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Diary of a Breakdown: The Next Crash

29/07/2015 17:57 BST | Updated 29/07/2016 10:59 BST

TRIGGER WARNING

Nobody tells you what it's like when you take an overdose. Nobody mentions how you vomit so hard that you piss yourself. That you feel your entire oesophagus, from base to top, has tiny shards of glass pinched into it. Nobody mentions how each and every organ in your body aches like it's been through one thousand rounds with multiple heavyweight boxers simultaneously.

Nobody tells you that when the police crash down your door and you're thrown into an ambulance you have no idea what's going on. You have no energy to ask. You don't even have the energy to be disappointed that you failed.

Nobody tells you how you just want it all to go away. How when you take pill after pill after pill after pill, it's like you're in a peaceful trance. Then you await a contented sleep, where emotions don't overtake you like Mardi Gras on acid; flying you up so high that you shoot straight past the sun and into another universe or so low that you're in a deep, dark back hole within another black hole.

Nobody tells you how in the hours beforehand you start descending. All the therapy and coping mechanisms of the past months forgotten like they never existed - enabling you to sink lower and lower and then say yourself "this is not what I want. I just want it to stop".

In the past year everything went wrong and in that moment I'd hit that tip of the iceberg. I had just wanted to feel normal, but another thing went wrong and my brain melted and I blanked out.

It was the first time that I had visited A&E and not had to wait. I was raced into the medical room on a gurney, electrodes were stuck on my body to check my heart was not about to collapse. Blood tests taken to check my liver was still functioning and calculate exactly just what I had thrown down my throat. A cannula was thrust into my vein to give me urgent medicine to save my life. I felt nothing emotionally and physically. I just recall my friend holding my hand throughout.

A few hours later I started vomiting so hard that I struggled to breathe. I managed to scream for help and became petrified when nobody heard me - my screams becoming higher pitched as the desperation deepened. Ironically, just hours after I had attempted suicide, I became panicked that I was going to choke on my own vomit and die.

Four days I spent hooked to this medicine. Each time I moved it set off the alarm. Whenever I needed to use the toilet I had to call the nurse. Patients were brought in and out through the night. No sleep was had. I heard various people using a commode in the middle of the night - a stinky scenario I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

A peaceful numbness covered me like a warm and cuddly cloak. I was in shock; but I don't know whether it was shock of what I had attempted or shock that I had failed.

The non-judgemental attitude and kindness of the staff were overwhelming. They didn't slam me for being 'crazy' when I had a panic attack or 'moody' for becoming depressed', like some people close to me would do.

They understood that my actions were of someone so broken she went to an extreme. They understood that, whilst I had been desperately trying to recover from my first breakdown months before, I couldn't do it alone. I needed empathy. I needed support.

I had failed at my attempt to die, but ironically I suddenly felt stronger than I had for months. It had resurged something in me. I had spent months balancing on a tightrope and it took every ounce of my strength just to survive. My struggle meant that I was unable to deal with things - self-destructive things that were out of character would burst out of me as my brain self-combusted. But something about what had just happened had brought a sense of peace. It was as if it took a near death moment to make me realise how much I was struggling and how broken I was. That honesty was a relief.

This wasn't a cry for help; It was a serious attempt to commit suicide. My overdose was large; and whilst I could tell that the medics didn't want to scare me, It was clear that they were shocked by the quantity I had taken.

A few weeks later a good friend said to me - during an impromptu mutual crying session, which cumulated in us laughing at the ridiculous sight of two grown women sobbing with mascara and snot running down our faces - "I'm just happy that you're alive".

Me too. But now I'm hopeful that my future will consist of much more than just being alive.

Need help? In the UK, call The Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90. For more support and advice, visit the website here.