The Night I Gave Up My Life


The Night I Gave Up On Life

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I don’t quite know why I am sharing this extremely personal story with you now, except that there is a little voice pushing me to let it out, and I am acting on that.

This story might be upsetting for some and it might make others feel angry and for that I apologise.

I want to tell you about the night I gave up on life.

It was back in 1990, my life looked as if it was going well, I had a lot of friends, I had a decent job, I had travelled a bit, I had good looks, I had money in my pocket, the works.  The thing is I wasn’t all that happy and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why I was unhappy inside.  I used to fantasize about ending my life, it was actually a real comfort to know that I had the choice of living or dying.

I used to plan how I was going to end my life so as it would look like an accident to lessen the pain on my family, my favourite fantasy was jumping off a tall building.

One night, I was working in a bar and I was walking the 2 mile walk home late at about 1am.  The rain could be heard thundering down onto the pavements.  I was walking slowly in the rain as I liked the feel of rain against my skin.  I noticed in the distance a dog, and it was limping quite heavily.  When the dog got closer, I noticed the dog had only 3 legs as it ran past me.  For no reason, I started crying uncontrollably as I felt so sorry for this dog.  I couldn’t get the dog out of my mind the next day, and wondered why I was so upset by it.  I realised I felt like the dog: alone, soaked, not fully functional and nowhere to go.

A few nights later I decided that the jacket of life no longer fitted me and I was taking the jacket off for good.  I said goodnight to my mum and dad, I called my sisters earlier on to tell them I loved them.  I took 26 strong sleeping tablets up to my bedroom after telling my dad not to wake me up in the morning for work as I had a days holiday.  I sat in bed with the tablets, a glass of milk and cried as I took each tablet.  I cried for my mum, and at how heartbroken she would be, I cried for my dad as I had only told him I loved him once in my life.  I cried for my sisters as I would miss them terribly and knew they would miss me.  I took all 26 tablets and put my head on my pillow to die.  I am crying as I write this just now.

I can’t quite remember when I woke up, I was in hospital and two of my friends were there with my mum and dad and sisters.  I had been unconscious, I honestly don’t know how long as I have never spoken of this to my family since.  The morning after I had taken the tablets my dad was up for work as normal.  He didn’t wake me up as I had told him not to, however he heard a bang when he got up at around 5am.  Apparently I had fallen out of bed.  That fall , and my dad hearing it, saved my life, I believe.

When I woke up in the hospital there was a lot of crying, a lot of questions and a lot of explaining.  The hospital psychiatrist came round and asked if I needed help.  I told her I knew why I had done it and I was going to rectify the issues in my life.  I felt ashamed, guilty, upset and angry at myself at having to put my family through something as awful as this just because I didn’t have the balls to sort out some of my problems.

I didn’t feel I fitted into life, with the friends I had, the job, just everything.  What did I do? I started over.  I dropped my friends as I realised they were drinking buddies and not friends, I changed my job, I upgraded my skills, I got my finances sorted out and moved to another city.  I have never looked back since and I have been on a quest ever since to find myself and share the knowledge I have with others.

Lessons From That Night

Nothing and I mean nothing is so bad that you have to take your own life.  There are always options and if the worst comes to the worst, drop everything and start again.  If you are in this situation just now, please believe me when  I say it will get better and there are people who can help.

I’ve learned to tell others how much I love them and how much I appreciate them.

I’ve learned to look for the signs that others might need help.

I mentioned earlier the jacket did not fit, what I realised when I awoke in the hospital was that the jacket can be altered to fit me and I didn’t have to fit the jacket.

I have learned so much more over the years since that night and my long standing depression was lifted in one decision – I will change my life to suit me.

Filed Under: Psychology Tagged With: 
About Steven Aitchison
I am the creator of Change Your Thoughts (CYT) blog and love writing and speaking about personal development, it truly is my passion. There are over 500 articles on this site from myself and some great guest posters.
If you want to learn more about my products you can check out Steven Aitchison’s Productsor check out my books and Kindle books on Amazon

(some) Comments. I have taken away many on this repost, all comments can be found at the original page

    • That really sums up what suicide really is to other people and I think it is a true statement.

