Helen's story

1 in 3 calls to Samaritans on Christmas Day are from people who feel lonely and isolated.

One of the people who picked up the phone on Christmas Day was Helen.

Just days before Christmas 2015, my husband left me and my children. I was struggling to cope and had started to feel suicidal.

My two girls went to spend Christmas with their father and I was left alone. 

On Christmas day, I sat watching the Queen’s speech alone, with tears falling. My children returned later that day and I somehow managed to remain composed.

Once they settled to bed, I recall a sudden overwhelming surge of pain. I sat there reflecting on how grateful I am to have them, but irrational thoughts entered my mind and I felt increasing desperate and frightened.

I felt abandoned by everyone and too ashamed to call anyone as they’d all be happy and merry, enjoying their Christmas.
I didn’t want to be a burden.

I felt like I had no one to turn to – until I remembered Samaritans.

When I heard the volunteer’s calm, measured tones at the other end of the phone, I felt such relief. It was a start for me – not the end I had been thinking about.

I truly believe that the Samaritan who listened to me that Christmas night saved my life.