Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Journal Entry of an Overdose Survivor

Hey guys!
Following my last blog posts a friend of mine has come forward with a journal entry that she wrote after she had drug overdosed and survived. She is a survivor and reading this entry had me crying because I knew how she felt, but reading her words made it harder and it hit me how she actually felt. I think it is important to see the perspective of someone who is suffering from depressing by reading the thoughts they are battling with. Please take your time to read this and let me know what your thoughts are, I will be sharing them with the person who made this entry. 

                                                 28th March 2019
The summer of 2017, I felt like I was pushed into a deep, dark hole. Everything spiralled out of control. I could hear screaming and shouting, dark figures lashing at each other, but it was all blurry and distorted. For what felt like eternity, I kept on trying to move into a corner and curl up into a ball, but I used to do that when I tried to escape a nightmare, why was I doing that at 20? I felt tears stinging my eyes, my mind was clouded, and I wanted to scream for help, but a hand would cover my mouth. No, not a hand. My hand. My pride. No one else needed to know what was going on, it was just a phase. I wasn’t sure who was speaking to me, but I assumed my pride was telling me this, so I carried on because it was just a phase. However, it wasn’t a phase. The dark figures were trying to tear each other apart, I covered my ears, but I couldn’t escape the noise, and this happened constantly. Every day, I felt like I was being dragged across a splintered floor and that someone was banging my head against the wall. Yet I had no marks, no bruises. Was I imagining this pain that was ringing loudly in my head? Whatever it was, it felt painful anyway. Sometimes, I would be pushed into a pool and I would be gasping for air, trying to grab onto the waves but it was no use. I felt like I was dying, and I cried but the tears dissolved into the water, nothing more, nothing less. The more I struggled, the more I drowned but then, the pool disappeared, and I was back in my bedroom. I could feel my strength slip through my fingers like sand and I was trying to pick up each grain, but it was no use, I was losing myself slowly. I had no idea why though. There was a strange tightness in my chest as well, as if I had been holding my breath for eternity. The smallest incidents made me crumble; I was crying instead of fixing. I ran away from everything. I was suddenly wary of who to trust, I was contemplating who my real friends were. All I saw were faces and I didn’t want to risk being hurt if someone was untrustworthy, so it was easier to let go of everyone. Every bit of energy was drained from me, I didn’t what was sucking the life out of me though, I turn to every corner, peered into every crook and cranny but I couldn’t find the culprit. Suddenly, being happy sounded like a chore. The smile felt fake, like I moulded my mouth into that shape. The glint of happiness in my eyes, it faded. I had no idea who was looking back at me in the mirror. I didn’t want my family or my friends near me, I just tried to please everyone but I always craved solitude. What on earth was going on? Why was I trying to battle myself unexpectedly?  November 30th, 2018, probably one of the worst days of my life. It was the day that set the agonising truth into stone, and I couldn’t simply erase it. I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. I couldn’t put a name to this dark feeling for so long, it felt like I was naming a demon. The reason why I say that, the word ‘depression’ was on my lips but also all the way back in the abyss of my mind. It felt sinister and cursed, as if I was doomed if I even said the word aloud. I knew that’s what it was called yet I refused to accept it because now the demon didn’t need to hide away in the shadows, instead it looms over me, poking me and twisting me at its own will. It hurt more now that I knew what it was. I couldn’t tell anyone, what would they say? What if they thought I was a burden? A liability? I didn’t want to face that feeling of rejection, so it was more soothing to push away the people who cared than to feel hurt. Seeking help was simple but I convinced myself that no good would come of it, so I suffered alone. The demon pranced around, taunting me, telling me that it was going to end badly. When I told my loved ones what was going on, I expected everyone to immediately walk away. To my surprise, they all stayed. I used a tiny bit of courage to tell them but collectively, they all slowly pulled me out of the darkness. The daily encouragement, advice and love was all I needed to carry on. However, it was still my own mission to overcome the depression and anxiety.
