Hey L O V E L I E S
How are you?
I wanted to talk to you today about me, my life and the reason I started my Instagram Account and Blog! This will give you a little bit of an insight into who I am and what I’m about. I’m going to be brutally honest here, this is probably going to be a long one so grab a fluffy pillow and a nice warm drink and let’s take a trip through my trials and tribulations!
I like to believe that I’m the first person my friends would think of if they needed to ask for help. I feel that I’m a very loving and compassionate person. I put my heart and soul into everything that I do. I offer out as much support and empathy as my little body can possibly give. However, in May 2012, I was 22 and had recently split up with a long term partner. I was about to be made homeless again, I was jobless and I was in around £1000.00 worth of debt. I had distanced myself from almost every friend I had. I felt alone and worthless. I couldn’t see a way of resolving or healing the pain I had been carrying around with me so I swallowed a variety of over 100 painkilling and antibiotic tablets in a desperate attempt to end my life…
This wasn’t my first attempt, I’d tried and failed in the winter of 2011. I had felt suicidal for years but that was the first time I had ever acted upon the feelings. Instead I had held back the temptation to end it all by self harming. First by starvation and binge eating, then by cutting parts of my body that no one would see. I carved the word “Whore” onto my thigh once as a punishment for having sex. I was in a very negative headspace for a very long time.
In films they often portray suicide survivor stories with a huge emphasis on the love and support from the persons family and friends. They strive to capture this perfect ending where everything is tied up with a bow. Real life suicide is not as glamorous. In real life, no one is there to hand you the book of answers. There is no real support system, no help. You’re just as alone as you were before your attempt, except now your next of kin know that you tried and failed at something else.
My second attempt cost me a dry mouth, stomach ache and a night in the hospital, hooked up to a drip. If I’m totally honest, I can’t tell you anything else about that night as I was in and out of consciousness. I do remember that the next day I felt absolutely terrible. I made eye contact with no one and spent the entire morning holding my head in shame. It wasn’t that I regretted my actions, but it felt like everyone was just disappointed with me.
I was assigned to a mental health recovery team and had to openly explain to a doctor (and my Dad, who had spent the night (Drunk) in an armchair next to my bed), why I had decided to try and end my life. I told him I felt like I had nothing to live for, I was constantly disappointing everyone around me, I would never amount to anything, my life wasn’t worth living….
The hospital shipped me home with some anti-depressants and had arranged daily visits from a health nurse for a short period of time, while the tablets kicked in. After a week or so, I was then referred to an aftercare team, which meant traveling for around an hour on public transport to each weekly appointment.
I stopped going to the visits. I couldn’t brave leaving the house. I had let negativity completely engulf me. I could see no way out of the hell I had created. There were days that I didn’t get out of bed. I didn’t wash, brush my hair, brush my teeth.. I would sleep all day and all night. My diet consisted of breakfast tea with two sugars and chocolate biscuits. I wouldn’t eat anything else as I couldn’t afford to pay for any of the food I was eating. My dad would occasionally cook me a meal and sit with me to make sure I ate it all. Apart from this, I still had no one to support or comfort me. My family could no longer kick me out as I had proven to them how low and pathetic I was, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t be mean in other ways. I wasn’t allowed access to the internet, I didn’t have a phone and I wasn’t able to use the landline to make calls. I was forced to sit downstairs and make conversation with them. They would constantly tell me to get a job and sort myself out. To just cheer up. It was hellish.
After a few days and with some pleading for internet access, I plucked up the courage and told one of my closest friends about my attempt… We instantly started to spend time together and I finally had someone who I knew genuinely cared about my life. We would go for long drives, listen to music, play computer games and just talk nonsense together. My favourite memory of this person at this time is being in their room and just lying on their chest, listening to music and being held.
Having at least one person to lean on in times on need can be just enough to break through the dark days and make you realise what life can be. I don’t talk to this person anymore but if they ever read this I would want them to know that they saved me.
I eventually started talking to more people, My attention turned from fixated unhappiness to caring for myself. I started to care about my appearance again, I would style my hair, try different make up looks and I even started to gain weight. I drank more water and focused my energy on getting better. A major turning point came when a friend helped me get a job, I was starting to feel like a fully fledged human again; I was able to leave my house alone and I had an income.
I still had bad days but I realised that I had a lot to be grateful for. I stopped letting the negativity engulf me and I started to allow happiness into my life. When you’ve hit rock bottom, the only place you’re able to go is upwards. I had to get better because I knew I never wanted to go back to being that low again.
Flash forward four years and you’ll find me in the here and now. I don’t consider myself to have depression or anxiety anymore. I refer to it as ‘The Bad Patch’. It seems so removed from everything that I am that it’s hard to believe I ever suffered. There are still days where I don’t want to get out of bed, or I feel like giving up but they are so few and far between that by the time I’ve forced myself up, out the door and into the world I’ve almost forgotten why I felt bad in the first place.
I am still a work in progress though and my biggest fear is being homeless and jobless. Nothing rattles me to the core more than when I’m threatened and my stability is rocked. I’m definitely not as bad as I used to be but there are still times that I feel like I could lose everything, when this happens I tell myself to look at everything that I do have and the things I’ve achieved so far. I think that everyone has to go through something similar in order to really grow and develop as a person.
I started my Instagram account and blog in August 2016 as a way to share my style. So far we are 2000 strong and growing bigger every day!! My aim is to create a charity that really helps people who are suffering from depression, anxiety and other relating mental health illnesses. I feel that having experienced the NHS route for people recovering from a suicide attempt, I have an advantage as to what is and isn’t beneficial to recovery. I really feel that I could create a safe haven and supporting community for people going through their own bad patches. I also want to write a book which talks more in depth about my life and more importantly, my recovery!
Whilst those cogs are turning in the background, I’m having fun developing my page as a fashion and beauty influencer! Beauty was one of the first things I was able to focus on again after my attempt. I felt like I was creating a strong, confident version of myself each time I perfected a winged eyeliner or smokey eye. I love(d) testing out new products and creating different looks! This goes for my clothing too, I love throwing together an outfit or two. I definitely favour having a good oversized shirt or flowing dress in my arsenal to dress up or down (mainly down). I like to think my style is quite unique and original. I’ve never been afraid of wearing something that clashed, wasn’t in style or part of a trend. I think if you want to be a strong, confident, happy person you have to look and act like one. Even if you feel weak or vulnerable on the inside, you can totally rock a leather jacket and flowing dress and look fierce on the outside!
As of 2017, I have completely removed myself from my bad patch and started my life over as someone that is capable of achieving her dreams. I really hope I can help everyone I meet to do the same. I hope this has helped to give you a bit of a bigger picture as to who I am and what I’m planning to do with my time here.
If you ever need to talk about anything, please, please feel free to contact me.
Lots of love for you all,
N.B – Writing this post has been one of the most challenging yet. Not because I’m scared of telling people what happened to me, but because of the mental torment I put myself through in 2012.