Last week I told you that September was #SuicidePreventionMonth and talked about the shameful numbers of our Veterans who have taken their lives as a result of PTSD, depression and suicide. But you do not have to be a Veteran to experience mental health issues. In fact, statistically one in four of us will experience a mental health issue at some point in our lives. And the other three are lying to themselves and in denial…lol. But getting back to the serious, suicide or thoughts of it can affect anyone. Me included…today I get real and bare not just my body but my soul as I tell you about my darkest hour.
September 2009 – I had been married and living in England for three years….and was miserable with culture shock. I had in the space of two years lost three jobs…through no fault of my own. My youngest daughter had just been diagnosed with epilepsy. My marriage that I had moved 5,000 miles for was failing…including catching him in a cyber affair even though I had been trying desperately to spice things up in the bedroom (and my readers KNOW I can spice it up).
And I was almost twelve weeks pregnant…or so I thought when I started to spot. I did not worry too much though as I had done so with PanKwake…much worse in fact. But just to be safe I left her with family and went to the hospital to be checked out. And the world began to fall apart. When they did the ultrasound there was no heartbeat…in fact there likely never had been. The sac looked to be about the size of a five week fetus. They told me that perhaps I just had my dates wrong and to come back in a week. They would check again for growth and heartbeat. But I was sure about my dates…and when I had taken the pregnancy test.
Even six years later and I cannot go into the rest of the story with you. The details are still too painful to remember. But the bottom line was…I had lost the baby. But my body would not or could not come to terms with it and continued to hold onto the dead fetus. For another twelve days as I vacillated between the hope that the doctors were wrong (never go reading the internet when something is seriously wrong with you) and all the stages of grief at the same time. On top of that I had a sick three year old and had to check on her constantly during the night because of her seizures. I was spiralling further and further into a depression that would last for the next two years.
But then there was that night…ten days into this. I could not sleep and sat at the computer…reading those stories of false hope…and crying. I would sneak upstairs and check on her periodically. And think about the baby sister I wanted to give her. But at forty-four, I knew this was it…if I lost this baby…I could not go through this again.
Now there have been other moments in my life where I was down. Where I thought…I wish I were dead. But only that one time have I take the next leap…not just to thinking about killing myself but to actually planning how. I got back on the internet to see if taking all of my daughter’s seizure medicine would do it. It would not. Of course, I knew that one of the most dangerous drugs was an over-the-counter pain killer, but if you get that one wrong it is a horrible way to die and I am chicken shit about that kind of prolonged pain. In the end, I am a bit of a hoarder and had saved several jars for use around the house. I went into the kitchen and started throwing them against the hard floor, but none would break. My ex-husband came storming down the stairs but instead of seeing what was really happening, he started screaming at me about waking up our daughter if I was not more quiet. Yeah, I know…bastard.
But that was what it took. In that moment, I knew that no matter what I could not leave my child to be raised alone by this man. And though my battle with depression and anxiety had just begun, never in the next two years…or even on the most stressed day now battling autism and a cruel society that does not accept my child…never again have I went that far to seriously consider it.
I do not want your pity…anyone who knows me knows that. What I want is for us to honestly start talking about the hard stuff like suicide, depression, PTSD and all the other shit that makes life crappy. Until we remove the stigma from mental health issues that cannot happen. That is why even in my dirtiest, nastiest, raunchiest porn with three brothers…they all struggle with this thing called the human condition. What I want most is that my stories touch someone…makes them realize they are not alone. And gives them hope in that dark place that I call…the valley of the shadow of death.
So if that is you or someone you know…DON’T do it. Maybe you don’t have a PanKwake to save your life the way she did her Mommy’s. But all of us have someone…either in our past, our present or our future. I know that at this moment you may not believe that, but I do. We like to think that suicide is a tragedy or victimless, but it is not…the people you leave behind are devastated by it.
So as I did last Sunday, here are a couple of resources…
In the UK, there is a wonderful charity called the Samaritans that offer a 24 hour a day hotline at 116 123.
Please use these resources…life is worth it. I promise you…not saying it is easy…but find those precious moments and hold onto them.
Goddess bless, heal and protect us all…