#WMHD2019: Steve's Story
The woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
10th September 2019, 8.30am | Written by: Steve
Now, more than ever it’s important we show kindness to one other. Giving and receiving acts of kindness can help to improve mental wellbeing by creating positive feelings.
**trigger warning: references to suicide**
I live with suicidal thoughts, what that means for me is that at least once, every single day of my life as far back as I can remember, I have thought about killing myself and how I would go about doing it.
An example of this would be today, where I am staying has a balcony so my mind goes straight to hanging, I've even worked out where the rope should go so I don't hang too low.
This should shock you, I'm not writing it to shock you, it's literally just how I feel but in reality it should shock you. These are not normal thoughts and feelings that people should have, but I have them, every day.
Do they scare me? No, the honest answer is they don't scare me. In fact they comfort me a little. If I needed to, really needed a way out, then I have it.
Does this mean, right here and now, sitting alone in this house that I want to die by suicide? No, it doesn't. I'm unwell and have been totally exhausted and down this week but do I want to kill myself here and now, no I don't.
I guess another way of looking at it is this. I have IBS. So whenever I go somewhere the first thing I become aware of is where the toilets are, just in case I have to dash off. This is like the suicidal thoughts, what if I need an out, what can I use to get me out of the situation.
So how do I manage these thoughts, well truthfully I don't, sometimes I really struggle. The smallest bad thing can happen and on some days it's just too much for me and the thoughts take over and I can't think of anything else and sometimes this leads to an attempt to take my own life. I guess some would say it's lucky that I'm actually really bad at suicide and maybe that means that somewhere in my mind I don't want to die. Sometimes I hope that's true and other times it angers me that I can't just let go for long enough.
I'm not scared of dying, but lately I am scared of what I'd leave behind. Mainly, it's my son. When I'm well I know that he would not be better off without me but when I'm unwell I think the oppostie. My life at the minute is full of small positives and huge negatives. I'm in debt and have money worries, I'm in a job that I hate, I'm divorced, I feel ugly all the time, am overweight and have a sugar addiction, I hate the way I look and I'm constantly manic - needing to keep busy every day or I get really bored and can't get out o bed. I'm tired even when I do sleep and exhausted when I don't. I look for negatives over positives and even thought I have some amazing clos friends, I feel so lonely.
But I'm still here.
So how do I cope.
The simple answer for me is keeping busy, volunteering, working even though I hate my job and taking on extra work when I can. Surfing, climbing and generally being outdoors, spending time with friends and as little time as I can at home. When I'm with my son, it's being out and about, playing games, running around and anything else I can do with him.
I also have a recovery plan. I have a book which I write poetry in and that's my go to when I'm unwell. Writing down these feelings really helps me, thinking about the end, the day, the way I feel and writing that all down. And probably the best thing for me is having people around me that know exactly what it means to feel this way. To them I can talk, even laugh and joke about these feelings and sometimes that's enough.
Suicide is terrible but if we don't all try and understand it better then there will alwas be this stigma around it and people like me will still try to do it.
But not today.
When I'm feeling suicidal I try and think of these lines by the poet Robert Frost;
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
"At a time where suffering is a global commonality, kindness is easy to practice and makes a huge difference. Being kind is usually seen as something we do for others, but for me, being kind to myself is just as important and can be much more…Find out more
Connor wrote a blog about why he chose to be a Time to Change Wales Champion and how it has helped him to share his story, gain new skills and meet new people.Find out more