Sticks and stones may break my bones and my brain is trying to kill me!

⚠️ This blog post comes with a trigger warning ⚠️ It’s about suicide ideation ⚠️ Please keep yourself safe ⚠️

Did you know that you can feel suicidal without ever actually attempting to end your life? It can go on for a long time too. And it’s painful. Really painful. It’s called suicide ideation which is basically thinking about, considering or actually going as far as planning to end your life. I think about suicide a lot and it’s pretty fucking horrible.

You always see people posting about this kind of stuff on social media after a celebrity has died by suicide. And people mean well when they post that you can reach out to them if you’re depressed or suicidal. It’s nice to know there are people out there who care. But the truth is, when you’re fighting this dark internal demon, reaching out to people is genuinely one of the hardest things to do. You’re exposing this inner darkness, raw pain and vulnerability; all the parts you’ve been fighting so hard to hide from everyone and I hide mine well. By reaching out, you’re asking someone to help you to save your life and that’s a really difficult thing to ask someone. And what if they don’t understand, and what if they don’t believe you?

The first time I told my mum I wanted to kill myself, I could hear her fighting back to the tears on the phone. You know when someone’s voice cracks but they mask it with a big swallow before taking a deep breath to try again? She so desperately wanted to be strong for me but eventually she broke down, and through her tears she apologised to me for how I was feeling. Imagine that. She was telling me she was sorry for my pain. I know it can’t be easy to hear your child, someone you gave life to, telling you that they wanted to end it, but it’s more than that. When my mum was in her 30s, her mental health problems ran wildly out of control and she also wanted to die. Whenever I hear that someone has died because they ended their life, I feel a pain and a sadness that is quite overwhelming. I don’t know the person I’m reading about on the news or seeing on Facebook, but I still feel this real heart crushing, stomach twisting pain knowing that this person felt so sad that they didn’t see another way out. It’s because I’ve felt some of that pain. I’ve felt the sadness, the loneliness and the darkness and I’ve wanted so badly for it to end. So my mums on the other end of the phone, listening to my pain and knowing exactly how I feel.

Calling my mum that day was my first step towards recovery. She was dialling the number of the mental health crisis team within 0.2 seconds of hanging up the phone to me. She needed to know how to get me some help. She needed to know how to prevent her only daughter from killing herself. She was frantic when they said I had to call them myself. She needed to be sure I would and she was ready to leave work and come to me to make sure I did. And I did. It was difficult and it was embarrassing. I felt like I was lying because although I wanted to die and I knew how I would do it, I had no intention of following through with it because I knew it would kill my mum. I was safe.

I was told by the crisis team that I would receive a call back within 72 hours. 96 hours later I spoke to a mental health nurse. He was very nice and he asked the questions he needed to ask. At the end of that call he told me I didn’t sound like a depressed person. I was functioning. I believed him. You’re not depressed. Maybe you made it up. Maybe it’s normal to feel empty every minute of the day, maybe it’s normal to want to kill yourself most days, maybe it’s normal to feel removed from reality, maybe it’s normal to not shower for days on end, maybe it’s normal to stop having fun, maybe it’s normal to be constantly exhausted, maybe it’s normal to struggle so much to function every day… at least you’re functioning. You’re not depressed.

A few weeks later I got a letter from the mental health team to say that they’re referring me back to my GP. Opening that letter and reading it, I felt as if an elephant had placed its foot on my chest and gently pressed down on it, whilst my head filled with fuzzy cotton wool and my eyes filled with boiling hot tears that were constantly on the edge of spilling out. Why won’t they help me?! Don’t they understand? Don’t they believe me? It took a while to get over that rejection but with support, I put my brave girl pants on and I booked an appointment to see a psychiatric nurse who works in my doctors surgery. I wrote a list of all the things I needed him to know and with my mum sitting next to me, we sat for an hour and we went through everything I was experiencing now and everything I had experienced in the past. He understood. He believed me. You are depressed. The elephants foot eased up a bit. The fuzzy cotton wool shrunk by an inch. The hot tears cooled and retreated. He made a recommendation to my GP that I get seen by the mental health team. I need help. Somebody please help me.

