So, here we are. The end of 2015.
A lot has happened in the last 6 months, most of it since June. There was the seizure(s) and the emotional hell I have been through since then that came to a head on Christmas Eve. When I decided to kill myself by jumping off Beachy Head the next morning.
I’m still here because I decided to post a goodbye to the friends that I’m only in contact with through Facebook. I figured no one would be checking their feed on Christmas Day until later so no one would see it till after the deed was done. That turned out to be completely wrong; a whole load of people saw it and called the Police, who pretty much tracked me all the way down and quite literally pulled in behind me as I turned off the car at the layby that sits about a 100 yards from the edge of the cliff.
I wasn’t very happy with that, and it took the drive to the nearest care crisis unit in Brighton, and the couple of hours it took to assemble the crisis team to come talk to me, to realise that I should be happy that I was still alive. And I was.
And I certainly am happy about that. Turns out that the medication that I’ve been taking to prevent seizures does cause depression and anxiety, both of which I had been suffering from. I always get very down and sad around Christmas anyway – and have done ever since my parents were killed back in the 80’s. But this time was exponentially worse. I was randomly crying, feeling so completely lost and alone and sad that I could barely breathe, had two job interviews that didn’t result in my getting either of them, and then my boiler died, the evening before Christmas Eve. The engineer came round, fixed one problem and found a host of others, which would have to wait till the tuesday to fix.
I got through the day, did the final christmas shopping, wrapped everything, feeling increasingly awful all the time. Finished it, had big crying session and went for a walk to clear my head and pick up something to eat from the local fish and chip shop. I’m walking along, trying to find a way out from under this horrible sadness and panic about everything. And then this single thought came to me, that felt so sudden and profound that I stopped walking for a moment just staring at nothing.
That thought was: you can kill yourself.
It’s hard to describe things after that. Everything was calm. No more sadness, no more panic, just a calm, collected state of mind. I continued on to the chippy, picked up something to eat, walked back and ate it. Then I typed up and printed out a suicide note to leave on my front door, wrote a second smaller note to post on my Facebook page the next morning and went to bed.
Woke up the next morning, still calm and collected. Showered and dressed, ate breakfast, and watched TV till it got light around 8. Changed my phone and mobile messages to say don’t leave a message as I’d gone to kill myself. Posted the FB message, got in the car and drove down.
I have been asked whether I would have actually gone through with it, if the Police hadn’t stopped me. I would have to say yes. The person who I was at that moment was on automatic pilot; it was just another step to take on the path I was committed to. If anyone had spoken to me, or asked me what I was doing there (there is a volunteer team who patrols the area looking for people there to kill themselves) it would probably have snapped me out of it just as effectively.
The person I am now, the proper me, currently doesn’t want to kill myself. I hope I don’t get in that state again, and I’m getting help to make sure I don’t. I am a private person. A loner and an introvert who hates talking about himself. This entry has taken me ages for example. I know that I’m going to have to talk to many people about my problems and it will be taking me way out of my comfort zone.
But I’m going to do it. I know I’m going to hate it sometimes but I’m going to persevere. 2016 is not going to be easy but I’m going to face it. I’ve realised I don’t have to be alone, that there are people – family, friends and support staff – who I can talk to, who will help me.
So. 2016. Here I come. Wish me luck.