Hi.Â My name is Lucy, I am 20.Â I feel much older.Â Before dismissing me as an emo teenager, please read a little of this.Â I might be 20, but I’ve been through more than most people ever do – both good and bad things.Â But it’s the bad things that get to you, wear you down.
I don’t know where to start – it seems like there have been so many starts, so many horrible life events and so much negativity.Â I am currently actively suicidal.Â The thought of dying will not leave my head – I’m pretty sure by this point that I only exist to destruct myself.Â My current label is Borderline Personality Disorder; sometimes I think it’s accurate, other times I seriously question it’s validity – if I hadn’t been abused as a kid and had never attempted self harm, it probably wouldn’t have been given to me.
My therapist just rang.Â I cried down the phone at her – highlighting that she can’t help, none of that team can, the doctors can’t help, hospitalisation and the crisis team haven’t helped – so I need to deal with this on my own, because ultimately, no one else can rescue me.Â I’ve tried leaning on the mental health services, but inevitably it ends in: ‘go to the hospital when it gets bad’.Â If you go to the hospital, they assess you, and you need to be a pretty fucking high risk to yourself to even be noticed – otherwise they send you back home, saying they can’t help.Â The therapist is trying to refer me to a crisis team for the weekend, but they are reluctant to take me because they’ve got a high caseload and I’ve seen them quite a few times before.
The most difficult thing for me has been keeping all this from friends and family.Â At first, my friends were involved because I live with them.Â They would pick me up from hospital or the police station after a suicidal crisis.Â But it took its toll on them – my best friends became depressed, withdrawn, and I couldn’t live with myself knowing that it was my fault they felt that way.Â Same goes for my family – when I was younger they found out about my suicidality and it nearly destroyed each of their souls.Â It is easier for me to cope and for me to live with myself, by not telling them.Â Suicide tends to rip up the hearts of those you are closest to.Â I made a conscious decision to keep them out of it, no matter what the cost.Â To some extent, I guess it’s worked, because my family still come to me for help, and my friends have resumed a normal lifestyle.Â It is the most isolating thing ever, dealing with depression on your own.Â But I’d rather it were this way round, so they don’t have to suffer… and more selfishly, I don’t have to watch them suffer.
The easiest way to explain this is in episodes.Â In september 09, I tried to kill myself.Â Took over 150 pills, nearly died, and would have died if it weren’t for the police and adrenaline shots from the ambulance.Â That was the time I gave up on life.Â Since then, nothing has changed my feelings: I want out.Â During these last six months of suicidality, I was hospitalised many times – had emergency spinal surgery and a long slow recovery, spent time in a pain management hospital programme, and was placed in a psychiatric ward for many many weeks.Â Inbetween these hospitalisations, there have been a good handful (at least) of attempted suicides, multiple mental health act assessments, and plenty of times when I’ve been dragged to A&E for the emergency psychiatric team.
I’ve held myself so far using the resources around me – distract myself, give it time, talk about it, take my meds, ringing people when in crisis.Â There’s always been a part of me that has fought every suicide attempt by carrying out the above.Â That is what makes this complicated.Â I want to die.Â But part of me wants to live.Â I’m not prepared to continue the physical and emotional suffering.Â This contradiction is probably the largest reason that I am still here.
I’m sitting here, falling apart.Â I have tried everything, every treatment option I’ve been given.Â I don’t believe there is any hope left for me to recover from this.Â And even if there is, I don’t have the energy to try.Â I can’t cope… I just can’t do this.Â I don’t want to always be in pain, and always be trying to hold myself back from suicide.Â It is a constant effort – staying on guard, being vigilant, never backing down, not letting those thoughts win.Â But they have won.Â They are inside of me; I made them; they continue to exist because I continue to exist.
In a few hours, I plan to re-enact the suicide attempt of 6 months ago – it was so nearly fatal and so nearly successful.Â This time it will work, because I have no intention of going anywhere where I could be found before it’s too late.
Want to scream: I JUST FUCKING CAN’T COPE, I CAN’T DO THIS, SOMEONE PLEASE HELP, TAKE THIS AWAY.Â I want to break down.Â I want to scream, to shout.Â I want to cry inconsolably.Â I want to kick, punch, writhe around so the outside of me reflects what is going on inside.Â There’s no way that anyone can take the pain away – God knows they’ve tried.Â I want people to recognise how hard this is, I want someone to tell me that it’s all going to be okay.Â But it’s not going to be okay.Â Not for anyone.Â Because if I die, I screw up the lives of my friends and family.Â If I don’t, I have to deal with continual mental torture and never ending distress.Â So no – either way, nothing is going to be okay.
