Suicide is a difficult subject to address, but I do so in the hope that people may understand the psyche of someone who is suicidal. More than this, I hope to show anyone who is suicidal that it is always possible to overcome the feeling of wanting to end your own life... In the UK, 17 people take their own lives every single day. Suicide has become the biggest killer of men under 45 in our country, whilst in women the most recent suicide rates showed numbers at a 10-year high. The statistics speak for themselves. And yet so few people actually speak about them.
I was nine years old when my nana passed away. It was my first experience of loss and grief. Inside I carried a weight of grief that lasted for a long time after but which I felt unable to talk to anyone about. Looking back today, it breaks my heart that any child should go through something like this alone.
Imagine being unable to stand everything about yourself. Your voice, your thoughts, your body, your personality. I can't now. Though years ago, I came pretty close. And if Jonny Benjamin can be honest, then so can I... It's several years ago now and feels like a different lifetime. I've been a happy person, getting even happier year on year since. But back then, after hitting rock bottom, in order to survive, I drew a line under these experiences and locked the memories away. I shoved them all in a box, along with my Shadow Self, so that they - and it - couldn't hurt me or anyone else anymore.
It's not been easy reliving what led me to attempting suicide. But it's also been something of a revelation. Looking back, I had always thought it was receiving my diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia and depression, which had caused me to want to end my life. But there was also a secret which I was hiding from everyone around me that I also could no longer bear to live with.
On 14 January 2008 I travelled to Waterloo Bridge to take my life. It was a bitterly cold, grey Monday morning and the rain was beginning to fall when I stepped onto the edge of the bridge, ready to jump. I can't remember all the many thoughts and feelings buzzing around my mind as I stood there looking down to the water below. All I can recall is a feeling of total despair. The very next minute of my existence seemed too painful to bear. I don't know how long I was standing there for before I heard a man's voice behind me say: "Please mate, please don't do this."