The 18th March 2012 was a make or break day in my life, a day in which I made a choice, there were two roads to take End It or Change It, I chose change it, but not before I struggled with the concept of life or death, at this point I was broken, I felt dead inside with hope disappearing fast, I tried, I wanted to, I had had enough of life I wanted it to end there, but I couldn’t, something wouldn’t let me, as I held the pen knife with the blade exposed close to my wrist something stop me, not for the first time either, this was the umpteenth time I sat here in my bathroom, going through the same routine.
Over the previous year or so I had sat on the edge of my bath in despair, I was always in the house alone, the rest of the family out, alone, usually Sunday lunch times, sometimes Thursday evenings, but nonetheless I was alone and desperate. Always going through my mind were feelings that I had no purpose anymore, I could no longer provide for my family, I was earning very little, I couldn’t pay my bills, but I could keep up a £100 a week plus alcohol addiction, I believed they would be better off without me, with me gone the state would provide, I cried into the sink with the knife in my hand.
Then the thought, the one thought which changed everything, the same thought every single time:
“the first person to find me in that bathroom, dead in a pool of my own blood,would be one of my kids, no kid should have to live with that, it would be better to live with me how I was, than live with the memory of finding me dead”
I put the blade down once again, once again I was angry with myself, just as I was all the other times, I was always angry because I couldn’t do it, I couldn’t go through with it, mad with myself because I didn’t have the courage to live or the courage die, sad thoughts, but at that time that was my life, descending into the abyss.
I know now of course that I wasn’t meant to do it, on all of those occasions I now believe this happened:
“God placed his hands on my left wrist, covering it, protecting it,
then place a hand on my right wrist, gently moving the blade away
and then he whispered in my ear,
the only words that really mattered.”
Then I remembered something, I remembered being moved by a post on Facebook from July 2011. I was a fan of the band Tenth Avenue North and followed them on Facebook, when the lead singer posted a picture, a picture that would flash into my mind that day. This picture contained two images of him holding out a razor blade in it’s packaging, the first picture the number 571 was written on the packaging, the second picture showed the reverse with the letters “I AM >”.
The blade had been handed to the singer at a Christian Music Festival by a fan, this young girl had suffered from self-harm, the number 571 related to the number of times she had listened to the band’s song “You Are More” since she had heard this song five weeks previously, on hearing it that first time she had stopped cutting, stopped self-harming, she was now handing her blade over as a gesture to say I don’t need it anymore.
But don’t you know who you are
You are more than the choices that you’ve made
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes
You are more than the problems you create
You’ve been remade
(You Are More by Tenth Avenue North)
I remembered reading this post and being moved by it, this day it flashed through my mind, I needed to sort this out and couldn’t go on like this, I needed to take away the temptation, so I took the pen knife and placed it on my partners bedside table with a note saying “Look after this for me, Love Wayne”. I knew she would never let me have it back and would put it where I would never find it, that was the way I wanted it, it had to go, I had to remove the temptation, if I was to move forward and make a change in my life, I had to leave that behind. That day was the day to leave it behind!
My partner returned from Church that Sunday afternoon with the telephone number for her Pastor, I had asked her if I could speak with him as I was really struggling, I knew I had to talk to someone, when I got this number I knew I couldn’t ignore it, so the next morning I made the hardest phone call of life, but a phone call that started the process of rebuilding my life and recovering myself.
A couple of months ago I happened on a fan website for Tenth Avenue North, on that site were a number of testimonies from fans of how the band’s music had help in their lives, on the top of this list was a post from the very girl who handed over her razor blade, I joined the website and sent her a message, telling how her story had help me, I got a very touching message back.
It’s amazing how the action of a young girl over 4000 miles away can inspire a moment in one persons life, not only that I have retold her story to others and this very weekend that story has helped inspire another to turn her life over to God and ask him to take away the pain of self-harm and I am glad to say she is winning the fight.
This girl had a blog, which I started to read, it was then that I decided to start this blog. It was once again her inspiration, her openness on her blog and her willingness to post what she was going through, that inspired my to do this for my story.
I am sure this young girl didn’t think she was a hero, the day she handed over her razor blade, but to me she most certainly is.