By Sarah Lungu

    I wanted to share a little bit of my journey with you, hoping that it gives hope to someone else out there struggling with suicide ideation. 

    Everyone has their own unique story and hearing other people open up about their struggles with suicide has honestly helped me. 

    For years I have struggled and thought suicide was my only option, the only way to stop my pain, the only way to stop constantly letting people around me down. I thought I was a complete burden to my boys, husband, and the rest of my family. I thought that my boys deserved better than me and I wasn’t good enough to be their Mum, that I failed at being a good Mother, Wife and Daughter and that broke my heart. I ended up believing I didn’t deserve to live and that everyone would be better off without me. I would picture people rejoicing and being relieved when they heard the news. I have now learnt that is not true. I have learnt that this was the illness talking. 

    Looking back, I thought I was doing my loved ones a favour. For me, writing a suicide note never crossed my mind as I thought they would know why I did it and understand that I was doing it for them. At the time, I didn’t think how I would be found or what they would have gone through. It’s taken a while and a lot of help, in fact, it’s taken a team of people and treatments to help care for and support me. 

    It’s taken courage from myself to recognise that this isn’t right and to speak up and ask for help. I encourage anyone who isn’t feeling ok to reach out for help because you are loved, you are worthy and you do matter. No one deserves to feel this way. I look back to the very beginning, when I first started feeling this way, I do not think anyone around me at the time would have known what I was thinking, and how dark my thoughts really were. People who knew me before my illness always described me as a happy go lucky and bubbly person. 

    This is something I am aiming to get back to and have hope that I will. 

    For me my life changed, and my illness began when I was bullied in the workplace a few years ago, which has left me traumatised and with illnesses I need to manage daily. Perhaps looking back, I did not want to address what I was going through as I was really embarrassed that I was being bullied and what was happening to my body and inside my mind daily. I would always wear lipstick which I saw as a shield, and I would act like everything was ok, so I could pretend I was, but inside I was dying and was so afraid. I did not know how to reach out and I was so desperate for someone to reach in. 

    I am glad I am alive, I am grateful I understand what it is like to feel suicidal, to act on these feelings and the pain it causes. It has given me a deep understanding and empathy for others struggling and a desire to help others out of their dark place. 

    That is why I now deliver Mental health First Aid (MHFA) and work and volunteer in suicide awareness and prevention, it is my way of giving back. Thank you for listening and letting me share a little bit about myself and I hope you are all ok and have support in your life or know where to go if you do not. 

    If I can quote one of my favourite bands, “Don’t let hope become a memory.” Thank you, take care and be kind to yourself. 

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