• Harriot Grinnell-Moore

The Non-Suicide Note

The Banks of the Seine by Notre Dame

So this isn't easy to write, and it isn't nice to hear, but I have promised myself to always be open with my mental health. Even more so after having friends come to me with their own problems scared to be a burden, or thinking that what they're going through is trivial or something to be ashamed of. It isn't, and talking helps, so here goes.

My mental health has been pretty good recently, my anti-depressants got me level, therapy has been helping, my mind has generally been in a good place, but this past week or two it's been slowly deteriorating. Friday, I couldn't stop thinking of killing myself, I nearly ran out into fast moving traffic several times, I tried to think of my family, my friends, all the good things I have going for me, but none of it worked. I can't described to you how rock bottom I felt. I know my family love me but everything in my mind was telling me they didn't really, telling me I was a burden, an attention seeker, selfish, needy, unloveable. At that point I honestly didn't believe anyone would truly miss me, they'd be upset but they'd move on. I didn't think I had anything to offer anymore and the feelings of failure, of disgust at myself, of worthlessness piled up and up until I just wanted to stop hurting. I wanted to stop believing I was recovering and then for all my progress to fall away to nothing and to be back to step one. A month ago, I thought I'd nearly come through it all, Friday proved differently. Friday I didn't want to try anymore. I felt I couldn't try anymore, I've given so much of myself to therapy, to self recovery and for it to still not have worked, for me to still feel everything I feel, I didn't see how it would ever change.

I felt I had no one to speak to, I'd had a talk with my friend literally the day before about how she wasn't a burden at all, in any way, and should talk to me whenever she needed, but on Friday I felt like too much of a burden. I had no one to turn to. Everyone has their own problems, they don't need mine adding to them. I was also outside, in public, if I could ring someone I didn't want to say out loud "I think I might kill myself today, please help me" because I think if I said it out loud I'd snap and breakdown or I'd run straight into that road. I was so helpless. Looking back, Friday was no different to any other day, I went to work, I spoke with my friends, the very moment I was contemplating it my friend was messaging me with her flight times to visit me in Paris. It just shows it can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere.

I found something inside me to ask my friends if anyone could talk, luckily for me my phone rang immediately. I didn't tell them why I needed them to ring, and thankfully they didn't ask, but they spoke to me until I got home, just about everyday things, about their life. I don't think they even knew how bad I was, but they saved my life. It terrifies me, but I'm not sure if I'd have got home that evening without that phone call. I still went up and down all evening, until I decided I had to call my mum, I hadn't until that point because I didn't want to add to all her problems already. There was one thing she said that seemed to stop or at least to slow down all the suicidal thoughts I'd had all day "what about Aidan and Genie and Jacob? What would they do without Auntie Harriot?" I can't explain why, when thinking of a million and one other people and things hadn't worked but it did.

It didn't mean all the self-hate and hopelessness I felt that day disappeared, it didn't. But the suicidal thoughts did. It wasn't just a click of a switch though, I kept myself busy all evening, trying to make sure those thoughts didn't come back. I scrubbed my bathroom with bleach so hard my hands started to bleed. It scares me to think my mind is back where it was more than a year ago, it scares me to think what could've happened. But it didn't. I am the first person to criticise people who jump in front of trains, or off motorway bridges, "think of what the driver must live with for the rest of their life" is what I always say. I still believe that, I still believe if I had ran out into those cars it would've been the most selfish act of my life, but in that moment, or those moments, my other thoughts were clouded. I thought of nothing else but how to end this pain I was feeling, how to make it better, how to make it go away. It was the quickest and simplest way to do it right there, nothing else mattered in that moment.

No one stopped me in the street, no one asked me if I was okay, I wasn't standing on the top of a building, poised to jump. To all extents and purposes I looked like a normal 20 year old girl going around her day. Even when considering suicide I didn't want to let my façade that I had everything together drop. If I had killed myself on Friday it would've been a shock, no one would've seen it coming, no one I passed on that busy street would've thought I wouldn't be here today. For the first time in years I prayed Friday evening before I went to sleep. I thanked God that I hadn't harmed myself, that I was still alive.

I just want people to know that these thoughts too pass, 26 people have survived jumping off of Golden Gate Bridge, more than half of them regretted their decision mid air. I would've regretted my decision had I taken it, I found a way out of this pit before and I'll find a way out of it again. Please, please reach out to your friends, to your family, to strangers on the street because even if they don't look like they're struggling, your smile, your kind words, your checking in could save a life.

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Contact me: helgm1@gmail.com | The Netherlands

© 2017 by Harriot E.L. Grinnell-Moore

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