I didn’t expect it would ever be my life. I had visited the doctors about the panic attacks, the low mood and the anger directed at everyone. I thought that would be enough. Then it hit me, like the tram I’d just considering jumping in front of, in my head and in my heart. I could no longer deny these feelings of being unreal, or feelings of wanting to die. It wasn’t going away, it was getting worse and I couldn’t let myself end my life without trying to get some kind of help. I was alone in my apartment and the knife in the kitchen was occupying my every thought. I just wanted the pain to go away. I cried and cried in hope that the tears would wash it all out of me but there was no hope.

Everything was a dark grey, slowly becoming closer and closer to black. I wanted it to be all black, to sleep forever if I could, at peace away from this world I didn’t feel like I was living in anyway. I did the only thing I could apart from allowing the knife to become acquainted with my skin. I rang for help. An ambulance. At this point I didn’t care if they locked me up in a mental hospital, I’d almost convinced myself that was what I needed. I was taken to A&E where I had a psychiatric evaluation from a mental health doctor. I was experiencing a major depressive episode with elements of severe anxiety and disassociation. I was mentally ill and I wouldn’t be allowed to go home and be trusted to be on my own. A crisis team were going to come and visit me every day.

I was mentally ill? Me? I’d told myself I was just going through a rough patch and wouldn’t need professional help. Surely I couldn’t be ‘mental’ or ‘insane’. What if I had to be admitted? Strait jackets, padded cells, violent patients and images from horror movies flashed through my mind. I was terrified. I was thankful I had words to associate with what I was feeling and that I wasn’t the only person to ever experience it but how long would this go on? How could I ever go back to the ‘sane’ girl I used to be?