Illustration of "Suicide Blonde" by Chewedkandi
Synopsis: How Isaac's world collapsed and why he is still alive today to tell the story...
...When I started out to write this I never realised it would be so difficult. It goes to the heart of my feelings and how close I came to losing my life during the time when my world collapsed between Jan 2010 and May 2011. It will equally be difficult for many to read, as it goes into detail of my despair like I haven’t before and as the title suggests talks in candid detail about this. During this time in my life I was highly suicidal.
The reason why I am writing this article now is because I was recently contacted by journalist Brian Whelan for Vice.com and asked to talk about my experiences on suicide and that interview can be read by clicking on the link towards the end of this article. Also World Suicide Awareness Day was last month and helping others who may be going through what I went through is very important to me.
Every day someone is in the midst of severe depression and sadly contemplating taking their lives and or indeed taking their lives. It can be for medical reasons or situational (such as mine) and there are always cases in the press about sadly the loss of another human being via suicide. I suppose when I ask myself the question would I have definitively put the so called bullet through my head – the answer is unequivocally yes and indeed on 14th June 2010 I was effectively dead.
I was desperately unhappy and in a situation beyond my control and that morning I came downstairs at my family home and started to Google “suicide” having woken up in floods of tears, which was becoming an all too common occurrence. Whilst I lay there crying I could ‘see’ myself coming downstairs in my dressing gown and Googling “suicide” and how to do it and 20 minutes later that is exactly what I was doing. It was if I was acting out a pre-determined plan which had only come to me in that moment, but in reality was a causal chain emerging from tragic events of 26th Jan 2010 and which pressure gradually built up until implosion point and that implosion came in the way of my suicide.
Having never researched suicide prior, I knew that this would be the end of me and would signal the final moments of my life, as it would breach my final in built defence barrier – all my other defences having already been neutralised and I have been in difficult situations before, but this situation was different.
I was trapped in a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from where 5 months on I still struggled to believe what was happening, as the fundamentally always enchanting and sensual relationship I shared with the person who I care for even beyond my own well-being – beautiful, kind, intelligent, deeply lovely, sexy, highly creative, Spiritually & Healing gifted and great at making Mexican Soup Maria – fell off a cliff face and sadly for reasons which are still held close to her delightful chest...
A chain of events that was to have severe and traumatic consequences and threaten our very essence and because who I believe we are to each other - True soul mates - and that can be the only reason why it has always been so special between us from the receipt of her breath-taking emails in Oct 2007 in response to my ‘risqué’ dating ad (see "The Lonely Goatherd"), where she cited we had the same “kissing” disease and that I was “dangerous!!!,” but recanted in the next sentence saying she was, “just kidding!” – I would always sacrifice my life to protect her, as well as our relationships’ integrity at a metaphysical and spiritual level, than to have everything we stand for as Human beings be torn apart with the tremendous generation of trauma that would bring us both.
I would be desperately unhappy for the rest of my life and in the most abysmal pain and distress and I surmise she would be in similar anguish, for we could never recover from something so damaging and our True soul mate status would be revoked for eternity… Well that is what I believed and still do.
And ultimately, despite the many reasons people tragically take their lives or contemplate doing so – I ascertain it is due to Happiness and if someone is deeply unhappy and they see no other way out of their situation then it becomes maybe the only option to end their pain and distress.
By sacrificing my life, my trail of thought went… I would have prevented a fate worse than death, as we would be able to rekindle our magic once reborn in another lifetime and would have prevented a lifetime of torment in this world. In time she would hopefully be able to recover in the knowledge I would be at Peace and crucially I would have prevented us from going against whom we are at our core being and which defines each and every one of us and which would have instantly been mutually self-destructive.
The effect on my friends and my family, in particular my two sisters and our wonderful – now 77 year old Mother (see "A Mother’s Love") – would have been devastating, as they would have lost their only brother and son respectively, but when you are that low you only think of what you are going through (and why) and distance yourself from everything else that isn’t directly relevant. As selfish as that may seem - and as I repeatedly told the doctors – you can’t live life for others and one’s own Happiness must ultimately prevail; and if, in my case, I knew there was no hope Maria and I could ever BE due to the events that were unfolding then I wasn’t going to live a soul destroying pain everyday knowing that I could never be Truly Happy ever again.
