5 years ago…

5 year ago today (30th September – is actually the 1st October now as I publish, oops!)  I was rushed to the hospital after a very large overdose. I was done, couldn’t do it anymore, I didn’t want to live in pain for the rest of my life, I just wanted it all to be over. It was a large overdose and I had a lot of other medications in my system too as they were my regular meds. I don’t know how long it was between taking the meds and falling unconscious, but I don’t think it was long. Most of the rest is a complete blur, my family found me, I don’t know how soon after it happened but I was in a bad way. They didn’t want to wait for an ambulance as often ambulances there would take forever to turn up, so they carried me down the stairs and into the back of the car. My Dad ran every red light to get to the hospital as fast as possible, my mum was sat in the back slapping my face to try and keep me awake. All I remember is being slapped and me telling her a few times to ‘fuck off and let me die’ before slipping unconscious again. From here I don’t remember much more just a couple of brief flashes in and out of consciousness. My t-shirt being ripped open in A&E, a porter praying over me in the elevator, a catheter being inserted. They put a tube down my nose for activated charcoal but don’t remember that bit at all. I was unconscious in the ICU for quite a while before I finally came to late the next day I think and then I spent another full day in ICU before a night on a ward as well. Other than these few brief details I do not know what else occurred and I don’t bring it up with my family to ask about it. I don’t want them to have to remember it so vividly and live through it again in their mind.

It feels like that was a lifetime ago, that it was a different person. I’ve been in somewhat bad and suicidal places since, but nothing as severe as how suicidal I was before that attempt and haven’t had any plans since my attempt 5 years ago. Despite the continued pain and illness the past 5 years, I’m glad I survived and I don’t want to repeat that experience ever again. And yes there have been bad times since and lots of pain but I’ve had good times too, some happy times and time spent laughing. I like laughter and sarcasm and turning things into a joke, often this can actually help me cope. I have a great sense of humour and feel that if I didn’t have one, what would I have left? It’d be pretty god damn miserable if I couldn’t see the funny side to things and wasn’t able to laugh at myself and at things in life, which is how it has sometimes been in previous years.
I thought I may feel a bit weird or emotional today about it all, but actually I feel okay. I feel happy I’m still here and that luckily 5 years ago my attempt at taking my own life did not succeed.

Currently I feel very stable mental health wise to be honest. I did have a brief struggle earlier in the year with the whole failed ONS situation, but I’m doing much much better mentally now. Which was helped by changing back to my psychologist of 4 years after having a brief break where I had to see the headache psychologist after ONS surgery, which wasn’t right for me. I feel upbeat and positive, right now I feel like I’m fed up of being miserable as it doesn’t help. Which is a big achievement for me, especially given I’m actually very unwell at the moment. I’ve actually been in hospital the past 2 weeks. But despite the pain and being very sick I still feel positive, able to see the bright and funny side of things, to laugh and to joke. I’ve got an excellent team of doctors, I feel positive and optimistic about everything.  I will write more about it all soon, when everything is all sorted out. I’m in good spirits despite everything, which is pretty revolutionary for me.
However I really need to stop being in hospital on the 30th September. Three years out of the past 5 I have been,  last year was my ONS surgery – can you believe that was a year ago?! And now this year too, which is unrelated to my NDPH or my mental health.

 

P.S have majorly conquered my doctors appointment anxiety currently and am feeling very proud of myself about that.

 

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It’s been 3 years…

Today marks 3 years since the suicide attempt that nearly killed me. It was my third attempt that week, though the first two were more like practice runs to gauge how much medication I needed to take. I had prepared for that day for months, I had spent hours on a suicide note, wanting my last words to be exactly right, everything was ready and I was ready to die.

