On the 4th of February 2017, I decided I was going to kill myself.
In the end, I didn’t go through with it. I told people what I had planned and we worked to get me the help I needed. I got medication that worked, attended therapy and poked into the root causes of my mental health issues.
Slowly but surely, I started down the path towards recovery.
Every single one of the pieces in this book has been written in the first year of my recovery from that precipice. Every single one of the pieces in this book has been part of that recovery. These pieces talk very frankly about my depression, my anxiety, my suicide ideation and my mental health.
Having such intensely personal work out there in the world is cathartic for me. It’s part of my recovery to be open about what I’ve been through. I really, truly believe in living as transparently and openly as possible, especially as a writer, and when the subject is mental illness, it feels even more important.
If being open and honest about my own pain can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health even slightly, then I feel it’s my duty to do so. And if a single person sees themself in my account, if I can help even a single person with my story, then it will have been well worth putting these words out into the world.
If you’re reading this because you’re where I was a year ago, I want you to know that this doesn’t have to be the end. It can get better.
I want you to know that. The fact that I'm still here to put this book out a year after wanting to kill myself is proof of that.
I'm not a medical professional. I'm not a counsellor or a psychologist or a psychiatrist.
But I am a writer.
So I wrote about my experiences, how it felt to be in that situation, how it felt as I recovered. And now I'm sharing it with you, in the hope it might help when you need it most.
My twitter DMs and email inbox are always open to anyone who needs to talk. Always.
And if you feel that this book can help you get through your own pain but you don't have the money to buy it, get in touch at tonks at racheltonkshill dot com.
This book will always be free to those who truly need it.