The first day of the rest of your life

We are well into the 7th of July now. I’m stitched up, hooked up and pretty fucked up.

The few days I spent in hospital were weird. I mean trying to kill yourself over a picture is weird but I have to be honest I didn’t know what to expect. I was in new territory. I felt a strange sense of a new beginning but not that kind of ‘oh wow my life makes so much sense now.’

It’s more like I’m being honest with myself for the first time ever. I have a serious problem. I have had it for a very long time but we have got to the point where it cannot be hidden anymore. The nude picture being shared is just the tip of the iceberg, you’ve got plenty going on up here friend but you’ve been too scared to admit it. Too shy to talk about it. Too arrogant to say you were wrong.

We are nowhere near being able to talk about being relieved but it’s nice to be honest for once.

I haven’t ever been in hospital overnight before. Gwen has dropped off some vital supplies. Phone charger. Clothes. I’ve spoken to my Mum who is absolutely freaking the fuck out. She’s gonna drop everything and come to see me.

I’m being stupidly stoic once again and telling her I don’t want her to see me like this and it will do more harm than good.

You selfish prick. This woman has spent the last Twenty-six years caring for you and loving you, unconditionally. She must be worried to actual death that her boy nearly died last night. I still haven’t forgiven myself for taking that right away from my Mum.

Sorry Mum.

I’m finally properly sober. I honestly cannot begin to express the shame and guilt I’m carrying around with me. I am a statistic now. I can imagine the big black record that is my life being filed in the suicidal section, like everybody will know my secret now and that I’ll be seen exactly as I feel; weak, unreliable, unstable.

Nurses come and check on me all through the day. I stick some useless noise on my headphones for hours to drown out my brain in a futile attempt to quiet my thoughts. The day passes excruciatingly slow with the only highlights being at meal times or when I fall asleep for a bit.

The nights are tough and really lonely. I spend a lot of them crying because apparently that’s a thing now. I’ve spent so many years trying to ‘man up’ and ‘stop crying’ but I can be honest now. I love a good cry. I’m a right sensitive soul and I’ve stifled that for so long. I’ve spent so long running away from being sad and clinging onto happiness that I’ve forgotten that it’s ok to be sad sometimes.

One morning the doctors come round, take a look at my clipboard and check a few bits and just like that I’m discharged.

I didn’t even get a sick note!

I will never bash the NHS, but there was absolutely nothing that happened after I left the hospital. I thought I would be submitted for a psychological examination or therapy of some sort. I thought I’d be scheduled for regular appointments at the GP to make sure I was still here or prescribed some medication.

Instead I was released back into the wild world that I was so desperate to leave behind. It speaks volumes of the person that I was back then; selfish, feeling like the world owes me something. Trying to kill myself was a desperate plea for help, crying out to the world and a messed up way of asking for help.

‘I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!’

Me, circa 1989-present

Gwen comes to get me from the hospital and we head home together. Walking back to the house was absolutely terrifying. The sun was shining and I can remember being totally out of breath walking up the driveway. Maybe it was anxiety or maybe it was the fact that I’ve been laid in a hospital bed for who knows how long.

Probably both.

One of the housemates meets us on the stairs. Everybody bursts into tears without saying a word. We all hug. This is the first person I’ve seen aside from Gwen who knows what has happened and doesn’t just see me as another attempted overdose. Is meeting everybody going to be like this? I know I said I loved a good cry but come on, you can’t greet everybody like this man.

Our room is at the very top of the house. We have to walk up a few flights of stairs to get there. Heads are popping out of doors. More crying. More hugs. I’m absolutely exhausted.

I open the door to our room and step into the place where it all happened. Every single fibre of my being wants to get the fuck out of this room. I can see the attempt to scrub my blood out of carpet. Gwen has done a decent job but I wonder if that will come off the deposit.

A common misconception of depression is that you are always sad. Every thought is consumed by sadness, you can never smile or entertain positive or even ‘normal’ thoughts. It’s a few days since I tried to kill myself, staring at the literal bloodstains in the carpet, a crimson reminder that my life nearly ended and I turn to Gwen and say.

‘Have you tried any Vanish on that?‘

Nick Rowley, ‘Inappropriate at all times’

4 thoughts on “The first day of the rest of your life

  1. Absolutely nothing to forgive Nick. Sure, my first instinct was to jump in the car there and then and drive to London. But in the shell-shocked state I was in, I would probably have ended up under the wheels of an artic on the M1. So thank you, it was absolutely the right call, even if you feel your reasons for making it weren’t quite right. Please forgive yourself right now. Love you, Mum


  2. Your writing is beautiful and honest and very moving. Your blog made me laugh and cry in equal measures. Can relate so much to the feelings of panic you describe. Love to you and your lovely Mum! ❤


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