Wednesday, 11 September 2013

R U OK - A conversation could change a life.

Yesterday was World Suicide Prevention Day. Tomorrow is R U OK? Day

For as long as I can remember I have struggled with mental illness. I have been on and off medication for my manic depression and BPD since I was 15. I hit my lowest when I was 22. I was having panic attacks daily and intentionally harming myself in order to stop feeling the numbness that comes with these episodes.

One night, I couldn't take it anymore, My mind was racing and everything that had ever happened in my life came crashing down on me. I just wanted it all to stop.

So I took every pill I could find.

In my mind, I was stopping the pain. I was going to sleep and everything was going to end. I lost consciousness and the next few hours were a blur. I remember my brother finding me uncontrollably vomiting in the bathroom, Paramedics asking me questions and a ride with my mother in ambulance. I spent the next few days on a drip in a ward filled with cancer patients whose only dream was to beat the disease and I had intentionally put myself there. I had never felt as guilty as I did in those days. When I finally could stomach walking around, I did everything I could for those people. I became their runner, Whatever they needed I tried to get for them. I had nearly thrown away my life and these people just wanted to live.

I'd like to say everything got better after that. It didn't. But things did change. I started seeing a psychiatrist instead of a counselor. I was taught how to deal with my panic attacks. And I came to accept my illness. This was the most important development for me. I am not afraid to tell my closest family and friends when things are getting dark and I know when it's time to go to my doctor and get the help I need.

To Write Love On Her Arms is asking you, this week, to tell them why you can't be replaced. Because none of us can be. Fill it out. Get a friend to fill it out. While you are doing that, have a conversation and ask someone if they are OK.

Suicide is never the answer. If you need help, talk to someone. Each country has their own helplines. Here in Australia ring Lifeline on 13 11 14. Please always seek help. Hell.. send me an email if you need to. Always remember that YOU can't be replaced.

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  1. Laura, what a brave post - awareness is so helpful for so many people who struggle in silence. My brother deals with this as well - so close to home. I am so happy you have the support, and tell people when you're feeling that you may be in a space you don't want to be. Power to you!


  2. Laura, how touching that you shared this to help others. I suffer from an anxiety disorder, and just have accepted the fact that I'll always need medication for it as well. I'm so glad you shared this. I lost my first husband to suicide, as well as a close friend. I think it's so important to be kind, always. You never know what someone may be going through. Hugs, and thank you.

  3. Thanks Marta!
    I think its important to speak out these days. You never know, it may help someone. I certainly hope so.

  4. Its amazing how many people suffer from a mental illness. I'm so sorry about your first husband and friend. I wish no one ever felt that much despair.


  5. Thank you for your kind words. I am glad you fought through your darkest moments. Its so important to keep fighting and to help each other through these times.
    I wish it would too. I will keep trying to make a difference.


  6. I am definitely still fighting it (it is a daily battle), but knowing that there are people out there going through the same things really helps. I am also extremely fortunate to have a family that really understands, as well as some close friends who do as well. I am seeing both a psychiatrist as well as a cognitive behavioural therapist and am on a couple different medications (I think that part is so hard, having to go through trying and testing to see what can work for you).
    If you ever need to talk about anything, do not hesitate to send me an e-mail!! *hugs*