Tuesday, 5 March 2019

So this happened



Had a bit of what we euphemistically call 'a wobble' a few weeks back. The sort of wobble that means your boss makes sure you got home safely and rings you in the morning to check you haven't done 'anything silly' - which is also a euphemism. 

Long term readers will know that I once planned to take my own life in a train based scenario. I had planned the where and when but (spoiler alert) drew back from the brink. I think I am in a better place now, have friends that I can call on and know how to spot when I am spiralling into dark depression. I cope better in all manner of situations I used to run screaming from and I'm proud of myself as much as I know people are proud of me.

Some things thou never stay buried.

I want to keep the time and place this happened a little vague as  possible as in part this isn't my story to tell. I was travelling home on train from working in London which is something I once thought impossible - the working, the commuting (only occasional thankfully) and train travel. As I got off at my destination I was feeling tired and aimlessly thinking about dinner.

I glanced over at the spot. The spot where I had stood that day as an express train approached. I did so almost out of habit as it reminds me of how far I have come and drives me forward. I noticed that someone was standing there and heard the announcement 'the next train does not stop here'. The train flashed past but the person had gone. 

You have heard the sound of a train flying through a station hundreds of times - its exciting, scary and strangely otherworldly whatever your age. That day sounded no different. There may have been a bang or impact noise, perhaps my brain has erased it to save my psyche but the person left no sound as they departed. I heard people shouting and screaming, the running footsteps and being pushed past but I was still looking at the spot. 

Don't really feel its appropriate to go into the details of what happened after that and I have avoided reading any reports as selfishly I need to keep a distance between the reality of what that poor soul did. It gave me a sense of what it would have been like for an observer if I had jumped that day. And I feel bad about making someone else's death all about me but its the only way I can relate to what happened.

I was given an appointment for counselling a couple of weeks later which I thought 'bah, been there mate, done all my talking' and tried to carry on as before. Didn't really feel like talking about it as couple of people I know were caught up in the train delay aftermath and made noises about 'selfish people causing misery for others' . 

A few days later I was at work and the job wasn't going well - the staff on site rude and unhelpful, the venue hot and uncomfortable plus we heard most of our previous five hours of work would have to be undone due to bad communication. What I would normally have dealt with using mumbled curses and hopes of karmic violence became a perfect storm of despair. Suddenly all the feelings of that day years ago that witnessing that person die has reopened in me punched me in the solar plexus and I sat and sobbed for what seemed like ages, apparently gibbering about wanting to end it all so much so that my boss called top check I was ok. I had given him a brief outline of my mental health just after Christmas as he wanted to be able to deal with employees who are dealing with problems on a permanent or temporary basis
Since then I have seen a professional that deals specifically with this kind of trauma and am doing ok. Life has meant having to return to the places where it happened and deal with the emotions, accept the difficulty and pain, trying to get through. Not going to lie, the first time it was damned hard but the brain is a tough old sod at times and its getting easier with each step.
I wish I could have called a friend to discuss this but my shame over any weakness - yes I know, its understandable but you are trying to rationalise and irrational thought process here - which is at the heart of all people struggling with their mental health. 

The worst thing about being 'that friend with depression' is that people rarely turn to you when they are having a bad time because they assume that you have enough to deal with. Well that's exactly how we feel about everyone else all the time. 

Is there a point to all this - I'm not sure other than explaining my freak out online if you saw it and that I'm ok. 

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