My memory of it is fuzzy, I remember only brief flashbacks. I don’t even remember getting all the medication out the packet and taking it, the first thing I remember is being slapped in the face in the car by my mum to try and keep me awake on the way to the hospital. I remember a Muslim porter at the hospital praying over me in the lift as I was taken to intensive care. And the next thing I remember is waking up to see my school counsellor at my bedside, the first thing I said to her with tears streaming down my face was ‘why am I alive?’

The pain had pushed me to the edge and then it pushed me off, I felt like there was no other way out, I felt like I had no choice. If I wanted to get rid of the pain my only option was to die and that seemed like the best option for me.

Since that day 3 years ago it hasn’t been easy, I try to keep my head above the water however sometimes I start to drown in the negativity I am so prone to. Though there has been periods of time since moving back to England 2 and a half years ago that I have felt mostly okay despite pain, that I have felt happy despite pain, that I have felt able to cope. So I know it is possible and I just have to keep working on it constantly and try not to drown in darkness that is sometimes oh so comfortable.

My journey with my never ending headache has been hard it’s been over 5 and a half years now and it’s unlikely that I will get better. But I have survived this far and I don’t want my headache to win, because I know I can be happy despite it so I will keep fighting for that.

I will leave you with my favourite quote which helps ground me on bad days:
On particularly rough days when I am sure I can’t possibly endure, I like to remind myself that my track record for getting through bad days so far is 100%, and that’s pretty good.

Two years ago.

Two years ago tomorrow I came back to England from Dubai. I was incredibly suicidal and yet again it wasn’t safe for me to be in Dubai where mental health care is lacking and suicide is illegal. Having only just got away with it in September 2012 when I overdosed and ended up in intensive care. I didn’t want to come back to England, actually I loathed the idea. I wasn’t expecting to stay longer than a few weeks, so when I was told by the mental health people I started seeing here that it would take way longer than that, I was distraught. Dubai was my home and I hated England.
The mental health team were useless anyway and didn’t help so eventually I got rid of them and found a private psychologist who specialised in treating people with chronic pain. I hit the jackpot and she was/is great. She has helped me immensely with being accepting of my condition and learning to live a good and happy life despite pain. Taking every day as it comes, and incorporating mindfulness and pain management techniques into my life, which help a lot.

I never thought any of this would be possible for me, for me to be in pain but to be okay, to be happy. It is highly likely I will be in pain for the rest of my life, but that’s okay because I can cope, I can be happy and I can live a full life despite chronic pain. I still have bad days, bad pain days, flare ups which last weeks/months, days where I’m in a bad mood because of it. But that comes with the territory of chronic pain and not every day is bad.

After dropping out of school back in September 2012 after my overdose I never thought I would be back in education ever again. But I am, I’m at college and I’m doing well at college and hope to go to university after I finish my course in a years time.

I’ve come so far over the past two years, there has been many ups and downs and it has been an incredibly hard journey over the past five years since I got sick to get to this place. However I hope that maybe I am a better person for it. For what I’ve achieved and how far I’ve come.

None of this would have been possible for me if I hadn’t moved back, if I didn’t have the support from the people I do, my family, my school counsellor and my psychologist who support me every step of the way. In order to move back we had to split my family up, my mum lives in England with me and my Dad and sister in Dubai, it’s been hard on my parents and it’s been hard on my sister not having my mum there with her all the time. I feel bad about it but I can’t appreciate what they have done for me enough. I would never have got to this place without moving back and I can’t thank them all enough.

I am the never ending headache, but I have accepted that.
I may always be the never ending headache, but I can live my life as best as possible despite it.
I can have NDPH and be okay, I know that now.

Overcoming depression: Part 1.

For me there is no such thing as a pain free day, it just doesn’t exist in my life, every day I wake up with a headache, I have a headache every second, every minute, every hour of the day, every day, I don’t remember what a pain free day feels like, I don’t remember what it feels like not to be in pain. However there is such a thing as a depression free day, I didn’t think there was for me but it does exist I know that now. I’ve been in constant pain for 4 and a half years, pretty soon after the onset of my headache, I lasted a few months before the depression hit and just got worse and worse everyday and I never thought I could be happy again, I never thought that I would ever be okay again if I was always going to be in pain.

