Epilepsy, Suicide and Me

Most people might ask what qualifies me to create my own blog post and preach about suicide?

Possibly just like yourself, reading this just now, I have suffered periods of extreme darkness and blackness, I have felt lonely, isolated, withdrawn.

The Epilepsy was so severe I was confined to my house, frightened to venture out, in case the worst happened. I was disappointed that I had to quit my Broadcasting course at university, gutted, due to the frequency and regularity of the seizures and the injuries I always sustained.

The internet was my best friend(hahaha very funny 😂) I spent hours, and days, searching through the net looking for information on how best to end my life.

On the outside, people would describe me always as a pretty normal type of guy. Always happy, hair never out of place, always smelling amazing, loving and caring family, always successful. Good friends, great house, financially secure, tall, dark and handsome and in not bad shape either.

On the face of it, probably the last person you would think would want to take their own life. But as you all are probably aware , what people see on the outside, and what goes on inside, tell two very different stories.

In February 2015 after already suffering from depression for a couple of years and having extreme thoughts about, planned, and attempted suicide before. I felt there was no joy left in my life, never would be, and my work colleagues, family and friends could all cope quite well without me. I had nothing left I wanted to live for, and felt there never would be.

I hadn’t managed to get hold of any lethal tranquillisers or sleeping pills, but I had a decent stock of Epilepsy medication. One evening in July 2015 after having already written my suicide note and my funeral arrangements,(after all, I couldn’t ever imagine my family would be knowledgeable to what my favourite Madonna and Britney tracks were, not forgetting Kylie of course,😂)

I went to my local co-op, I bought some Vodka to wash the pills down with. I came home, laid out the medication on the table, then with no hesitation, took every pill.

I woke up I wasn’t aware of how many hours later – it was still light on the same day. Still can’t believe I did not stay asleep for longer. I remember throwing up from the Vodka (wasn’t a drinker, although maybe it was the quantity of pills), feeling like shit, and being bitterly disappointed I was still alive. The drugs didn’t work, they just made me feel worse.

I felt absolutely horrendous and very much powerless. I was burning up and had uncontrollable dizziness. I quickly realised that I didn’t actually want to die, I just wanted the epilepsy to die, I couldn’t cope with dislocating my shoulders and causing severe injuries to myself any more, being judged by individuals who thought they were better than me and ignorant people who pretended to understand but actually they didn’t have a clue.

The next best and most sensible option was to make a connection to the community alarm team, who were amazing and sent out paramedics pretty much straight away.

I was hospitalised, and assessed by the mental health team. I spent a few days in hospital, for recovery, to be monitoring closely and for my own safety, then I was referred to the community mental health team after being discharged.

This is the very first time I have ever spoken about this.

I am extremely delighted and over the moon that life is certainly a lot different now.

Now I have not let my epilepsy hold me back at all. I have been exceptionality lucky to be attending beneficial and valuable support and social groups and to be supported by Jim Thompson, Epilepsy Connections Field Worker in Ayrshire & Arran and Gareth Davidson, Epilepsy Specialist Nurse, Ayrshire and Arran.

I am so thankful to everyone at Epilepsy Connections for the opportunities and experiences that I have engaged with during the Futures programme. It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved in such a life changing project and I am proud and privileged to have completed it.

I am peer mentoring the current futures group, motivating and inspiring them to reaching their full potential, and to achieve the success that our first

futures group all graduating with.

Steven Connelly

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