It is a process known as disassociation, as the mind protects itself from the terrible consequences of the actions its body is about to undertake and allows the person to commit terrible harm to themselves by removing the fear and anxiety normally associated with such trauma. I was to talk about suicide with detailed plans of how I was going to kill myself, as if I was taking a stroll to the shops to buy my favourite ice-cream, Vanilla Haagen-Dazs.
Yet I always believed what was happening was a terrible mistake. I spent days replaying everything in my mind about us with the depth and understanding of this most wonderful of human beings’, Maria, and our relationship to finally confirm this premise in my head. She was always to say how “always great” we are together and was the only other person bar me who knew that the situation which had developed between us now had no basis… And after a harrowing 16 months which would see me brought to my knees, the conclusion I derived at would finally be proven correct, but on this day in June 2010 my pain and distress had reached unbearable proportions and I couldn’t be alive anymore.
The counselling I had arranged via my GP (Doctor) to try and deal with this crisis was not working as I was living a lie... Nothing and no-one could save me from this turmoil and Heal my pain except for Maria herself. She would be able to sense and feel the depths of my heartache and no doubt be in similar distress herself and I could feel that too, but maybe concealing her anguish and concerns to the outside world.
Heartbreakingly though there didn’t seem to be any salvation, as the engaging infamous butterfly flapped vigorously (see "The Butterfly Effect") and Maria seemingly had her sensuous wavy blonde locks penetrating her own hole in the sand (see "The Healing Power of Sand"). Danger loomed and I wept.
…Except Maria was to save my life that morning and despite me not being in contact with her for almost 5 months prior she reacted instinctively to my goodbye text:
“Maria. I can’t go on anymore. I love you so much, but it’s time to end this. I cry every day and at least in death I can’t be hurt anymore. Please forgive me [for taking my life]. Isaac Xx”
Twenty minutes later police surrounded my car, as I tried to flee to my resting place and was escorted numb into a waiting ambulance, where I promptly broke down to the caring paramedics weeping, “She’s hurt me so badly…”
Following this breakdown I was to become an inpatient at the Cygnet Psychiatric Hospital in Harrow, Middlesex – first for a period of 6 weeks and then again over XMAS time, as my family tried to get me help and was placed under the care of Medical Director and eminent psychiatrist Dr Adrian Lord. I attended group therapy sessions some of which were run by notable counsellor, Helen Backhouse and who I can’t recommend highly enough. But despite all this no-one was able to change my mind and I remained highly suicidal.
Tensions ran high at times between Dr Lord and me due to him being unable to make any inroads into my psyche and I steadfastly refused medication and disagreed with many of his diagnoses! He also attempted to section me at XMAS time as my mental health went into free-fall and I returned, which was incredibly distressing.
In between stays at the Cygnet and running away (which I also did for 5 weeks after leaving in the summer, utilising my scarce resources on a lovely cottage in Carlisle, Scottish Borders to try and gather my thoughts and to give me a way out unobstructed if needed), I was to research extensively suicide and the best and most painless ways to go and left messages on suicide forums under aliases one of which is still in existence today.
I leave it there, as I am contacted by people who are suicidal and email me to see if I am still alive! I always respond and try to speak with them to see if I can help them through their troubles and get to the root cause of their issues, as having been through what they are going through – I may be able to offer them a different way of thinking and perspective that others maybe couldn’t. Though I always stress that it is important to seek appropriate medical help, as well as tell friends and family so they know how you are feeling and can equally help and try and be supportive.
This was something I personally never did and only 2 or 3 very close friends knew of what was happening. My family didn’t know anything until that day in June when I emailed my sister Camilla apologising to her and asking her to look after mum for me moments before I left my home with the intention of never returning...
Excruciatingly, despite saving my life in June 2010 and Maria letting it known what was really happening in Oct 2010 - mimicking what I had always said and sending my mood momentarily soaring whilst in hideaway in Carlisle - the crisis that started in Jan 2010 was to continue throughout the year and magnifying the pain and despair tenfold. In December 2010 another trigger was to send me spiralling lower from an already devastatingly low point. I was in tears literally all the time and could barely function as a human being, staring into space and hardly able to speak and with probably only a couple of days left in me a remarkable event took place and I remember it vividly…
A beautiful Angel with Maria’s heart-warming face illuminated me at 5.45am on 21st December 2010 and eight minutes of pure divinity and transcendence was to start my revival (see "I Believe In Angels" and "Staying Alive"). An extraordinary lifeline was handed to me by this divine spirit and I always think about that day. It has had a profound impact on me, as of course has this entire period in my life and today, I communicate regularly with my Angels who guide and protect me, but everyone has this ability – you just need to reach out for their help and guidance.
