So far, I’ve counted three.
There was the one where I felt unbelievably trapped living a life of lies in the strict religious cult I’d grown up in. With no relationship or career prospects and under 24–7 house watch, trying to recover from sexual abuse and being bullied for 23 years. All of which I cover in my book Tomorrow’s Not Promised.
Then there was the time I’d wanted to drive my car off the side of a road into a ditch over my misogynistic neighbour who’d delighted in taking advantage of me during the passing of my mother.
And lastly there was the final time I got dangerously close to actually hanging myself from the exposed beams above my head in my beautiful convert railway stables. Thanks to the incredibly painful and downright degrading breakup I was going through.
Thankfully I succumbed to tiredness before I could carry out my plan — the one time I’ve been grateful of my Rheumatoid Arthritis for it’s curtain like fatigue that comes on in an instant and wipes you out.
But the intent had been there, and I awoke scared-shitless at how close I had come to not waking up that morning.
For me Suicide offered two things:
A way out of excruciating pain
A way out when there seemed no other way out
Admittedly I’d been through some of the toughest years of my life after losing my mother and having had not one but two relationship breakups in last 12 months, all on the back of making a daring escape from the only life I’d ever known in a strict religious cult.
Though I still knew that it wasn’t actually suicide that I wanted, it was simply to end the that I felt so acutely.
Thankfully I wasn’t afraid of being open about how I felt, and I reached out to one of my closest friends who through her background of being in the SAS, was well experienced to handle PTSD and a wide range of challenging emotions — and what she did for me is something I’ll never forget.
She didn’t ask much, she didn’t even say much, she just kept checking in day by day and by that I don’t mean she asked how I was feeling. Instead she told me what she was up to and her availability that day. She knew I’d respond and as long as she got a response, she knew I was moving forward.
I’m in a much stronger place now, though I remain aware that in an instant all of that security could be taken from me — only thanks to scaring myself by how close I came last time — I know that Suicide is no longer an option for me.
I also know that nowadays no one can make me feel devalued without me first allowing them to, I am not powerless, there is always somewhere to go for help and advice.
World Suicide Prevention Day 10th September
Want to know more of my story?
Down the first chapter of my autobiography for free at www.jessieshedden.com/book