Hey, Hi, How are ya?
My name is Ashley Beynon, from the good old West of Auckland.
I am 31 crazy years of age, I have 3 awesome brothers, a wonderful Dad and an Incredible Mum. I have an amazing husband and two great kids. I work full time and have to keep myself busy- always.
Now I hope you’re comfy, this is a big one and I’m going to jump right into it.
A month before my 17th birthday, my first love, someone I thought the absolute world of- took his own life.
I still remember getting the call, what day of the week, what time it was, the exact place I was standing; thinking about it now, I still get that exact same feeling in my throat, like I’m going to be sick.
At only 16 years old, I had absolutely no idea what to say, what to do, how to feel. Suicide wasn’t talked about, I didn’t understand it and I sure as hell didn’t know how to deal with it.
Left school in 6th form and I worked a lot. I started off taking party pills and drinking which eventually lead to actual drugs and more drinking. I was numb, I needed to feel something; and I needed to keep it all to myself, I didn’t want anyone to know what was going on in my world.
Throughout the years after, I seemed to lose one friend after another to suicide- multiple times a year- getting a call about it- it sure as hell doesn’t ever get any easier to hear that someone who has at one point in their life made an impact on yours and vice versa, has taken their life. It really, really cuts you up.
It really took a toll on me in 2018 when my brother-in-law Zahn, my husband’s best friend, took his life.
Seeing family, that means everything to you, going through absolute hell trying to understand it, trying to figure out what to do, where to go from here, it absolutely destroyed me and what energy I had to keep my shit all together left.
I found myself falling.
I went to my GP and told him I felt like I was falling apart and I didn’t know what to do- he referred me to a free councillor and kind of sent me on my way.
The councillor was probably the worst person to ever be a councillor- I had never spoken to anyone about not being able to deal with grief, especially the grief of so many damn people to suicide. He cracked some jokes, gave me a couple of pieces of paper with breathing exercises and that was it.
I found myself two days later on my way to take my own life. A mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister.
This is something I had thought about doing a few times but never gone through with it because I was scared, I didn’t want to let people down and I know how much it fucking ruins lives: but I couldn’t go on, I was tired of fighting, tired of not knowing how I could actually go on anymore.
Obviously something went amiss and I am still here.
I went to my GP the next morning and begged him to help me, and told him what I had gone to do, all I could think about doing- I am SO glad I did, because without the help of the crisis team, the psychiatrist’s the psychologist’s, the right people in the right place, to give me the right medication, the right therapy then and there, I know for sure I would not be here today.
The thing is though, for TWO weeks, I didn’t tell anyone what had happened, what I wanted to happen. It wasn’t until one night I was silently crying in bed that my husband asked what was wrong, and I told him “I’m scared”.
I was scared of what could have been, what would have been. I didn’t want to tell him how I was really doing because I didn’t want him to worry, because of what he was going through, I didn’t want to be a burden to him. It was the best thing I did- he has been my absolute saviour going through all of this.
Telling my mother in law and my own mum, was so incredibly hard too, I didn’t want to disappoint them; but the support from those closest to me that know what going on was second to none.
The last two years have been really hard (especially because having children, I definitely wasn’t going to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol again), I go up and down all the time, Some days are great and I feel really good about life, but there are definitely days where all I can do is put one foot in front of the other and wait for a brighter day, and I have had the days where I turn up to my mums and tell her I can’t possibly go on, I just don’t want to live anymore, that I am still so tired from fighting these demons, but she reminds me that I can go on, that I can keep fighting and I can get through this.
I am not afraid to say that I am on medication for severe depression and anxiety or that I go through therapy to ‘talk about my feelings’- these things among many others, are here to help you, to keep you here and keep your feet on the ground.
I could go on and on about how shit it is being depressed and having anxiety and all the shit life decisions I have made because I refused to deal with grief, but I just need everyone reading this to know that there is so much help out there- GET THE HELP!
The helplines are there to do exactly that- help! Talking to someone you know about how you are feeling can be so daunting; so in the meantime you really need to talk though, that is the first step to offload just a little bit of weight onto someone else, and there are so many different ways to get help now and there are so many supportive groups, just like the All Good Club, that want the same as everyone- to be there and support you when you things are heavy.
I hope my story can shed a bit of light on what so many are going through; how suicide has such a massive effect on so many people that you don’t even realise, and that you are so damn loved.