Eventually your suicidal scale reaches boiling point and you can no longer keep it at bay. All consuming thoughts of death take over and the only rational thing to do is to die. In that moment, when my mind snapped like a twig, I had become calm and methodical.
As a new mother, I embraced the chaos that a newborn could bring. I laughed at urine stained bedsheets. I smiled at 2am feeds. I rejoiced at staying in my pyjamas for two weeks in a bubble of bliss. I was a mummy and this tiny, innocent little being was everything I had ever wanted. I was in heaven. As the days went on however, it became harder to cope with daily life.
Facts: The current annual economic cost of mental illness in the UK is £70billion, which is equal to the entire National Health budget. By 2030, the World Health Organization predicts more people will be affected by depression than any other health problem.
My husband Pete died suddenly last year. His death was completely unexpected. Well to me anyway. But others have since told me they saw it coming. But I didn't. And even though he'd been ill for a long time, I thought he was going to live forever.
have this old friend. She occasionally turns up at my door, totally out of the blue. I don't see much of her any more but when she is here, it's like she has never been away. We met shortly after the birth of my eldest child. She came into my life and managed to get her feet firmly under the table.
Sometimes in life, shit happens. Relationships change, jobs come and go and kids grow up. That's just life, right? Ups and downs with no guarantee of what may be next. So what happens when the 'bad days' become something more serious?
As I sit here writing this, I am going to tell you that I am currently on the beach, in Greece (cue the boo hoo's) but as I sit here, in what is undoubtedly one of the most idyllic spots I have ever been to, a man, at this moment, is driving a caterpillar truck on the beach, and is, shall we say, really making his presence known
Through her own struggles, Yvonne has one clear message about success for those going through mental health issues: "You can have a life, second to none. It can be as simple a thing as having a physical condition that you manage on a daily basis. You might have mental health issues, but it's not the final death knell that it once was. It's just a door into another type of future, and it could be a future more enhanced than your past."
There is a lot written about mental health in the workplace and a lot of ideas on how to protect and support employees fly around. And yet many organisations still do not act - are they confused by where to start, shackled by the stigma that still surrounds mental health, or have simply failed to understand the imperatives?
I've had a much better experience of building relationships with new friends based off of shared experiences. I'm fortunate enough to have a handful of people who helped me through the worst, and I owe them a debt of eternal gratitude.
We need to get our children talking about these issues: facing up to them and admitting there is a problem is half the battle. We need to use the power of the internet and the media to spread the word and to open up the communication channels so that our children know they have someone to go to and that they are not alone.
I don't know how that night would have turned out if I hadn't asked for help - but I'm proud to say I did. It's impossible to articulate just how hard it is to summon the courage to ask for help when you're suicidal.
I wish I had known that refusing to pay for childcare to get the break I so desperately needed as my husband worked seven days a week would eventually make me MISERABLE.
There's always been a stigma attached to a man going through depression. The machismo attribute of never showing tears or displaying weakness is unashamedly still the definition of a 'real' man in today's society.
Nationally, despite the devastation caused by every suicide - to the friends, family, colleagues and all those working 'at the coalface', the topic has yet to make it as a central public issue. Which it should be. With an average of 12 men a day, according to published figures, male suicide costs the country £20million PER DAY. A cost which excludes suicide attempts.
I feel as though I'm on the lowest point of the swing, waiting to be taken back up to that highest point again where I can see everything around me clearly. Because there is too much colour, noise and chaos where I am at the lowest point and it's clouding my judgement and stopping me from seeing things clearly.