September Is Suicide Prevention Month
And this is my story
September is Suicide Prevention Month
We can change the narrative and start talking about suicide and mental illness!
My own story and how close I was to end my life
Reached one of the lowest points in my life just before New Year 2015, where I felt that now was the time to abandon this hell that my life felt the way it was. I only saw one way out, and that was to finish it myself, with the help of a train I thought. ‘Then it goes fast and I will no longer feel the pain inside me’, and so I think those who take the last step think. Which in my World, as a believer is a strange way of looking at things, nothing that I took with me from my upbringing.
I stood there and balanced and Arlanda Express (Fast commute train between Stockholm City and Arlanda Airport) rushed forward and got closer and closer. I remember that I was as stunned by the anxiety medication and that in my slightly disturbed state there was a voice that said to me: Do not do it, Anders.
I remember when one of my good friends some years ago took his own life and left behind a wife, children, and friends who did not understand anything at all. There had been no signs, they said. But I think if you are sensitive to each other, you (might) discover the signs before it is too late.
As I said, I stood there and started thinking: What would my daughters think? Shouldn’t my possible grandchildren get to know their Grandpa? My sisters? My friends? Do I want to disappoint them in this way and leave them unanswered? Arlanda Express came closer and closer and then I thought that poor train driver, he or she is completely innocent. Has not hurt me, so I just can not expose him or her to it.
The train passed without me jumping in front of it …… and I, I stood there on the platform and cried, cried both over my cowardice not to dare to take the final step and end this (in my opinion) shitty life, but at the same time out of relief that I did not harm anyone else.
This was my third ‘near-death experience’.
My other times
My first was a single accident with my first car where I drove off the road at about 90 km / h and landed with the hood before straight down on an icy field. The car was completely crooked but I managed with bruises and scratches but also a whiplash (which at that time was called the sore neck, was not so fancy at the time) Medical care was not needed, my mother patched me up and gave me the keys to their car so I only drove hours after the accident. This accident gave me no one but the Whiplash which lasted like that for 20 years but does not cause me any worries anymore.
My second was my heart attack in 2013, where I thought that now it was all over. And in my mind, I went through what I would have done differently if I had had a second chance. I also learned then how terrible we Swedes (Yes, I write Swedes when we live in Sweden, problems with that?) Are to dare to help our fellow human beings. I collapsed on the way to work and stood there on my knees, or maybe I sat down the memory is a bit blurred. In any case, I asked no less than seven (7) people for help that no 112 (The same as 911) but no one helped me. (Explanation is that ‘we do not want to be involved’ as you may have to answer questions and that it can be offensive….) During what seemed like an eternity, I managed to get up on my feet only to discover that the mobile phone that was in I could not access my left pocket due to extreme pain in my left arm. stumbling home and when I finally stand in front of the house where I live I access my mobile, and before I take the elevator up to my apartment, the ambulance is on its way.
The third time was this one, and there I was ready to end everything myself (or rather with assistance). It was probably there, and it will not be a fourth time, I want an opportunity to talk with this short story about breaking the last taboos, that there is no shame in this to want to end his life.
BUT there are alternatives, start by talking to someone about your problem. Curator, school sister, doctor, your parents, or perhaps the one closest to you, ie your partner. I promise you that everyone will help you get the help you need. You probably do not think so right now, or when you feel the worst. But, taking your life is not a solution you hurt the people who love you and care even if you do not think there is anyone who does.
So let’s break the last taboos together and start talking about it because we as a collective have great opportunities to change the narrative.
I stand on that platform again, years later, and see Arlanda Express come rushing and feel its speed wind blow in my face and think that life is not so crazy and lousy anyway. It’s worth living with all their problems and bumps in the road. The people who do not understand how good you are to have in their team, they’re not worth being friends with. I feel so grateful that I’m still here and can enjoy spending time with my grandchildren (all born after the event!), family, and friends.
There is help to find, suicide prevention organizations all over the world. You can find some of them by following this link.