Surviving an overdose
Content and trigger warning: attempted suicide, overdose, child loss
This is a guest feature by Aaron R., as part of the Mental Health & Me ‘Community Stories’ series.
I’ve been a solo digital marketer for four years, and while I’ve too battled BPD and GAD for longer than that, in February this year, our income was halved when we lost a few clients in quick succession, and in this… 10 minutes of complete insanity, I attempted suicide.
At the time, I had a daughter turning eight four days later, and my wife was expecting our third child, due in April. Our second child had passed away about 12 months before.
I felt as though things were so bad, I couldn’t even make it to these wonderful moments in life.
The reason I’m here is because I sent my wife a text saying goodbye, expecting her to be busy picking up our child from school. By the grace of things, she was still in the car, raced home and got me to hospital to have the meds flushed out of my system.
I was then committed for a few days to recover, and made it home in time for my daughter’s birthday… then the arrival of our new beautiful daughter.
It’s taken me months to recover, trying to find a reason to keep persisting with my own business, but the anxiety at the time was so severe, my coping behaviours were illogical. I was so fraught with being bad at my job, that it was all a judgemental thing, that I was freezing, avoiding emails and calls because I was worried it was negative news.
Did I send the right data? Did I spend the right budget? Did I make a good call on strategy? Second-guessing everything.
By this stage, I’d stopped valuing my worth completely, underselling myself so I could land clients at a fraction of what I should have been charging.
It took me stepping off the edge of no return to realise that there are much better, more positive ways to process stress. I’m in therapy, I have regular GP and psychiatric sessions, and I’m more vocal about how I’m mentally feeling with clients, but most importantly, my wife, who saved me, and has saved me numerous times, in other ways, in our journey together.
When it comes to work, I prioritise me now. First and foremost. I set expectations and adhere to those, while reminding clients of them if it starts to surface. I’ve learned when to say no to work, too, and I’m enjoying myself again. I’m also at home with my beautiful daughters.
They still have a dad.
I still have so much to do.
My story didn’t end February 25. It was the chance to begin again.
I share this because I want others to know that they’re not alone in this world, and we have such an amazing community of openness and sharing who are ready to help.
And most importantly, don’t be afraid to let someone know how you’re feeling.
As tough as that chat can be – as hard as it feels in the back of your throat with that stomach churning – telling someone how you’re feeling, with a professional or a friend or family member, is a lot better than letting it culminate into something like I did.
Aaron is happy to answer any further questions you may have. If you want to get in touch with Aaron privately, please send me an email and I’ll introduce you.
If you have seriously harmed yourself – for example, by taking a drug overdose – call 999 for an ambulance or go straight to A&E. Or ask someone else to call 999 or take you to A&E. If you feel like you want to talk to someone about a problem you’re experiencing, you can call Samaritans now on 116 123.https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/suicide/