‘450 Suicidal Days’
‘450 Suicidal Days’
I didn’t want to do this picture. This isn’t just ‘picture taking’, it’s an emotional journey back into the life you never want to be part of again. The darkest, most desperate, lost and potentially life ending places you’ve ever been.
I wasn’t ready to let that guard down, put myself back there and feel all that pain I’ve tried for years to hide.
As I sat in the captured position it made all the memories flood back. This wasn’t just a position that someone was holding me in, this was THE position. I’ve spent countless days and nights curled into his chest in some way, listening to his heart beat. People calm anxiety in different ways, one of mine was to go ‘into my safe place’ on his chest and listen to his heart. It would instantly soothe me and bring me back to reality. I’ve come a long way from my really dark days, but sitting here, hearing his heart beating once again took me straight back there, and that’s what broke me.
I did this picture because of the man sat holding me. It almost feels like a cop out that I couldn’t do it alone, but that’s ok. Sometimes we need to accept the help on offer. Whether that is letting someone take us to see a doctor, just listening to our problems or quite literally holding you just to have a picture taken!
Mental health will never be solved without the support of people around us. The man in my picture doesn’t make it all better, because he can’t, but he doesn’t give up – even if I think he should.
He’s the one who knows me better than I know myself at times. I’ve put him through hell, literally. He’s heard me scream, wail, cry, sob and be so far from the person he knows I am… he’s heard me detail how I want to die, countless times. He knows I’ve spent approximately 450 days of the last 15 years thinking of how I could die. He’s watched me stand in roads and want to die. He’s called the police when he’s been too far away to help me. He’s seen and heard it all, and even though his position in my life has changed over the years, he’s still here.
I’ve spent 18 years, on and off, living with depression, post natal depression, severe anxiety and PTSD.
I’ve watched people with mental health struggles, and I’ve not been able to help them. It’s one of the hardest things to deal with. I know what I’ve put my family, friends and this amazing man though. I wish I hadn’t, I wish I didn’t. It’s a burden and guilt I carry every day.
I think for every person who has a mental health problem, we’d want to say ‘sorry’.
Sorry to the people around us and who support us. I’m sorry for all I’ve put you through. All you’ve seen and heard.
I’m trying to be a better person, but sometimes I don’t know how to do that.
Thank you for all your love, support and faith in us. For the hope you give, knowing that someone is there to listen and offering unconditional support.
The behaviour in me doesn’t define you. The terrible choices I make when I’m in the grips of despair have no reflection on you. They are mine and mine alone. We’d never want you to feel guilt for what you ‘could’ do, or that you could do ‘more’.
thank you for believing that our illness doesn’t take away who we are underneath. Thank you for still seeing and remembering the real me.
Most of all, thank you for standing by me.
I’ll never put into words what the man in the picture means to me. All I can say is… I hope one day to repay your loyalty and belief in the person I am. You will always have my eternal love, gratitude and I hope I can be just half of the person you are
The Massive Mental Walk
84 North West Towns & Villages
Because 84 men take their lives each week.
Want to join us?