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  • Rob Lawrence

An Unconventional Path: How My Suicide Attempt Became My Benchmark For Happiness


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The personal journey of living with schizophrenia and the unexpected lessons in happiness it brought. I delve into the depths of my struggles, hitting rock bottom, Suicide and discovering resilience. This blog offers a candid exploration of mental health, providing insights and hope for those navigating similar challenges.

 

Today, I'm taking a leap of faith and opening up about a part of myself that I rarely discuss. It's a journey that has shaped me for the past two decades—living with schizophrenia. This illness has been a constant companion in my life, to the point where it's hard to separate myself from it. While I don't carry any shame about my struggles, I'm very aware of the misunderstandings and stigma that surround this condition.


In this blog, I want to share the story that led me to hit rock bottom. It was during this that I found myself standing at the crossroads between life and death. Little did I know that choosing to continue living would become the turning point—a benchmark for my pursuit of happiness.



back to the 90's


In the beginning, the impact of schizophrenia was all-consuming, shattering every aspect of my life. It felt like a bizarre and distorted reality, where voices haunted me and delusions took hold of my mind. I created a narrative in which people around me, even my friends and housemates, were plotting to kill me. The hallucinations were so vivid that I would hear them talking about it and It was as clear and as real as me writing this blog...... a very unusual experience





It was relentless, I was in constant fight mode for six long months, pushing me to the breaking point. I got kicked out of college, faced eviction, and the delusions kept intensifying.... Feeling trapped and fearing for my life, I had no choice but to move back home.


Weirdly the first couple of weeks after leaving were strangely liberating—I felt like a real-life James Bond, having escaped a sinister plot against me by people I had never even met but the respite was short-lived, as the voices returned telling me that " I had been found"





I spiralled down and down, realising just how worthless I must be if entire communities and friends wanted me dead.... I couldn't cope, I had nothing left to give so after a few beers and a trip to the shops to get as many bottles of paracetamol as I could get my hands on I decided suicide was the only option. My "last moments" were to be swallowing a bunch of pills all whilst hallucinating that I was hearing my parents outside my room laughing at me whilst I was doing it..... What a piece of shit I must have been.


But what happened next changed everything


game changer


Sitting there, waiting for the pills to take effect, I found myself faced with two choices: to live and learn how to deal with whatever I thought I was dealing with or to die...... It really was that simple.


In that moment my life began, my life's journey in mental health recovery.... I took myself downstairs and told my parents what I had just done and after an overnight stay in the hospital, I was referred to a Psychiatrist where I would learn all about hearing voices and Szchiphrenia.




It's taken me two decades to come to terms with what happened and find some semblance of peace. Becoming a counsellor has been the foundation in my healing allowing me to make sense of my past and find purpose in helping others. In a full circle moment, schizophrenia has become not just the cause of my darkest moments but also the catalyst for a newfound sense of purpose and resilience.





Reflecting on that suicide attempt, I have come to understand that anything above rock bottom has become a reason to be joyful. My happiness is a choice and even in the darkest of places there is always a little glimmer of hope.


Final Thoughts

final thoughts

I don't know exactly what I want to get out of sharing this experience with you but I guess if it shows anyone that there's always hope no matter how bad it made seem then it's a job well done.


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mental health blog image with the words madness manchester and the mind

               Why Listen To Me?
 
(The short answer is I don't know)

You know, if you had asked me a decade ago where life was taking me, I wouldn't have had a clue. Back then, I was right in the middle of a rough patch—a mental health breakdown that seemed to be wrecking every part of my life.

But hey, fast forward to now, as I'm edging into my early forties, things have done a complete 180. What used to be a mess of struggles has turned into a journey of finding peace, purpose, and meaning in my mental health recovery.

These days, you'll find me in Manchester, living and working, using the chaos of my past to help others untangle their minds. If that sounds like something you're into, well, maybe this blog could be just what you're looking for. Come along as I share stories, insights, and lessons learned on the rollercoaster ride from rock bottom to resilience.

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