I wish I had known about Samaritans and I now feel the need to promote the service to everyone who may need it in the future.

I felt like an outsider

I was bullied from a young age, made to feel worthless because of the way I looked. I was naturally underweight, yet I would get taunted as ‘anorexic’. It got progressively worse as I was a late developer and was constantly being called a ‘man’. I would cry myself to sleep at night wishing I wouldn’t wake up.

I found it hard to make loyal friends. I felt like I didn’t fit in at school or out of school. I hung around with a group of girls who would bite me and call me ugly because I didn’t want to be a loner.  I felt like an outsider from school and the rest of the world and began to watch life go by rather than ‘live’ it. 

I thought it must have been my fault that my dad abandoned me

My dad got remarried when I was young and had ‘new’ children; he told me that he didn’t want a relationship with me. I thought there was something wrong with me, it must have been my fault that my dad abandoned me. If I could just wake up popular maybe he could find a reason to love me? I started to blame myself for everything, yet I was powerless to change the way I looked or the way my dad felt.

I started to question why I existed, was it to feel unloved, bullied, alone? I was angry at the world because I didn’t ask to be here and didn’t want to be here. The anger and frustration towards myself led to self-harming. I hated myself so much that I wanted to punish myself. 

I was an empty shell... became vulnerable, dependent on an abusive relationship

I was 19, withdrawn, unhappy with my job and myself. An empty shell, I became vulnerable and I relied on my boyfriend to think and feel for me.  My dependency on him meant that an abusive relationship – physically, mentally and emotionally - went unnoticed by those around me. I accepted incidences such as being thrown across the room as I felt I must have upset him or that somehow I deserved it. 

Then my boyfriend dumped me. I was absolutely distraught. I felt numb and like it was just another stud in my belt for self destruction. I didn’t know what to think or feel or what to do because he wasn’t there to tell me. He was like my voice. Everything I did, he’d tell me what to do, what to say, what to think. It became too much, I couldn’t go on any longer.

I wanted to feel something... anything. I felt nothing but numbness

I thought, ‘I’ve got nothing to live for now.’ I couldn’t bear another second of being alive. So, in that state, as I was sitting in my bedroom, I decided to cut myself. I couldn’t feel anything, I wanted to feel something…anything. I felt nothing but numbness.  Then I took a massive overdose of all the tablets in my cupboard. I genuinely wanted to die, but I didn’t want to leave the world with my mum punishing herself after.  I called her to say goodbye, and to reassure her that it wasn’t her fault. She’s never recovered from the shock of finding me.
 
The next day, I woke up in A&E in the psychiatric ward. They said had my mum not called the ambulance straightaway I wouldn’t have actually died from what I’d taken; I would have just had internal organ failure.

I started counselling... I was able to understand the emotions I was feeling and the reasons for them

I was so angry at my mum for calling an ambulance. I started counselling, and began to talk about how I felt, this idea of feeling numb. You just assume that you’re the only person feeling it, and that the way you think is somehow different to other people.  You’re in self-destruct mode; why would you search for help when you’re too busy bringing yourself down? I was unaware that I had been suffering from depression for 6 years to the point where I felt my only solution was suicide. 
 
I was not equipped to see the signs and neither were those around me, I mean how could you start a conversation with someone you know, ‘I want to end my life…’, what reaction should I expect? Someone once said to me that they felt suicide was a selfish act, but in my experience it was a very lonely act. I felt alone in dealing with my emotions, I was isolated with no awareness of of help, it was the only answer I knew. 

Other people get up on a day-to-day basis and they’re happy with what they’re doing. I just felt ever so alone and I thought, ‘There’s nothing I can do about this situation.’ 
Talking helped, I had counselling sessions and was able to understand the emotions I was feeling and the reasons for them. It encouraged me to join the journey of my own self-discovery and to explore what I enjoy, how to gain control of my life. 
 
By stripping back what had happened in my life I could see where the lack of self-worth, low self esteem and depression started and escalated. I have since embarked on a journey to channel these experiences into helping others in similar situations in the hope that they can learn from me.

The more you speak about your emotions and experiences the more you can begin to understand yourself better

I am still alive. I am coping with my depression and I want others to know they can too.

I wish I had known about Samaritans

There is no magic cure for depression, but the more you speak about your emotions and experiences the more you can begin to understand yourself better. I think more clearly to help you in adpating and changing to strive for a more balanced life. 
 
If I had known about Samartians when I was 13 I feel I could have got the help and support I needed. I believe it might have prevented the abuse I’ve suffered by others and by myself. At that moment in time, I wish I had known about Samaritans and I now feel the need to promote the service to everyone who may need it in the future.

The first step is talking to someone who will not judge you, who will listen.

I still have very low days where I don’t want to get out of bed and I never know when that blue cloud is coming or for how long it will stay for. But I am aware of it when it happens and this makes me feel in control. 

I do have a mental health issue, but after seeking help this has not restricted me in my life. I have graduated University with a first, climbed Kilimanjaro, excelled at work and I am currently pursuing a career in Clinical Psychology. 

There is a lot of stigma around mental health and I think this makes me people feel scared to talk about how they are feeling for fear of being judged or analyzed. But the first step is talking to someone who will not judge you, who will listen. Samaritans are here 24/7 to help you.
 
I hope that by reading my journey, that I can represent the hope that people lack when they are at their lowest. Having been there, I want to help others like myself and show them that they can get through it. It’s not easy and there are no quick fixes but everyone can get through it. 
 
From all the experiences we have, we can learn and grow from them to become stronger and more resillient to lifes challenges, so that eventually we can start to pursue the inner destiny which we all have in us to be happy. 
 
If you are reading this page, then you have taking a huge step to understanding yourself and others. If you are concerned about yourself or another, the hardest part is picking up the phone. Be brave, take a deep breathe and dial Samaritans.
 

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