Not Once Have I Died (trigger warning: suicide)

Angelina Jolie as Lisa Rowe in the 1999 film Girl Interrupted

Suggested audio: Everybody Hurts by R.E.M (caution: emotional)

“Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse; suicide eliminates the possibility of it getting better” ~ Unknown

This was written some time ago as I reflected upon this deeply sensitive and socially taboo subject. I feel that by keeping it “taboo” it does not help people express themselves, ask for help, know who to turn to in a crisis unless, like me, they were given contact numbers after extensive therapy. This account of my journey is of a sensitive nature and may cause upset so please be aware before continuing, thank you.


Oh life, I’m fed up with you. Fed up with me. Sick and tired of them. Why, I can’t quite put my probing finger on it. I mean, the birds sing, it’s the start of another year and spring is fast approaching. All speak of new beginnings, resolutions, must-sees, must-dos. But is all that really significant? These feelings well up in our hearts all year round.  Bursting all four ventricles open like a motherfucker of an aneurysm. Stress putting tight metal skull crushing bands around our heads as we write lists, listen to songs, talk the talk and try and work out mind chemistry equations. I am supposed to be robust as fuck and meant to be. Or so cliched colour-coded Mindfulness quotes try to remind me.

Memories, events, thoughts, feelings and a never-ending screed of et cetera are literally burned into our brain tissue like curious bovine pyroglyphics. Yeah, yeah we recover, heal, seek and fail therapy and play hide and seek with ourselves. Sometimes. Just sometimes you have those dark thoughts that no-one talks freely about: passive suicidal ideations that pass through our minds like a gliding blackbird. Whether this feathered symbol of death, change, magic, and mystery is referring to personal illness or other people causing problems is something to harass Google Search with.

I’ve tried and tried and not once have I died. Actually, between you, dear reader and me, necking a bottle of a particular anti-depressant caused some pounding and a few compressions to my chest. Death by anti-depressant.  Oh sweet irony how you make me laugh. I awoke furious that the white light I was gazing upon was a ‘socially responsible’ LED hospital lighting fixture. And my Hello Kitty sleep set was ruined by scissors and piss.

Carrier bags on my head made me lie there singing Polythene Pam by The Beatles as I kept pulling it aside to gulp in breaths. Pillow suffocation… That scene in One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest… Chief did the right thing, I thought, as the situation became hot and stuffy from carbon dioxide exhalations.  I pondered how I needed to re-watch that film, one of my favourites, where’s the video? Oh damn I’ve inhaled. Cerebral hypoxia plan ruined.

Many years passed and many thoughts hammered through my mind like machine gun fire. Plans, schemes, what could go wrong? What if I screw it up and end up in a vegetative state? Would I be better off worse off or worse off better off? Fantasies about skull pop beneath the wheels of the local bus service, bisection by train, kerrr-splat from six floors minimum and the classic broken neck by correctly planned hanging. How does one trigger the vagal reflex, I pondered as I played Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. Each of these methods have to be carried out with precision otherwise I’d end up in a wheelchair with all limbs splinted, a catheter and feeding tube. Trapped within my cranium until the curse of old age grinds me to a halt. Knowing me, I’d de-rail a train, decapitate myself due to rope miscalculation (actually, that’s a good thing), smash all limbs on the ground after colliding with another jumper and a bus would have plenty of time to do a well-practiced emergency stop because I’d have undoubtedly tripped up over my own walking stick in an awkward attempt at a swan dive under the number twelve to Oxford Circus.

Washing down tablets with copious amounts of orange squash does nothing except firstly reminding you of the film “Tony” (2009), then delirium, the sweats and constant visits to the toilet because of that watery citrus crud. Trust me dear reader, its very difficult to get it “right” especially now with restricted access to controlled drugs, deadly toxins and poisons. You can try what you may but you’ll end up vomiting or sat there cannulated wondering WTF did I do? Well, You knew but you’ll feel a monumental prick for getting it, shall we say, “wrong”.  You could end up with multiple organ damage then subsequent failure and lie in ICU waiting for someone else to die so you can have their liver.

The overall consensus is you’re making a suicidal gesture aka cry for help aka self-harm or the extremely offensive “attention seeking”. “Hey doc, I’ve knocked back some cyanide with a plastic bag over my head. I’m just attention seeking though, no worries! I apologise for my bad behaviour. Ignore me and I’ll cease my troublemaking.” A shotgun. Oooh! Great song by Guns N Roses back in the 90s, Shotgun Blues…  And Happiness Is A Warm Gun by The Beatles, 1968… Thoughts derailed again. Where was I? Ah yes, unless you can get hold of a gun and fire with a knowledgeable trajectory, the vast majority of fanciable ways to snuff it are very difficult and will land you in even more trouble than before.

Suicidal ideations written out of your thoughts on a notepad as you listen to your chosen mood music is way more beneficial to your road to stability. I don’t use the word ‘recovery’ because you more often than not don’t recover from a warped state of mind. You purge the horrors that form within then relax, unwind, and days later repeat the process again. Seek professional help and/or use what coping skills you’ve learned. Seeing, hearing and reading will ALWAYS trigger you either blatantly or subconsciously. It’s gaining the strength to deal with it in a less damaging way that’s important.

If you ever feel consumed by acrid thoughts, remember:

Quote from Kingdom Hearts video game (2002)

NHS Help For Suicidal Thoughts

© Copyright: Sharon Lawson™

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