I am living proof that however bad one may think their situation to be, there can be HOPE and in May 2011 Maria courageously recanted permanently and protected us from any further damage, which is just as I always said she would (but to which no-one would listen to me) – she just took her time doing it as the gravity of the situation had no-doubt got the better of her too!
A tragic mistake with horrendous consequences was put to bed and since, I have been able to rejuvenate my existence and indeed am writing about it to try and help others. I can only believe my life was saved for a reason and which raison d'être I will equally keep close to my chest for now… But I do believe that when it is your time to go – you are gone regardless and no-one can save you and clearly it wasn’t my time and sometimes you have to go through deep negatives to reach a far greater positive (See "The Naked Countess - Interview Exclusive").
As I recall the tumultuous events of my journey (see "A Journey Becomes One"), it doesn’t seem like it is me I am talking about. I can see my past self doing all these macabre things with the present me looking on as an observer in a sort of out-of-body experience, but maybe that is necessary to shield me from the terrifying trauma which I experienced and which I still go through at times. In my sessions with Dr Lord, I used to tell him that if there was a scale of 1-10 where 1 is top yourself and 10 is you are in tip-top condition then for the most part during this period I was on a 0 - 2!
And despite our disagreements I have the utmost appreciation for him. He fought hard to save my life, as Destiny would put us together for a reason and I doubt any other psychiatrist in this country would have been as supportive or worked as tirelessly as he did to help me. Today we regularly converse (not in a doctor – patient way!) and he even reads this blog from time to time!
All that is needed now is for Maria and I to re-engage permanently and put this very sad and extremely distressful time behind us and even though she hasn’t said so as yet, I’ve no doubts it was for Maria too, as well as our respective friends and family and I am sure there is deep regret over what transpired.
Throughout I never lost sight of how truly fabulous Maria is and always stood up for her despite the terrible suffering I was in – even if it meant my life had to end… Each and every one of us makes mistakes - even people who I suggest are meant to be entwined for the rest of their lives (see "How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?") - and I am guilty of making mistakes in life just as much as the next person.
But it is important that we all take time to reflect on our actions and how they impact on others as well as our own well-being and right those errors in judgements, as soon as the mistake is realised, rather than allowing events to continue in the hope they will right themselves where generally they tend to blow up in ones face instead!
Life, after all, is very precious and should be lived to be Truly Happy, as you rarely ever know when it is your time (see "A Celebration of Life") and what is round that metaphorical corner. By helping others and healing the pain caused from past actions we can have positive Karma (as opposed to negative Karma) and be at Peace within ourselves and the world at large…
My interview with Vice.com is titled, “I Survived Helium Suicide” and can be read by clicking HERE and it is even more candid than this article with images that some may find disturbing, but it is ultimately a positive article and may inspire or influence some to seek help or think a different way rather than ending their existence. Never a truer phrase was bestowed upon me by Dr Lord, “Suicide is a permanent solution to what maybe a temporary problem.”
Take care everyone and please if you are reading this and in a difficult place or would just like someone to talk to, I can be contacted via the contact page on this blog and Maria I wait by the phone for when you don’t call :-)xxx.
Love you deeply…
Ps. Below is a list of the websites and contact numbers from the organisations mentioned in this article plus The Maytree Respite Centre for the Suicidal, where I also stayed but did not have space in this article to discuss it and the Samaritans:
The Maytree Respite Centre’s Tel: 0207 263 7070, website is www.Maytree.org.uk
Helen Backhouse can be contacted via Cygnet Hospital, Harrow Tel: +44 (0) 208 966 7000 and the Website is www.cygnethealth.co.uk
Dr Adrian Lord is now consulting psychiatrist at The Priory, Roehampton Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 8261, website: www.priorygroup.com
The Samaritans tel: 08457 90 90 90 (UK), 1850 60 90 90 (ROI) website: www.samaritans.org
[Also read Isaac's latest post, "True Love at 15000", an article about 'coming of age,' wisdom, dreams and, of course, True Love...; "Let's Face the Music and Dance", the follow up to, "The Lonely Goatherd," and an insightful look at relationships and the lessons to be learned from our elders; "Scream and Shout", exploring Love at Xmas Time... Let it ALL OUT! and "Naked Fishes", a Birthday celebration of theSarayiahpost.com's Modern Day heroine, Maria]