Dawn's story

Dawn, 35, called Samaritans when she was forced to leave her nursing job due to illness.

Losing my dream job

"Nursing was the only thing I’d ever wanted to do with my life. For me it was a calling as much as it was a job and I had no intention of leaving the career that I loved.

"However, in 2005, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. At this point, I realised I would eventually have to give up hands-on nursing, but I wasn’t expecting this to happen for a number of years.

"Unfortunately my health problems escalated and I had to leave nursing when I was only 32 years old. I was absolutely devastated; without my job, I didn’t feel like I had a purpose.

Trying to cope alone

"Six months of unemployment, in addition to the death of my grandmother earlier that year, led me to think I couldn’t go on.

"I’d rarely talk to other people about my problems; I prefer to work things out for myself.

"However, one night at about 4am, everything became too much. I was feeling really depressed. I didn’t want to call anyone that late so I searched for suicide prevention techniques online. I came across Samaritans and wrote down their number. It took me a couple days to build up the courage to call.

Talking was a huge help

"I was very nervous when I called and was afraid of being laughed at. However, the Samaritan I spoke to was very kind and within five minutes I felt completely comfortable. He let me talk and never once tried to tell me what to do.

"Speaking to someone when I was at such a low point was a huge help. He never belittled me, or made me feel cowardly or guilty. It felt very personal, it felt as though somebody was wrapping me up in a great big bear hug and I knew then that everything was going to be OK.

Without Samaritans I wouldn't be here today

"That night I managed to sleep soundly for the first time in the six months since I’d left my job, which was absolutely amazing.

"I honestly think without Samaritans I would not be here today. Life is so much better now and I recently got married. I’m glad I called, not only for myself, but also for my family."

As featured in 24/7 Autumn/Winter 2013 newsletter.