At some point, I don’t remember when, but I was prescribed Sertraline and I had to go and get my prescription reviewed. The doctor who sat opposite me had not read my medical records and spoke to me about depression as if I hadn’t experienced it before, as if I wasn’t living it now. She looked at me sitting there wearing my work uniform and a bit of foundation on my face and said I must be doing well because I’m functioning and I’ve done my makeup. The panic!! The cotton wool started spinning in my head. She doesn’t understand! She doesn’t believe you. They won’t help you now, they think you’ve made it up. You have made it up. Depressed people don’t go to work. They don’t do their make up. As soon as I got into my car, the hot tears built back up and poured from my eyes, drenching my face and removing my make up. I contemplated driving into a tree, nobody is going to help you. You’re not depressed. You’re functioning.

After that appointment, I was convinced I wasn’t unwell enough to get help. I doubted myself and it was a constant battle with my own mind. You’re fine. You’re not fine. I remember waiting for my letter to say whether or not the mental health team had accepted my referral and I told my friend that if they rejected me I would attempt to kill myself. The future looked too dark without help. If I survived, they might help me, but if I died at least I would be free of the pain. Is that someone who isn’t depressed? You’re not fine.

I first called the crisis team in September last year. I saw the nurse psychiatrist in November. Its June and I’m only just starting my initial intervention. It’s been a long road to get to this point but it’s I’m making progress. Recovery is not linear. Sometimes people won’t understand. Sometimes they won’t believe you. They won’t see the pain you hide behind the smile that doesn’t ever quite reach your eyes, or the under the make up you paint on your skin to cover the dark circles and cracked skin. They won’t see you curled in a ball under your duvet, crying, hoping you don’t wake up tomorrow. But if you’re reading this and you’ve thought about giving up, please don’t. You have to keep trying. Someone will see you. Someone will understand. Someone will believe you. And then they’ll help you. You have to keep going. Keep fighting. Keep pushing. You can’t die. I can’t die. Please don’t die!


Look after your brain. Bella xx

Samaritans 116 123

NHS 111

999 if you’re in crisis and cannot keep yourself safe


https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/

10 thoughts on “Sticks and stones may break my bones and my brain is trying to kill me!”

  1. Another incredibly brave, raw post. As much as I hate to criticise our health system at a time when they are working so hard, I cannot believe how hard you have had to fight to get help. They often encourage people to reach out but clearly resources are stretched and time is limited and ultimately, they are failing people. I hope this intervention helps you to make some sense of the demons in your head 💗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I lost count of the amount of times ‘mental health professionals’ made me feel, stupid, crazy, attention seeking or just ridiculous for asking for help… The problem is that that is the very thing we fear when we ask for help. Just because we appear strong on the outside doesn’t mean we are hurting any less than anyone else. We’ve learnt to wear our masks to cope for many reasons… to hide our true feelings for fear of rejection, accusations of being dramatic or attention seeking, fear of burdening others with our ‘drama’, fear of letting our negative emotions consume us and hurt those around us … there are plenty more … We hide it all for not only our protection but those around us too, but we’re only human, we all have limits and breaking points and we need help just like anyone else.
    I’ve been there many times in my past, with those suicidal thoughts and feelings, I was depressed at 8 years old, suicidal by 13 and nothing diagnosed until I was 18 … I’m nearly 30 now and I’ve learnt to deal with coping to an extent, but as soon as something that can trigger some intense feelings comes along I feel like I’m drowning again…
    You’re so brave to keep fighting to get help and being so honest about everything. I find it so hard to be honest about all the negative thoughts, feelings and actions in my life that even when I got help in the past I couldn’t let it all out. I’ve had the mask so long it’s so hard to let it slip even a little but one day I’ll get there :’) Maybe anonymous counselling is my way forward 😂
    Your blog is now something I look forward to each week 😊 keep fighting you beautiful soul ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I look forward to your comments 🥰 it’s like reading myself back sometimes! I’m so sorry you have experienced these things. My mask finally slipped last year but I did a pretty good job of hiding things until then. And I wasn’t really honest until recently. And now I’m learning more and more about myself and my journey every day. It’s not easy. You sound like you’re moving towards a place where you can be more honest and I hope you find something that works for you. Your comments are always very honest and I truly appreciate you. Keep fighting too you wonderful human ❤️

