I’m sitting in the back of the car, with the windows wide open, holding my friend’s hand, insisting he stay awake.
What have you done? I wanted to shout at him, but now was not the time.
It is a Sunday morning in March. Mother’s Day. His parents are away for the weekend.
His sister and her boyfriend are in the front. We’re driving to the hospital. He has taken an overdose. Again.
We pull in to the hospital and he’s still awake. He’s admitted, and given a charcoal mixture to drink. It looks like a black milkshake. He’s tasted it before, he knows the routine.
The hospital staff are calm and cheerful. This is not the emergency it could have been.
My heart rate lowers, the adrenaline rush dissipates. He is going to be fine. He will live to die another day.
We leave him in the bed and go to the cafe for a drink. Talk about it. More than anything I am angry.
His parents are coming home later. Happy Fucking Mother’s Day.
Note: this happened more than twenty years ago, but it is still fresh in my mind. My friend recovered. Did you know that suicide is the biggest killer of men under 50 in the UK?
Whatever you’re going through, call the Samaritans free any time, from any phone on 116 123. They’re here round the clock, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you need a response immediately, it’s best to call on the phone. This number is FREE to call. You don’t have to be suicidal to call.