This is difficult to talk about.

I took an overdose of pills about 10 years ago, survived, was blind for three days, but no permanent brain damage (I think). I have suffered from depression and anxiety since I was six years old. Suicide did not rear it's ugly head till my late teens. Often an open drawer with sharp knives becomes a flash image of using one on myself, or taking the subway causes a flash of jumping in front. I stay close to the rear wall, just in case the urge takes over. This had gone one for 30 years till I retired at 48 years.

Since my first attempt I feel I have crossed a line. It is much much easier and faster now to get into that frame of mind. I have some coping strategies in place. No large amounts of medication at any one time available to me at home. Tell someone right away you are suicidal. Phone the crisis line. Go to the emergency of my local hospital.

I now recognize the signs before they become unmanageable and act. It scares me because I don't really want to die. It is very weird to tell people, and explain myself, sometimes I can barely speak. I try to compare it to homicide for other people, how we have often heard that once you commit murder, it's much easier the second time, you have crossed the line. Except in this case you are your own victim. These episodes don't last long (1 hour) if I speak and have contact with a professional.

People outside of the psychiatry specialty don't have a clue or understand. It's not something you want to happen, you are sick. I will never forget the old lady that told me after my first attempt.... just cheer up! I'm on medication for the rest of my life, I accept that. There are many situations I can't handle, I can live with that. I find joy in the small things. Everyday is different.

Most important: Stay vigilant and stay safe.