On top of feeling like this, there’s always some personal drama or something vaguely traumatic happening.Â My mum, dad and brother have clinical depression; a grandmother who had manic depression.Â Both my father and brother have tried to kill themselves.Â Â My parents are in the midst of a long messy divorce, during which time they periodically lean on me, highlighting the worst transgressions of the other parent.Â They are both broke due to the divorce, which just makes everything even more tense.Â There have been so many more dramas that I don’t even know where to begin with, so for now, they remain silent and stored in my head.Â Meanwhile, I am broke – I can’t work or study and therefore my house is in jeopardy – assuming that I can even pay the rent up until July, the contract is up and I will be homeless.Â Everyone I know in this city is going to be moving away in July, save two people and my drug dealer.Â It is my last year to go back to university to finish my degree, but I will have nowhere to live, no one to live with, and chances are that if I don’t end this, I’ll still be in this state trying to end this degree, which will result in even worse grades and an entirely pointless Â£35,000 degree.
I used to have an uncle.Â He raped me as a child.Â From 10 to 14.Â Now my grandad is dying from prostate cancer and I can’t say goodbye to him – that part of the family is estranged after I finally told the family what he did to me at 16.Â This abuse is pretty much the cornerstone of my BPD diagnosis.Â I started cutting myself at 13, moving on to any other type of self harm available.Â Suicide attempts followed soon after, and when I was 17, psychiatric hospital became my home for months.Â After that, I ‘recovered’.Â I never really did recover, but I put on a face to the world, got good A levels, got accepted to university, had a loving girlfriend, did lots of voluntary work in physical and mental health.Â At 17, I had a car crash.Â This was the start of the chronic pain era – I became more and more depressed until the persona that I had created – the mentally healthy Lucy – began to disintegrate.
At 18, I started university.Â Life was relatively normal – I dealt with the chronic pain, had my first spinal surgery, had depressive episodes, but they never lasted for more than a month.Â In my second year of uni, I stopped seeing people – anyone and everyone.Â Became more depressed – got through the days with weed and valium.Â The pain got worse and worse, I couldn’t move around without crutches or walking sticks.Â After a pain management course, I came to terms with my pain – I had been given every single pain management tool but I couldn’t live with the excruciating pain.Â The other people on the pain management course all agreed that their pain hadn’t been controlled by this and that was the end of the line in terms of treatment.Â My orthopaedic surgeon didn’t believe the amount of pain I was in – he also overlooked the fact that my legs would give way randomly or that I had almost no sensation left in my legs.Â This was the effects of cauda equina, though I didn’t know it at the time.Â It was horrific and constant, and none of the strong opiates touched the pain, except for morphine.
This is when my story links in to the start of this episode.Â 6 months ago, the overdose that should have killed me.Â I took it because I couldn’t bear the pain – at the emergency room, after being monitored and treated for the effects of the overdose, they found out the cause of my physical pain – and I was rushed across the county by ambulance within hours of getting the news for emergency spinal surgery.Â I would have been paralysed if it went unnoticed any longer.Â Now the pain has lessened, but by no means disappeared.Â I have been told that this is the least amount of pain that I will experience in my life – chances of a relapse are high, and when that happens, the pain increases exponentially.Â I live in the knowledge that any slight wrong movement will further damage my back and relapse is more likely.Â I could be paralysed, lose control of my bladder and bowel.
Because of the surgery, I dropped out of uni.Â I’m still living with friends: students; and therefore am constantly reminded of what I gave up and how I should be doing.Â This is only the tip of the iceberg.Â I’ve lost the only people I could talk to honestly – either because I’ve slept with them or because they’ve slept with one of my best friends.Â The friendship group I had in this city, the one that started at the beginning of uni has entirely disintegrated at the same time as my family did.
Now I am alone.Â I am in pain.Â I can’t cope.Â No one can help me because I don’t even know what is wrong.Â No treatments so far have helped either the psychological suffering or the fact that I will have to deal with physical pain for the rest of my life.Â Now I am suicidal and trying my hardest to deal with my life on my own.Â My way of dealing with this is through death – there might not be such a thing as a terminal mental illness, but all this distress is killing me, and leading me to kill myself.Â Things haven’t got better.Â I hold out little hope that they will do.
At the end of this all, it’s hit me that psychiatric services cannot help me (I’ve been through them like a revolving door).Â Even though if I were advising someone else, I’d tell them to seek help, exhaust all possible options before suicide, on an emotional level I am not prepared to put up with this apocalypse in my head any longer.Â I wish I could, but I am not strong enough.Â I want to live but I don’t know how to.
If anyone has made it this far, congratulations.Â You know more about me than my friends and family combined.Â This is a dark world you are entering… beware.