It’s a Monday morning & I’m sitting in the classroom beside my best friend, we’re laughing and messing about with the boys at our table. They were laughing genuinely, mine was totally fake. But as all things go, they never picked up on it, or chose to ignore it.
The day before, my older boyfriend dumped me. I was just back from holiday and my so called friends at the time couldn’t wait to tell me as soon as I came home that he was cheating on me and fucking another girl. He came to see me that Sunday night to officially end it. He broke my heart. That night I opened a new box of pain meds and took two for my headache, not really paying attention, threw the box down and it landed on my school bag.
Monday morning I was running late for the bus. I pushed the meds into my bag along with my cigarettes and lighter.
I couldn’t face the laughter. My best friend and I walked out of the classroom when the bell rang and I told her I’d meet her at the next class. I went to the girls toilets, to the last cubicle and flunked down on the toilet seat and lit up. My head was thumping and I remembered I’d my pain meds. 32 in a full box as I sat on the closed toilet seat smoking my foggy, I swallowed every last tablet in the box.
I skipped the class and went to my business studies class 20 minutes later. As I sat in my seat, I broke out into a cold sweat. My stomach felt like it was burning and being ripped apart with sharp stabbing pains. I tried to hold in the tears, the fear, the sadness, the rejection. I wasn’t enough. I felt like everyone was better off without me. Sure, I was a good person, but that wasn’t enough for people.
Eventually the girl sitting beside me told the teacher I wasn’t looking so good. It was 5 minutes before the end of class. And when I went to stand up my vision left me, I couldn’t stand straight with the pain & I crumpled to the floor.
My teacher, god love her, rushed over to me, I couldn’t talk, my chest hurt when I breathed. She grabbed my bag thinking I needed an inhaler and found the empty box of pain meds.
I remember her getting me to the office, my PE teacher putting me into the car and taking me home. I remember the questions of why? Was I being hurt at home? I sat in the car, doubled over in two in pain ashamed, embarrassed, I had done this over a boy but then also laughing quietly because I simply didn’t care.
Two friends from another school were at a house opposite mine, they were bunking off, I remember them shouting about me getting into trouble & laughing. I thought ‘you have no idea!’
My dad done a 25 minute journey from his work in 10.
He stormed through the door, grabbed me and shoved me into the car. My mum trying to keep him calm as they took me to A&E.
I remember sitting in the corridor, I was giggling from the high, the disdain and disappointment, mixed with pure rage, dripping from dads face, wedged between him and mum. The nurse came out of the blue door and took me in to the doctor.
My parents weren’t allowed in.
I got asked if I always had suicidal thoughts?
I got asked if my parents abused me?
I got asked if any one else abused me?
I was asked if I’d been raped?
No was the reply to all his questions.
‘It’s all because of a boy. A stupid guy!’
I screeched in pain when they took my blood. The size of the needle was enormous. I remember hearing my dad thump on the door.
They tried to pump my stomach with the tube but couldn’t get the pipe down, so i was given the tub of black liquid gloop and told to swallow.
Then my parents were let in to the room. It was their job to pass me the cardboard liver shaped trays to boke into. Fun for them eh?
By this time, I was more aware of what I’d done. I cried and cried and cried in between hurling my guts up. I wasn’t able to keep even the water they let me sip on down. I told my mum everything. My dad got up and left the room.
The doctor came back what seemed like days later, tho it was probably only a couple of hours and checked up on me. He asked me if I was going to do it again? No way! He saw my parents were decent and loving even though angry as hell with me. He told me I was lucky I had got to him before my organs would have been damaged.
15 minutes longer and I’d have had a bigger battle on my hands.
My parents took me home. My dad never spoke to me. He didn’t look at me. Mum let me curl into her and cry.
A week later I was back at school. I had to deal with losing my friends. The whispers. The looks and smirks.
Only one of my Guy friends came over to me when we went to the art room for form class and he gave me a big hug, kissed my forehead and told me I was a stupid bitch & never to do that again. Thanks Gavin btw for that.
After he done that, nobody bothered. I was socially outcasted at the age of 14.
Skip forward to the next year, I met a new fella, introduced him to my parents. He was my first date since the incident and my dad threatened him. Told him I was recovering from suicide attempt and not to fuck me over. Mark was a total champ. He knew about the overdose, I’d told him and warned him about my dad. He took it all on the chin.
Then in 96, I left school and went to collage. My new best friend actually lived just down the other side of our estate, she set me up on a blind date as Mark and I didn’t last. As it turned out, his head was more screwed up than mine and he turned to drugs. Not my scene and Infoundcout my dad was still looking for the previous ex!
But the blind date ended up with me engaged, pregnant, married and officially holding my baby girl in my arms at the age of 19.
Sure, 2 years later I was separated waiting for my divorce hearings but it was ok. I had my baby girl.
If I had succeeded in killing myself, 24 years later I wouldn’t be a mum to two of the most amazing, funny, witty, awesome kids. My daughter is now 19, my son is 13 and even though I’m a single parent, I am a parent. I lived. I dealt with life. I asked for help when I struggled, I battled through, I fought.
I still have my days where I slip into a dark and twisty phase, it’s not depression, it’s me over thinking and over analysing everything when I can’t get answers or people hurt me or whatever but oh my god, I have the greatest gift and blessing I could have ever asked for. I am a mum. I have a lovely home, I have a great family who love us and support us. I have a tight close circle of friends who I trust completely and I’m dead loyal to.
But at 14 years old, I had no idea.
Tonight we hear the news of Chester hanging himself. He was in a place so dark his demons won their battle. He was only able to find peace in death. His family and friends will be heartbroken. They will have their guilt, questions never to be answered and they will have to mourn their loss. But please, if you have thoughts in your head that aren’t good, if you are struggling to cope, if you feel you can’t find happiness and peace. Ask. Speak. Keep fighting.
I was lucky. I made a stupid mistake over the stupid reason, but at 14 years of age it was the end of the world for me. I remember clearly the physical pain from my heart breaking, that void sucking my soul away. You feel the dispair, the loneliness, rejection, unworthy. Bad emotions, unhealthy emotions are so strong. It’s hard to pull yourself away from but it can be done. Please talk to someone today.
And if you know somebody whose suffering with their mental health for god sake never give up on them. Show Up. Love them hard. Love them unconditionally. Give them a shoulder to cry on. Let them feel safe and be trustworthy. Listen to each and every word they say without judgement. Sit with them in their darkness, the only light they may need at that particular moment is to feel you holding their hand. They will know they aren’t alone.
What I learnt this year though, as sad as it is, is all of it doesn’t matter, no matter what you say or do, if the person’s demons are that controlling they succeed in their death. What matters then is to know the person’s soul isn’t in pain any longer. They aren’t living a life of mental torture. They have found the end of their suffering. Be thankful. Be thankful for the memories you have with them, be thankful for all they ever done for you, be thankful that in a sense you get to say goodbye at the funeral & share your love and grief with everybody else while you can see how much they meant to everybody in that room. Be thankful that you had the person in your life. To love and connect with. Some people don’t even get that.
But don’t be the 14 year old. Lost. Angry. Naive. Stupid. Don’t bottle up your emotions.
Talk & seek the support you need.
It will get better xo