March 26th, 2019. I decided to take my own life. To say that sounds very fictional and I would not have thought that I would’ve brought myself to that point, but I did. I can’t put a finger on why I decided to commit suicide however I remember I was going through my mental ‘To-do list’ and that list just got longer and longer and longer. I was on my way back to university and I was on the Underground. During that time, I could feel my heart racing and tears were forming in my eyes, there was a surge of panic that went through me and I knew I was having a panic attack but I also knew that until I could get signal on the Underground, I was pretty much by myself on the train. For another gruelling half an hour, I tried to calm myself down and the moment I reached King’s Cross, I broke down. I was balling my eyes out in public and I felt so many eyes of pity on me, yet no one helped me. I felt nauseous and light headed, probably because I was burning myself out from just overthinking, but I knew I had enough. Problems were coming in from all corners, whether it was regarding my personal life or my academics, it got too much.
This isn’t the first time I’ve had suicidal thoughts, but this was the first time that I tried to do it. My wellbeing advisor first told me that the reason why my thoughts would linger off to the dark side was because I found comfort in death. The feeling of not feeling anything at all. So, I decided to overdose on Paracetamol since I had a packet of it my bag. I can’t remember how many I tried to take but I came back to my senses very quickly and I ran to my housemate. I told her everything and I felt shocked and ashamed. Then everything was a blur afterwards. Countless phone calls to 111 were made but I was balled up on my housemate’s bed. The future seemed hazy and I was too scared to do anything from that point, so I stayed in bed the next day. Having any kind of contact with the outside world was not an option. I didn’t want to hear sympathy nor anger from anyone for wanting to kill myself. My eyes sting a little every time I revisit this memory, but wounds heal over time and I’m trying to build up more courage, hopefully I can become immune to all the pain.The way I can describe why people would commit suicide is not because they no longer want to live but that they longer want to feel, and I get that. Right now, I’m trying to adjust and adapt to my depression as it is still a new part of my life and I know that I need to accept that there’s no remedy for it. However, the one thing that stopped me from overdosing was the thought of my family and friends. I have photos of people who mean the world to me on my wall and I realised that I could not let them go through with that. One of my friends was told immediately about what happened and he didn’t want to talk to me because he was so annoyed, and he said he would have shouted me. Instead, he sent a text and told me that there are people who care and are dependant on me. I read Mathu’s blog post and I had no idea how she felt about what happened and it crushed me. As someone who has tried to take her life, I can tell you that I probably caused more pain to the people I love than to myself. There are a few more of my closed ones that still don’t know, and I’m not prepared for them to know but it is something I must do for my own peace of mind.This paragraph and the last are additions to this journal entry I wrote, and I was inspired to share it after reading Mathu’s blog post on mental health. I don’t want to portray this as a sob story or create a pity party for myself and I fear this could come across as seeking attention hence why I’ve decided to stay anonymous. However, I wanted to share my story because I still have strength to carry on and I know you do too. You probably don’t realise but there are people who care for you and who would be heartbroken if you were no longer there. I’m not expecting you to take this all as advice because quite frankly, the hardest advice to take is your own and I will probably have another bad day so in that case, I’m afraid I would have to take back my own word. Alternatively, this could be a tiny smidge of inspiration. Being Tamil and having a mental illness is a lot to carry on my back but I do hope this post gives you a small fragment of courage and that it’s ok! Don’t assume that if you are from an ethnic minority that even you must treat your mental health as taboo, there are millions of humans out there who are in the same position as you. If you do feel depressed or suicidal, tell someone.
Now, I have a whole new perspective of almost everything and it’s currently about reconnecting with the old and discovering the new. Since I could have easily ended everything in one impulsive swoop, life has a different meaning. I’ve never really had petty spats with anyone, but I’ve had disagreements and now, it seems pointless to dwell on it. So, I ask you, if you’re currently indulging in foul gossip or holding that grudge on someone, is it worth it? Is it worth having that hatred towards someone else when you can just let it go and get on with working on you? I’m not a monk or a motivational speaker but I’ve forgiven everyone in my mind and I’m at peace with that. I wake up every morning wishing I was just ‘going through a phase’ but my depression is here to stay unfortunately. Nevertheless, ‘Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light’.


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