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  3. It just feels so easy to talk when someone has experienced things so similarly, I’ve had too many negative experiences with mental health professionals that learned it but have never lived it. You can understand someone’s mental health and what they go through, but reading it and empathising with the struggle is not the same and can sometimes feel condescending when spoken to by someone who hasn’t experienced at least something similar… maybe that sort of thinking is my stubborn trust issues talking or just a negative view after negative experiences… I dunno xD

    But I feel inspired to go and finally look into the label I was almost given and today, just now, I found an answer for something that I have experienced a handful of times, each time I’ve felt crazy and I’ve grown to know when it’s close to happening and can sometimes delay it… It almost happened recently at work and I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to stop it, terrified that so many people would see this change and see me as crazy… What generally happens it that I just have this focus of anger and it just feels like its burning inside me and then all of a sudden I feel nothing, I’m robotic in the way I speak, I have no care for anything or anyone, I just don’t feel at all … and when you have a child that is a scary thing to experience because that unconditional love is just stripped away completely for however long that episode goes on … for someone that is always there for others, is happier seeing someone else smile and tries hard to always keep compassion for others and works in the health care sector…. would not have been a fun day for me 😂
    I found out that it’s ‘splitting’ and to know that it’s there and labelled, I don’t feel quite so crazy :’) I almost cried when I read it and this blog is what led me to finding it so thank you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you’re seeking answers. These things aren’t easy to experience and not everyone finds labels helpful but for me, knowing there are people out there who are similar to me and that they have got help or recovered really helps me. And I hope finding that label has helped you ❤️

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      1. I’ve spent so long trying to fit in that I fear finding answers and labels, it’s like being branded different. But I’m finally ready to accept that I am different and I need to understand it all to move forward. It’s difficult when you experience things so differently to the people around you, it’s so hard to talk to people about the emotions that you’re drowning in when they feel it at a fraction, as hard as they may try to understand and accept it they don’t know what it’s like to live it and every time I try I feel like I’m judged as being dramatic or the conversation is shut down because they don’t know how to respond because they don’t understand why I feel so strongly… which isn’t to blame anyone, we all struggle to see beyond what we live with, it’s just the way we’re built.
        It definitely has helped, it’s a baby step towards figuring my mess of a brain out and healing rather than just coping until the next storm hits and drowning again. I’m done with trying to fit in and pretend I’m something that I’m not and just reading your experiences and knowing that someone else feels so similarly to what I experience gives me strength to push for that. Knowing that other people experience things in similar ways is one thing, I’ve read stories and blog extracts before etc, but it’s only been small amounts to relate to and I’ve never had the balls to comment or share my experiences before … but this blog just hits home so much for me and it has made me question how much I hide from myself. I can’t begin to express how much it helps right now, so thank you ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m so so glad I can help you! That means the absolute world to me and I really hope you find the answers you need and the support you need to manage your mental health and live well. Thank you Gigi ❤️

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  4. I’m so proud of you, for being so brave to open up the way you have. It’s not an easy thing to do. You are going to help so many people. You are incredibly brave and courageous. I am so sorry that you have had to fight so much, to get the help you need. You are an absolute warrior. X x x 💕 love you

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