happened.
The mental problems started then. I then had medical problems as my Diabetes became out of
control. Then I became physically unfit. I was mentally unwell and physically unwell as I literally
stopped enjoying sports. I became self-conscious about every aspect of my life, including appearance
and my medical condition- Diabetes.
I felt drained, sick and tired of my life. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the mornings. I fell behind at
least two years academically (theoretically as my grades dropped significantly) and I lost motivation
over every aspect of life. There was a point in my life, when I literally had no one to talk too.
This was when I was just 14. I felt abnormal being diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and
being patronised by a terrible previous psychiatrist who made me feel like a deeply troubled child. I
never saw the light. It took me years to get out of this negative spiral.
Yes, there were few happy memories, but as I grow up, what stands out to me the most is the
experiences I endured and the emotions I felt.
It lasted till I was about 16. I moved schools. My life, slowly gradually began to change. I got better.
However, it wasn’t always upward curving. I had major blips, where I would feel the same things I
felt as a 14 year old boy.
For example, when my aunty passed away when I was 16. This still affects me today. There is no way
to ‘get over’ a person’s death. However, there are ways to cope and strategies to deal with loss.
Or the less significant moments when I got kicked out of my football team I played for 7 years. I felt
betrayed, resentful and grudgeful. Yet, 3 years later, I re-joined them. Things are never certain. I
never thought I ever would do that.
Life is unpredictable you don’t know what’s around the corner as much as you plan the way you
think you want life to go or be.
And now I am 19, nearing 20. How has my life changed?
In January, I felt I was going back to my 14 year old self, when the dog I grew up with and adored
dearly, Cookie, sadly died. It was like an unanticipated, unexpected wave of darkness came through
me all at once. I remember getting a phone call from my Mum when I was sitting in the pub with my
friends, informing me she needs to urgently talk to me. I walked outside, to the garage, not knowing
the next few seconds would change my life for the sustained foreseeable future.
A few moments later, I just remember sitting by the pub car park, outside in the pouring rain, crying
in the corner for ages, hiding away from my friends. Literally, five minutes before, when I was
unaware of my dog being omitted to hospital, I was jolly, laughing with my friends, enjoying life.
Then my life changed for a very long time.
I mourned for months. I only managed to start knowing the ingredients of ‘coping’ when Willow &
Bella, my new best friends, two new beautiful puppies came in to my life. I have had tough days. But
I went through months of agony without my bestfriend.
Alongside, socially, I had a very toxic friendship who manipulated and abused me severely. I
gradually cut ties with that individual for good. I learnt a lot from that- only let positive people in
your life who give off positive energy. Be there for your close friends, who make you feel good for
yourself. Put yourself first always. There came a point where I didn’t see the meaning of life because
my life was wrapped round another individual’s finger.
Don’t let anyone blind sight you that you forget where you are in this world and don’t let anyone
stop achieving what you want to achieve. The cliché saying that the world is your oyster couldn’t be
true if you ensure no one else controls or dictates your life but you.
There is a lot more to tell. I try to be open and honest about my experiences and show if I overcame
something I see as the lowest of lows and hopefully the darkest period of my life, anyone can. I know
there will be bright chapters to come, but I also know there will also be dark ones. Its about
managing the dark ones so that you don’t ever give up.
I began seeing a life coach, who changed my life. I began putting my life in order, with a routine. I
slowly got back in to the gym, after 5 months out, where I put on at least 2 stone and weighed 13
stone 11. I see a healer who helps me deal with grief and loss, specifically my dog, Aunty and
I slowly got back in to the things I used to do. I began trying new things too. I cycled for weeks. I kept
my mind busy looking at virtual law courses and I read about 8 different books which I became
thoroughly engaged with. I still read every night, to make sure I can sleep at night without my mind
wandering in to places I don’t want it too.
I began playing tennis with friends, I began going on runs. I now go to the gym most days, partly for
physical reasons where I feel more confident, but it’s the aftermath feeling I enjoy the most. The
endorphins in the system, where I don’t stop laughing, playing FIFA with my close friends at my
house, later that evening.
I hold on to the positive memories as much as possible. Even with the people who I have lost during
my life journey. I hold on to the amazing moments with my Aunty, who is unfortunately no longer
with me. I hold on to the amazing memories I make with friends and the feeling I absolutely love,
coming home from the gym. Strangely enough, this makes me realise what life is all about. I find
purpose looking back at the great times.
However, times like these, I reflect on the hard times, in attempt to try and help others and not
forget where I once was. I feel proud of myself writing this because it reminds me how far I have
come over what feels like an entire lifetime ago but was in fact only a few months back.
After everything I have gone through, in a way I am grateful. I now appreciate life in ways I never
used to before. I never learnt how much I took for granted, until I went through what I did. I now
appreciate my happy moments a thousand times more, because I occasionally reflect and think ‘I
wouldn’t have experienced what I just experienced if I had let my life slip away so easily as I nearly
did in the past’.
I am no longer embarrassed to say I am proud of myself and one day, I hope to make a success out
of my life, the greatest opportunity we have, so I can write a book and inspire young people that ‘yes, my life nearly slipped away like a thread of a needle, but this is how far you can go, if you never give up’.
That’s my aim, a small part of my story.