Before I get bombarded with angry comments, let me explain.
I have always believed that depression, along with alcoholism is a choice. Being addicted to alcohol and tobacco is a choice. It is something someone chooses to let rule their lives.
I have been clubbing and drinking and god knows what (because I can’t remember) since I was 12 years old. I’m not proud of my past, but it taught me a lot. By the time I was 18, and legal to do it all, I was bored with the life. I moved on from it all. I have smoked on and off since the age of 15. I have stopped for months at a time, and started again whenever I have felt like it. I tell people that I have never been addicted to nicotine and that is why I can stop smoking whenever I want to. The truth is, I believe in mind over matter.
I have always stopped smoking when I’ve decided that I have had enough; that’s it, I stop cold turkey. I don’t gain a stone, nor do I become a bitch – well more of a bitch anyway!
It’s because of this that I believe depression is state of mind. It’s a choice that you choose. I know there are those who genuinely believe they are depressed and need medication to keep them able and willing to face another day – I don’t judge these people. I’ve been there.
Some 7 years ago, I was in deep depression. I knew I was depressed. I knew my train of thought was dark and ugly, and if followed through it would have hurt my mother more than anyone because she would have found me.
My life was nowhere where I wanted it to be. I was unemployed. I lacked the qualifications to move further in South Africa. I had just ended a relationship that had turned out to be almost a year of lying and cheating! I didn’t see a future for myself. I remember lying in the bath one afternoon glaring at my razor blade sitting on the edge of the bath. I must have stared at that blade for half an hour. In that time I considered everything! I thought about how I would do it, what angle I would point the blade. I knew I had to slice down, not across. I considered putting on my bikini before climbing into the bath, so that I wouldn’t be naked when my mother found me, and the cops she had worked with for years who she would have to call! I decided the bath would be best. I also knew she would be be home around half four in the afternoon, so I would have to do it about 3pm so that I would have enough time to bleed out before she came home or became concerned that I wasn’t answering the phone. It was during this planning that my mother rang. I let the phone ring. It was the land-line and it rang on and on. I remember it clearly. I sat in the bath still staring at my blade while the phone rang somewhere in the my consciousness. Eventually I got out and grabbed a towel and answered the phone. My mother had asked suspiciously as to why I hadn’t answered the phone quicker. I lied that I was washing my hair. I decided after that call that I didn’t want to be found in a bath filled with bloody water.
The following day I changed my game plan. I have sub-located joints, with my shoulders and knees being the worse. There is surgery that I’m supposed to have, but I have been avoiding it since the age of 16. My doctor gave me muscle relaxants and pain killers to deal with the pain. I learnt very quickly that the muscle relaxants could put me to sleep. I started taking one a day to get an idea of how long I would sleep for after taking them. After that week, I started taking two every day. I slept an hour longer than the week before. I started doing the math in my head. I realised then that I would need a full months supply for it to work. Two days later my mother brought home a bottle of brandy and we got drunk. I don’t know if it was her intention to get me drunk, or maybe her own intentions to get drunk so that she could talk to me about this, but nonetheless she informed me that she had been counting my muscle relaxant tablets. I didn’t say anything. There was silence for a long time when I eventually said that my life wasn’t where I wanted it to be. She replied, asking why was I only realising this now.
The next morning we woke up, not acknowledging the conversation we had had the night before. We’re great at pretending it didn’t happen!!! But I remembered.
Every idea I had had seemed irrelevant now. Something switched in my brain. I realised then that my mother had enough to deal with without having to come home and find her daughter stiff after a long day at work. She was dealing with her own demons. She didn’t need mine.
That day I made a decision. I changed my perception. I decided on a plan. I spoke to my mother about moving to London. She agreed to pay for the costs. I was still in a bad place, but this way I figure that if I were still feeling this way in the UK, at least my mother wouldn’t be the one to find me dead.
I organised the flights. I decided to come visit my sister in Cork for a bit. I would see how things played out, and where I would go from there. I will admit that I was excited about the move. I started to gain weigh again. I had dropped to a size 8, which considering my height, was borderline anorexic. My clothes were falling off me. I hoped it would bring the change I needed, and it did. I met Shane the first week I was here.
Times are rough. There are days when I can feel myself slipping back into that state of mind, but I don’t let it happen. I chose to see the possibilities that were available to me. I chose to push through the heavy blanket that held me back. I still have bad days, but the thought of leaving my kids without a mother is enough of an anchor to keep me here. I have been there. I have planned out my own execution, but I have also chosen to fight through the pain that makes you want to give up. It is for these exact reasons that I can’t have sympathy for a person that takes their own life. Even though it may be the most courageous thing to do, taking your own life that is, it is the most hurtful action your loved ones will remember you for.
I have never told anybody this, and even though my mother knows about this, we have never spoken about it. I didn’t write about this to gain sympathy, or even comments. In fact, if you feel the need to comment, I will not reply. I wrote this for those who may read it and realise that there is a choice you have to make. You can either slit your wrists, or CHOOSE to try make life better than what it is. Medication and religion aren’t going to save you – only you can do that. You can either have a diagnosis, or have a plan.