I am the most excitable, enthusiastic and happy person you could ever meet - anyone who knows me will tell you that.
What they might not tell you is that beneath my carefully crafted exterior a significant battle with depression had a grip of my soul.
Since around 2012 and more heavily throughout 2015, I fought mental health problems with the pretence of happiness, but it was an act I couldn’t sustain. Depression had a hold on every aspect of my life.
It stole my energy and my happiness. It impaired my ability to function. The only place it couldn’t reach me was in my sleep, and a lack of consciousness soon became my only means of escape.
Even in my waking hours there were times I chose to lie in the darkness, hiding from the world and hoping that it would all go away. In a bid to release depression’s grip I made a visit to my GP, but a lack of understanding and a seven month wait for specialist help only compounded my desperation.
Though I knew my friends and family wanted to help me, I felt isolated. Depression was my battle and I had to fight it alone.
The bleak outlook of my life overwhelmed me and I reached breaking point.
I wanted to enjoy life with every fibre of my being, but I couldn’t imagine ever being truly happy again.
READ MORE - Josh Quigley on raising mental health awareness
I was terrified and trapped, and I wanted it to be over. I wanted to be dead. I took what I thought was my only option at the time. Suicide. I decided to end my life.
In the early hours of 26 May 2015 I got into my car and headed towards the motorway.
I knew exactly where I was going. I would drive to the Hermiston Gait roundabout, turn around, and crash at into the concrete barrier at the Livingston junction at over 80mph.
I had taken this same exit hundreds of times before, but this time it was different.
This time I wasn’t following the road home. I was heading down a one way street to end my pain and my suffering once and for all. As I hurtled faster and faster towards my impending fate, the longing to be free drove me ever forward.
In those final moments, as the momentum of the car came to a crushing halt, my agonising life also came to a standstill. I should have been dead. I shouldn’t have survived, but I did. I survived.
Next week I will continue my story with the events that followed my suicide attempt and explain how I set about using my experience to regain control of my life and help others.
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