I think everyone has someone in their life who they can safely say has saved their life. It can happen in many ways. It doesn’t have to be physical CPR or life saving techniques. Even if that person is just your mum, who helped you through your hardest time. Or the family pet, who was there when nobody else was.
You can read about my mental health story HERE for some context on this post, if you want to. I could name quite a few people who I would say saved my life in different ways. I’ve never told most of them how much they helped me, or expressed appreciation for them. For some, I can’t. I don’t know who they are. That’s why I’m hoping that this blog post will express my appreciation, even if they can’t or don’t see it.
The Ambulance Crew
I’ve had my fair share of not-so-nice ambulance crews come out to me. So when I was suicidal one night, and decided to just drive away from home, I was scared. I knew that it wouldn’t end well, no matter what happened. Unless I went home there would be some form of emergency service coming to me. I wasn’t about to go home, so I freaked out, and walked into my local hospital. My hospital isn’t the typical A&E, it’s just a community hospital. The only people there were two cleaners, who after hearing my story called the ambulance.
The ambulance crew that night were two young people, probably in their early twenties. A girl and a guy, and they were the nicest ambulance crew I’ve ever had. They were really funny, but they didn’t try to force humour down my throat because they knew how I was feeling. I think I was with them for an hour or so, before they convinced me to let them call my parents. They spoke to me about what was wrong, cracked a few jokes here and there, and were genuinely just nice people. That’s all you need in an emergency service crew, I think. Nice people with a sense of humour. If they understand what you’re going through then that’s a bonus, as long as they can sympathise.
The ambulance crew that night were the only reason I didn’t kill myself. Obviously, the cleaners in the hospital helped me too. However the ambulance crew actually made me feel better. They didn’t do much, it didn’t take them long, and I don’t think they even remember me. I’m just eternally grateful to them for what they did. There isn’t any way of paying that sort of debt back.
The Women At The School
When I used to work at a restaurant, there was a time period where I was so depressed that I took it out on work. I would just hardly do anything at work, annoy people, cause drama, etc. It got to the point where I would literally have done anything to get out of going there. My parents used to drive me to work at that point, meaning I couldn’t just not go, since they’d ask questions.
There was one day that I felt probably the worst I’d felt up to that point. I had spent all night worrying about going to work the next day, and when my mum dropped me off that morning, I didn’t even make it into the building. I just waited for her to drive away and then I climbed over a fence, onto a main road, and decided to just walk. 20 minutes away, all the way down a busy main road with no pathway. I ended up at a nearby primary school, however it was a Sunday so nobody was there at that time.
I decided to take a rest and sit down on the pathway by the school. My boss had realised I didn’t come into work and was ringing me. I believe she must have rung my parents too, since people from my family started contacting me asking where I was. It started to panic me because I had realised how far I had walked, and the fact that for me to do that it must have been worse than I thought. I’m not a spontaneous person, on a normal day.
So I’m sat on the pathway crying, panicking because my family are going to be mad at me, my boss is going to be mad at me, etc. I started considering what to do next. Because of my borderline personality disorder traits, I never see things as a minor inconvenience. I can control this now to a certain extent, but then I couldn’t. I jumped straight to the idea of just jumping into the busy road. At least then, my family and boss wouldn’t be mad at me. It’s not logical to me now, it just was then.
As I was considering this, a woman walked up to me and asked if I was OK. She said she was part of a church group who met at the school every Sunday, and she saw me crying. I tried to explain to the best of my ability what had happened, but I don’t think it made much sense. She sat with me on the pathway, trying to convince me to call my family members or even come inside the school with her. She then offered to call my mum for me, and helped me into the school and sat me down away from everyone else.
Another woman then came over and introduced herself (I’m so sad that I can’t remember their names) and they both worked together to talk to me, and inform my family at the same time. My dad said he would come to pick me up, so whilst we were waiting they just spoke to me. The thing I was probably most surprised about was the fact that they were from a church group. The reason that surprised me was because I thought they’d try to preach to me about their religion and how it could help me in my time of need. They didn’t do that though, and I am grateful for that.
I don’t want to think about what would’ve happened if that woman didn’t walk up to me that day. Actually, I had planned on going back to the school one Sunday to see if the group still ran, but I just kept putting it off for some reason. I fear that now, it’s been nearly 4 years. They probably wouldn’t remember that, and even if they did, it wouldn’t mean much to them I don’t think. I hope they know how grateful I was at the time, and especially now.
In the end I could sit here and tell you stories from everyone in my life and how they’ve ‘saved my life’ in one way or another. Every single one of my friends have saved my life in some way, my boyfriend, my family members. Each one of them gives me a different reason to be here. They each give certain qualities that are needed in life. I’m so grateful for all of them.
Being grateful to strangers who save your life is a different thing, though. Not many people would stop and ask a crying teenage girl if she was OK on the side of the road. People say they would, but they wouldn’t when it came down to it. I would know, I experienced it first hand.
I will probably never be able to thank the strangers who have helped me. But by some chance they read this, or they recognise the story, or they know a friend of a friend of mine. Thank you. Without you, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. I wouldn’t have given myself more chances to survive and grow. I wouldn’t be alive. That’s really something special to give someone.