I hit breaking point on the 30th September 2012 where I took a very large overdose of anti depressants to try to end my life because I couldn’t stand the pain I was in and didn’t want to continue living if I was always going to be in pain. I’d been working up to it, hoarded three different types of medications one of which I got given by a hospital in England back in summer 2011. They gave me the rest of the left over anti depressants and anti anxiety meds I had been given in hospital, I left the hospital on my own in London instead of my mum coming to pick me up so she didn’t know about the medication I had been given, so I kept it all ready for the ‘right’ time. I had all the medication ready for over a year before I took my final overdose and my note at the ready. In the week leading up to my biggest and final overdose I took two smaller overdoses. The first of anti anxiety, it was only a small one and just made me really tired the next day, so tired I fell asleep in class, which happened often but I fell asleep in art and my art teacher was pissed. A few days later I took another one this time it was anti psychotics I used to help me sleep at night which I had hoarded, again it was only a small one, it didn’t do anything but give me the worst nights sleep of my life and cause me to a have a seizure in the shower in the morning. I’m not entirely sure what I was trying to accomplish with these two smaller overdoses, I guess I was just trying to get a feel for the amount I was taking and what that would do and then gauge how much more I needed to actually achieve my goal of never waking up.

I remember that week at school vividly, I was desperately depressed and didn’t want to live. I had been assigned a teaching assistant in class to help me and it wasn’t going too well. That week she asked if she could have a chat with me, so we went into the library for a chat. She said that it didn’t seem like I wanted to be in class, that I didn’t make any effort, and I replied simply ‘I don’t want to be here let alone in class’. I think that was one of my all time lows, I just didn’t care anymore, didn’t want to go on and I didn’t care who knew.  I posted on my Tumblr that I had before this blog about my two small overdoses, not knowing my sister read it, she told my school counsellor, I hadn’t told her because I knew she would have to tell my parents and I didn’t want that, I had more plans and I didn’t want to be stopped. A meeting was set up with my school counsellor and my parents for Monday the 1st October.

The meeting never happened, on the night of the Sunday 30th September 2012, I took my biggest overdose of the anti depressants I had kept for over a year. I don’t remember much after that, I hardly even remember taking the pills, or how long it took after taking them did I pass out. I don’t remember how long or what time it was when my mum found me. All I remember is being slapped repeatedly in the face, and being shouted at to stay awake by my mum, and my constant reply of shouting ‘fuck off leave me alone’ at them all. After that I don’t remember much else, other than flashing images, a man praying over me in the lift, screaming when they inserted a cathoder in me. I had a tube in my nose feeding me charcoal, my arms were bandaged so the police couldn’t see my scars. I was told I became violent and they nearly put restraints on me because I wouldn’t let anyone treat me. I remember coming to briefly and my mum asked me what I wanted, I said my school counsellor. And the next time I woke up she was there and I was crying asking her why I was alive and she wiped the tears away from my eyes. This I remember vividly, I think it’s possibly the only time I have ever cried in front of my school counsellor. I was in hospital for I think four days, I had quite a few visitors, my school counsellor first, my doctor came to see me, my three closest friends and my psychologist. It was a big secret that I was in hospital and why I was there.

After, I wanted to go back to school but I wasn’t allowed, my parents had a meeting with my school counsellor, head of sixth form and the head teacher. It was decided that I shouldn’t go back to school until my pain levels were under control. Which basically meant I was never going back to school. Not only was I then distraught that I lived but I was distraught that I couldn’t go back to school. My mum then took me to England to see my doctors and my psychiatrist there, we stayed for a few weeks, it didn’t really help and then we went back home.

For a while after that I was in a sort of state of shock after what I had done. And I felt very guilty about what I had put my family through.

To be continued…