Celebrate the good times? Yes

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Mental Health

I will be forty two on sunday, its not a very significant birthday to most Forty was big, fifty will be huge and maybe forty five will be marked as a special one but most people dont anything very much to crow about at forty two, I do and its not a great thing in some ways but in many others its monumental, why?

It was around this date ten years ago that I tried to take my own life, I didnt do a cry for help, I was alone in a foreign country and to be honest I dont know why I survived, to all intense and purposes I did everything right, what I didnt know was I have a very fast metabolic rate when it comes to certain substances and this was the only reason I am alive today. It had saved me before back when I was nineteen but I just chalked that one up to bad luck and carried on, not seeking help just assumed I wasnt meant to die and therefore would have to carry on regardless. I have tried since, this wasnt my last effort, although I have certainly had that event and it will never be repeated, thanks to a chance meeting in therapy, that’s another story though.

I was driving the other day and as often happens a song comes on I remember specifically to a date or time, this was one of those and it made me reflect on where I was and what life would have been like for everyone else had I simply stayed asleep and never re-awoke. You tell yourself at the time you are releasing everyone else from your misery and setting them on the road to good times but we all know that’s shit, well intentioned possibly but crap all the same. My Daughter would have been 9, her bright future could have been irreparably damaged, would she have needed the years of intense therapy I did? could she have continued to goto university in the light of such events? I dont know but I can have a pretty good guess. My eldest son was 5 we had not really gotten to know each other by then, a weekend dad that I was , he is a smart, well mannered young man, a bit laconic maybe but otherwise perfect, at that age he needed a dad, I came back and eventually made it back into the role, would he be the way he is today if I had not? could he have developed into the man he is becoming without a father, and worse knowing his dad didnt want to be around because that would have been the message he got from my suicide, how could he not?

My youngest son most tellingly would never have been born, that is the clincher to me, my wife would have been racked with guilt and this may have driven her to any lengths, I dint know what she might have done but the fact is she wouldnt have had our boy and that would have been the greatest tragedy in all this, for her it would have been terrible, to lose someone and feel responsible for not helping them, to be a continent away when he died would have been unbearable but not having our boy , even though she would have known no different would have been the cruelest part of this. the world would have suffered to, not having my son in it would have made this a worse off place by far, his bright intellect and cheek, his caring nature and love for everything must be a force for good and along with the wonderful brother and sister he shares the knowledge they are loved, admired and believed in, they will change the world for someone, maybe for many but if not for someone by just being in the world, as they are, without the grief and guilt, anger and confusion having a dead father from suicide would have brought them.

So ten years have passed, I have climbed all the way back to the very top of the world, a success some might say, a marriage and mortgage life was cruising along and yet i fell, without any sign to portent my doom it came and down I went. yes I tried again to take my life and ended up in hospital a few times but then the world turned and recovery was made possible. through the hard work of some very special people who genuinely understood my situation I started to claw back my life, not the whole thing, its just not there to get back anymore, the house is gone, stolen by unscrupulous insurance companies, the Job is a mere memory and my worth has fallen rapidly but new stuff cropped up, I became a member of a great group people some of whom will be my friends for life, in this group I learned so much that was right before my eyes all my life, connections were made and understanding began, through this I was aware of my effect on others, cared about it and made efforts to change it, where there was blame i laid it and where it wasnt I took it back.

So a decade past as a rollercoaster ride, my lowest points seemed insurmountable but here I am, maybe not cresting a wave but happier than I believed i had any right to be, my beautiful family are all fit and well, exceeding my wildest dreams everyday and my wife is as resolute and wonderful as ever, I get to write and people read it, fiction is my passion and I have a blog, you may be aware of that and might even want to read it someday, and most of all I am alive and consider this to be a good thing, something I intend doing my best to continue for as long as I can, which is pretty much the biggest change of them all, so yes I will be celebrating my birthday in style with good friends and loving family and while they joke about my growing stomach and shrinking hairline I will just enjoy the fact I there to hear it.

  1. I love this post. I love your bravery and strength. A very happy birthday when it comes.
    Take good care of yourself

    Scarlet x

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