How I live now

By Erin Lawless

Suicides rates in UK increased to highest level since 2002 during the end of 2019, according to official figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

There are many different types of factors that can lead to a person experiencing suicidal thoughts throughout all ages.

For Jess, 22, these feelings started early, following the death of her elder brother, Euan. Jess was 13 years old when her eldest brother tragically passed away in the result of a car collision.

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Jess said: “I still remember hearing the news. I had just got home from school, and when I came through the front door, I recall an eerie kind of quiet.  I saw that my mum was crying. It wasn’t just a few tears but loud and desperate sobs. That’s when she told me. The weeks following, I felt lost, like it was all just a bad dream. I couldn’t bear to pass his bedroom door and after a while, I began not coming home at all. I didn’t like the quiet.”

For Jess, the death of her brother was only the beginning and she stated that it felt like things soon began to spiral out of control.

Jess said: “After that, my mum and I had a very strained relationship. She is extremely religious and was pretty unhappy when I started listening to so-called demon music. This was when the self-harm started. I think I was just falling down a rabbit hole. I made a lot of reckless choices which resulted in my first pregnancy.

I felt lost as I was far too young to look after a baby and he was in a relationship at the time with another girl. I felt dirty and confused and when I eventually told my parents, my mum kicked me out of the house. “

It was after this, at 16 years old, that Jess made the decision to end her life.

Jess said: “In the heat of the moment, I decided that my best option was suicide and I tried to go through with it. However, my best friend had come home early to surprise me with some food.  I spent some time in a mental health facility in Inverness after that and had many councillors to get me through it all.”

After months of determination to beat her depression, Jess was awarded something she praises to be miraculous; her daughter.

Jess said: “It sounds a bit cliché but my daughter, Alice, saved me. After she was born my whole world revolved around her, what she wanted and needed. There was no time to think about anything other than nappies and baby food. After a year of dating, me and Alice’s father got engaged. About a month later I found out I was pregnant again, our son, Jaime, followed and he looks just like my now fiancé.

Most recently, I have introduced our third – and last – child to the world and we plan to marry in December.”

Despite her hardships, Jess has worked hard to stay positive and continue on with her day-to-day life.

When asked what she would say to her younger self, Jess said: “If I could have told the younger me anything it would be that it will get better. There is always someone around to listen and to help you through it and it is completely okay to ask for help!

If you are feeling bad there are charities to call, or your doctor or even just talking to a friend. In the end, it is all the little things that make up to the best moments in life. 

That was how I lived then; I felt sad, alone and scared but this is how I live now and I have never been happier. It gets better just hold on.

If you, or someone you know, is suffering from suicidal thoughts you can seek help through your GP and the NHS website. You can also contact charities such as the Samaritans, Mind, Childline or you can call the Samaritans directly on 116 123.

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