When Kevin Braddock hit rockbottom, he had every intention of killing himself. He recounts what happened next and discloses why so few humen ask for help
It was a Monday when Robin Williams kill herself three years ago Monday 11 August 2014. His death was shocking even if in hindsight it shouldnt have been a astound that the worlds funniest humankind is also able to be the most sorrowful, too person or persons despairing to the point of intention it all.
Its a date I remember well, because Id expended the previous day trying to do the same thing. I was in the psychiatric ward of the Berlin hospital which Id been manhandled into by friends the day before, and I was waiting to see the doctor whod “ve been asked to” promise that I wouldnt kill myself.
In her consultation room Id thought about it for a while; Id already told her all I could about what conducted me to try to die. Id described the methods looping continuously through my intellect as I was slumped on the pavement near Berlins TV Tower: the grease-gun, the noose, the blade, the pills, the bottle. The artillery, the noose the mantra that would not stop. Since the only thing to hand was the nearby sptkauf ( off-licence ), Id resolved to drink my space to unreality.
Id told the doctor my record of depression, anxiety, panic attack, sip, drugs, meds, enjoy and anxiety, my crisis of religion and existential dreaded, and all the other things that seem to go with being human in the 21 st century. I had few terms to stay in me, but mumbling through endless tears with my hands in my lap, Id mouthed the words to her: I promise.
I hadnt gone through with the act, but God knows Id wanted to wanted to end everything there is and craved it all to end. I was outpatiented for a while, and pals and loved ones searched after for me. Three years later, they still do.
How had things got so bad? In 2009, fed up with London, I bought a one-way ticket to Tegel with vague plans to hang out for a couple of months and lead the Berlin marathon. Two months was transformed into six, then a year and eventually half a decade in that beautifully confused city. In the teeth of this current crisis, Id been struggling to hold things and myself together at the magazine where I was working. Id begun, falteringly, to deal with the reliances that had got a traction on me( Id long been a heavy, problematic drinker, and Berlin is an easy metropoli which could be used to hedonise, although by the standards of Berghain regulars, I was a total lightweight ).
Meanwhile, depression and anxiety, old-fashioned adversaries which Id suffered incapacitating occurrences with at 21 and 30, have commenced ranging back on to my neurological scopes. Id likewise caught glandular fever, fallen in love, and became 42 which, as readers of Douglas Adams know, is the purpose of life. I was perpetually stressed, wearied and despairing at work and it didnt take much for the cascade to begin: yet another operate question, a row, some fragment of bad news.
Looking back, Im amazed at how quickly I untangled, how the energyless fog of depression condensed into an electric psychosis, how hopelessnes became madness. One day, one of my editors had asked if I was all right. I said: No, Im not, and started rostering conflicts and distractions.( I was also surprised that she asked: I intend, its generally not the way that bosses look out for their employees .) A few days later I was in hospital.
Madness comes at you fast, to restate the social media clich.
None of this is to equate “peoples lives” or narrative with Robin Williamss in any way, apart from to say that I shaped it through what medical doctors wrote down as a schwere ( major) depressive episode, whereas Williams didnt, and Im thankful that one of us is around to talk about this material. Above all, Im grateful I noted the gallantry to ask for help.
Facebook gets a lot of fasten these days, but in one appreciation it continued me alive, because Facebook was where I asked for help in a status update that Sunday afternoon which read: Im at the bottom now, can a German talker come to St Hedwigs with me, I require aid, along with my phone number.
I dont know how long Id been there, or how many bottles of Augustiner beer to the worse I was. But I do recollect alternative solutions seen forming from the cognitive murk: I could ask for help. Sure, everyone would envision what a pathetic, drunken, helpless, tearful state I was the opposite of what Id prefer to project, yet likewise the truth. But the think came: theres another way. I couldnt speak, I seemed to have been silenced, but there was my phone I could test the limits of this thing which helps people( and I mention) connect with friends, family and other people you know.