The first time I had serious thoughts about taking my own life, I was 15. I wasn’t expecting to do it, but I remember one evening sat in my bedroom thinking about what would be the easiest way to do it.
School was a nightmare for me. I had reached that age where sexuality starts to rear it’s awkward, spotty crest but I was adamant on wearing only baggy, dark clothes because I was utterly terrified of being found attractive. I had already experienced unwarranted sexual intimacy on a few occasions at the age of 8. The man responsible was still very much in my life. I tried to de-sexualise myself in my early teens to prevent him from doing it again, and I genuinely thought any other man – including the ones in my family – were highly likely to do it if they realised I had now developed breasts.
By refusing to allow puberty to give me a sexual awakening and distancing myself from both male and female classmates, I was incredibly alone. And when you’re incredibly alone, you think about death. A lot.
I played video games as a release, and whenever I thought about killing myself or myself dying, I would always fantasise how it would be in a video game. Cloud and Barret, having come to be very fond of me while helping them save the planet from ShinRa, would cry in anger when Sepiroth speared my body – obviously, after I had heroically pushed Aeris out of the way. After battling Metal Gear REX, Snake would be inconsolable that the injuries sustained during the battle would kill me, lying in his arms. In every scenario, I would always fantasise of there being a big parade in my honor. And I would play out these fantasies a lot – on the way to school, during classes, sat by myself in the library at lunch break.
I came across as weird to everyone else in college. When 18th birthdays started coming round, literally everybody else in the year would be invited except for me. Those nights were another time I thought about killing myself – again, fantasing about video game characters that I had often created stories and narratives about in my head, imagining how gutted they would be. Because god knew none of my classmates would care.
Since the age of 18 when I made an active attempt to kill myself the first time, I have tried to hang myself, cut myself to death, and taken multiple overdoses. Every single time I have ended up in hospital, being forced to down a bottle of this charcoal stuff they give you if you’ve taken an overdose but it’s too late to get your stomach pumped, or with a nurse helping me wash off the dried blood all over my legs and my stomach. One time I was sent to a safe house.
Each time I am utterly humiliated, but the thing that sticks out to me most is that each time, after the initial attempt, it was usually me that called an ambulance. There’s always that drop for me from absolute complete and utter despair to a sort of mild agony that appears only after I’ve hurt myself badly, a mild agony that is bearable enough for me to pick up the phone.
In September 2017, I saw the man responsible for what happened when I was 8 for the first time in 6 years. I thought I would handle it alright, but I didn’t. With the breakdown of my relationship and the fact that I wasn’t able to get a job, it would be the first trigger that I was not able to successfully push through for about 3 years. I got home to my flat, I filled my bath with water, and I gently placed a craft knife on the bath’s edge.
I must have been sat there for a good half hour, readying myself to get into the bath. I had my phone on the side too, with the intention of calling an ambulance with my last breaths to prevent my loved ones stumbling on me weeks after the deed. Honestly, I was going to do it. Or was I? Was I really going to do it?
I picked up the phone. I called my brother. I didn’t do it.
The fact that I am still here is usually enough for naysayers to tell me I’m not suicidal at all. But you don’t have to kill yourself to be suicidal. You don’t even have to get to the point where you are standing on the edge of a railway bridge to be suicidal.
I am scared of dying. But very often, I don’t want to be alive. But the fact I haven’t succeeded, and I always come back from it, tells me that there is a burning want to stay alive and enjoy life *somewhere* inside me. The day that burns so bright that I can see it will be a good day.
I’m sorry for the serious post. And honestly, I’m so unstable that I can’t give advice to anybody reading this who is experiencing the same feelings. But I hope that in some small way, you can see that you are not alone.