      I am really touched with all the personal stories and also the support, I was expecting a lot of people to really condemn this.

      Thanks you for your comment Mary.

  1. Trudie says:

    What courage it takes to tell your personal story…and what an inspiration you are to others! So glad you found your way and that you Changed Your Thoughts and changed your life!!! Best to ya!

  2. WOW! its a wonderful story and i am very much inspired with your post. And i am impressed with the word “drop everything and start again”, which is a good moral in any ones life. I was also impressed comparing life with the jacket. And i appreciate for your courage and a right decision taken in life.

  3. Short comment: Thank you :-)

    Long comment: I had those thoughts too but never been that close to actually do it, like you were. Sometimes I think it’s an act of cowardice not to “pull the trigger” like you did. I don’t really know if there are only parts of us that needs that “killing” in order for something better to grow, but I’m glad you took this out in the light. Because it’s in our lives more often than we want to accept. We all have this kind of thoughts, but very few have the guts to admit it. Suicide, by its perceived emptiness and lack of consciousness, may look like a viable solution for many of us. We don’t have problems anymore, we don’t have consciousness, we’re nothing. Black out. But, despite its apparent comfort as an ultimate solution for all our problems, I always suspected this isn’t exactly like this. And you confirmed it to me, in a way you’ll never know ;-) So, thank you |:-)
    .-= Dragos Roua´s last blog ..The 6 Stages Of A Failure =-.

  4. I don’t know you, besides what your name is (I’m a rather new reader), but I just want to say that I admire your courage to share a story like this with the world – and despite not knowing you, I’m really glad that you’re still around.
    .-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Google Street View – More Funny Pictures =-.

  5. Mario says:

    Wow. It’s my first time here and you definitely left me shocked :O!

    I like what you say about dropping everything and starting again. I’m very happy with my life but I always take big risks. Best case: I’m the king of the world. Worst case: damned, but can start again. Knowing that, and knowing we have the means to stand up and get back in track is the most powerful thing there is :) !

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Hi Mario, welcome to CYT :)

      It might sound a little simplistic ‘just start over’ but it is, like you said, powerful to know we have the choice to start over.

      Thanks for dropping in Mario

  6. Matt Butson says:

    This was an incredibly moving post. I don’t ever comment on blogs, but when I do it means something to me. Keep making life work to your standards!

  7. desmond says:

    very inspiring keep up your good work

  8. Lauren says:


    I am so glad I came upon your story. I honor your courage to share it. I really feel it is through sharing who we really are – which includes our most vulnerable moments – that we can benefit one another.

    It is easy to share the joys and what looks “pretty”. It takes courage to share our darkest moments. And yet isn’t that where our strengths often emerge from? Clearly, you decided to make it a defining moment and made life changes.

    We do make the DECISION to live. Sometimes when I work with people who are severely depressed I remind them that depression is like a dark hole that you never feel you will emerge from, but you can – and do!

    Did you by any chance read Beautiful Boy (the father of a meth addict). The author was afraid to publicly own what was happening in his own family. He finally wrote an article for the prominent paper he worked for. The outpouring – and appreciation that he would address what so many people were suffering through silently – was like an avalanche. He then had the courage to write the book.

    Eckhart Tolle also talks about his being on the edge of suicide when he had an awakening.

    Your story gives me the courage and inspiration to be more real in sharing my own life experiences. They have helped evolve the totality of who I am today!

    Thank you so much,

    • Hi Lauren. Thank you for your words.

      I haven’t come across ‘Beautiful Boy.’ I have read that Eckhart Tolle was on the verge of suicide and that he came through it with an epiphany like experience.

      I haven’t read your blog before but have bookmarked it for future reading.

  9. Takes alot of courage to share that with everyone…

    Thank you for sharing your lessons.


  10. mary says:

    Thanks to your dad for hearing the bang on the floor because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to share yourself and your story to help others. We are all grateful.

    • Hi Mary, The good thing that has came out of this is that I tell me family every time I speak to them that I love them, more so my mum and two sisters but I have told my dad on many occasions as well :)

  11. Hi Steven.

    You are real strong now. Who would point out something like this? Very few people would even think to. It’s easy to look at it from our view as a potent article, but it is completely different to choose to write it and then write it. It makes us stronger just to read it.

