In honour of Suicide Prevention Day, I’m making an admission. I’m maybe not a person that you’d think would have had any issues: I was in the top of my high school classes, fairly outgoing, and maybe even a tad adventurous. I can come across as out-going, engaged, even gregarious.
However, after I graduated from high school, and left home, a big shift happened for me and not in a good way. I went a bit haywire with booze and drugs, experimenting within a context of ‘partying’. I’m pretty sure at the time, and well into my 20’s, this was self-medication, allowing me to feel some sort of relief from depression and anxiety that I’d carried around for most of the time I was at university.
I’ve gone through peaks and valleys with my mental health, that is for sure. But sadly, even at times when I really should have been the happiest, with the most gratitude, I was often sullen and distanced. I was terminally depressed, even facing the most beautiful vistas and the most amazing travels. At times I was also – GASP – suicidal.