I sat on my bed, and counted out the pills. Over and over. There were sad rumours about other sad girls and the ways that they had been dragged back to life. Their cuts were too shallow, their pills were not strong enough, their parents got too suspicious of the quiet in their rooms. Everyone shook their heads. I took notes.
Packs each have 12 pills, so if I have this many packs...
(Voluntary maths, who would have thought?)
Suicidal thought was not the glamourous thing that television and film had led me to believe it would be. I wasn’t some dead-eyed waif, gently sobbing against a rain-lashed window in my pants. I did not gently weep in an unbuttoned man’s shirt under a pile of blankets. I did not stand on the edge of a bridge, wind ruffling my hair, about to become a modern-day Ophelia in a delicate night gown. I couldn’t even manage to look like a proper Sad Girl. I was even being sad wrong! I just stood at the bus-stop everyday, and imagined what it would be like to be dead.
My sadness lurked in the back of my head and soothed me with the lies that it told me in my own voice, calmly stroking my hair and telling me I wasn’t good enough. It took every aspect of my day and presented it to me as evidence that everybody and everything would be better without me being around.
Over the last 2 or 3 years I had learned to silently cry without even the pattern of my breath changing, spilling my tears into my pillow as the world slept peacefully all around me. I no longer fixated on the idea that I would ever feel better, so I decided I didn’t want to feel. My life had exhausted me. When it was all over, the doctors would be right, I was just depressed, that’s all it was.
Of course the fact I am even able to tell you this story means that I didn’t do this phenomenally terrible thing. I remain on this planet to continue making memories, and poor life choices, and awful jokes. And I am so glad I stayed. I got to see Benedict Cumberbatch play Hamlet. I got to see the Rolling Stones. I cooked braised peas for Anne Hathaway. But more importantly, I was able to make my mum tea and toast when her best friend died. I was able to repair a friendship that had previously been destroyed. I was able to watch my friend grow a baby literally inside of herand then I was able to watch him grow into a mad little human with his own unique brand of dance moves. I was able to live.
I will say this; there is always talk around suicide in which people will emphasise how important it is to stay alive because of the people that love you. But I also know that when you are at your lowest ebb it often feels as though nobody really loves you. I also think that you should never do anything for the sake of other people. You deserve to be here in your own right.
Yes, you. I am talking to you.
I am not here to tell you that people love you, they do of course, but I know you won’t listen. I want you to stay here, on this absurd ball of rock because your story deserves a better ending than this. Do not fade away into sadness when you have so much potential to do something better. I know you don’t think you do, but you do. And I am not going to lie to you and say that if you carry on you will become the next Prime Minister, or an astronaut, or Taylor Swift (you might, of course). But you might just be happy.
Don’t leave without feeling happy. Happy to your bones. Because I know that you can. I know you can stand alone in a crowd of people screaming Right Here Right Now into the face of Fatboy Slim and suddenly burst into tears with the pure joy of realising that, finally, after years of confusion you are actually, truly, happy. Because if it happened to me, it can happen to you.