Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Jordan’s Story

A local person's experience of attempting to take their own life.

It’s been 10 years since I took an overdose. My partner at the time ended our relationship and I couldn’t cope. I felt like I had lost everything and couldn’t see a future where I could be happy again.

I remember sitting watching a film in my bedroom on a Saturday afternoon, and something took control of me, I couldn’t think straight. I went downstairs and came back with a glass of water and all the pills I could find, I can’t even remember what they were now or how many. After I had taken them, it didn’t take long before I had second thoughts about what I had done. I looked at a photo of the family and really started regretting my decision. I thought about how this was going to impact on them and I called 999.

I remember the operator asking me to ensure the door was unlocked and to show the paramedics what I’d taken. I was taken out to the ambulance in a blanket and everyone in the street was by this time watching. They would have had no idea what had happened, but I felt like they knew and I was embarrassed.

The next thing I remember was being in the hospital drinking some disgusting charcoal drink and then I started to throw up. I was sick for hours. The doctors seemed keen to tell me how bad the pain would have been if I hadn’t got help, and what would have happened to my organs if I’d left it too long. I called a friend to pick me up from the hospital and when I got home I noticed 13 missed calls from my ex, who had been in my house and seen the glass of water beside the bed with a few pills scattered beside it. They knew what I’d done but I always denied it. I’ve stayed in touch with my former partner a little over the years and only recently admitted the truth about what happened. They felt so guilty and that made me feel guilty. It wasn’t their fault, they had done nothing wrong. I just didn’t have the strength or knowledge to know how to cope at the time. I thought at the time that being without this person meant a miserable future, but it’s only looking back I now realise that wasn’t true.

I’ve only told a few people close to me about what happened that day. It took away the shame and embarrassment because they made me feel normal. They don’t think of suicide when they see me; they just see me for the person I am. One of my friends admitted to me that they had had suicidal feelings in the past too. I have had suicidal feelings since but I know they won’t last forever. Talking to friends helps me understand myself, they are good at coming up with ways to make me feel better when I’m down. Even just having a bit of company helps.

My advice to anyone having these feelings is to talk to someone you trust. There is nothing wrong with feeling suicidal but people have very different views on suicide which can make it difficult for them to understand. If you feel you can’t trust anyone you know, talk to a professional.

*Jordan’s name has been changed to protect their anonymity.