    One aspect we see is CYT, and CYT would not be here without one individual. We see CYT as a strong presence, and have to remember the strong individual behind it.

    I have told folks “Steven Aitchison from Change Your Thoughts said [X] and [Y]” sometimes. I say it in a way that leads folks to assume that I see you as a powerhouse.

    Many people have thoughts similar to the ones you had, and some acted as you had, but so few will mention it at a later time.

    “the jacket can be altered to fit me and I didn’t have to fit the jacket”

    You lose nothing when you mention something important like this, but some of us will see this and then still keep our important things hidden. Maybe it is needed that we get that feeling that we can’t help but point them out.
    .-= Armen Shirvanian´s last blog ..Team Up With A Partner To Make Progress =-.

    • Armen, I can’t begin to tell you how much I have appreciated your support and writing over the last few months. I really appreciate your kind words. You are right in that I am strong, always have been, I just didn’t realise it at times, just like so many others as well.

  12. Jink says:

    Dear Steve, you are a delight and I am so glad you are here. Your writing on your blog- and now you- are important to me (way down in Australia) . Thanks heaps for sticking around and for your bravery in posting this!

  13. Gareth says:


    Thats an intensely personal story and it can’t have been easy for you to share it. I am obviously glad that you survived the experience and that you have turned your life around so profoundly since then.

    I was gratified that you had the strength and self-awareness to write this line:

    “I felt ashamed, guilty, upset and angry at myself at having to put my family through something as awful as this just because I didn’t have the balls to sort out some of my problems.”

    This struck a chord with me as a friend of mine took his own life about ten years ago and the effect it had on his family and friends was absolutely devastating. It really is harder on those left behind. I remember someone telling me about how sad and angry he felt about how he had missed out on everything that had happened since the suicide. All the births, marriages, good times etc that he could have been a part of…

    You are right that there is help available and that that your circumstances, no matter how grim they appear right now, will change. No-one should be choosing this way out – no matter how bad it seems, we don’t want to lose you.

    Thank you for writing this article and sharing your story of how there is always a way back – even from a situation as dark as the one you were in.


    • HI Gareth. I will always regret doing what I did because of the pain it caused to my family so I know where you’re coming from with regards to your friend.

      Thanks for commenting Gareth and sharing a part of your own story.

  14. Shaznaym says:

    Steven, Thank you for sharing your story. It is truely incredible that you eventually realised what your issues were.

    I too, went through something similar. I was not happy with life or the life that I had although I had everything too.

    What was getting me down was that I was in a relationship I was not happy in, plus I had found out I was pregnant. I was unhappy because I had no close friends (Due to my relationship) and was increasingly sad. I took pills, but not enough to do me or my baby damage. It was more a cry for help.

    After that, I realised I needed to change my life. After my son was born, I ended my relationship with his dad and started going to church. This was exactly what I needed at that time and it has changed me forever. I made the right friends and had a hectic social life which I loved. It also helped me to find me. What I liked and disliked, how I wanted my life to be, not what everyone else wanted my life to be. I had the time to do a lot of soul searching.

    Everyone is now amazed at my strength and courage now , but I guess in life, we have to go through these rough times to get the strengh to overcome them.

    Thank you again for sharing. I hope it helps many people out there who are going through trials and need a wake-up call. Ending your life is never the best way.

    • Hi Shaznaym, thank you so much for sharing your own story and I am sure it will help others in a similar situation. A lot of people find church a comfort in times like this and I am glad you found something.

      I think the rough times make us stronger, although we may not see that at the time.

  15. Wow Steven, I’m so glad you’re still here. And how lucky we are that you changed your life or I wouldn’t be commenting here today.

    I’m sure you’ll touch everyone who reads this in one way or another.

    I was 17 and pregnant when I married and by the time I was 22 I was mom to 4 girls. I thought of ending it when the twins turned one. I was so exhausted I lost weight and had dark circles under my eyes. I would cry myself to sleep at night. My husband couldn’t help me because he had 2 jobs.

    I had a plan but never followed through with it.

    Like you I changed every area of my life and my husband joined me in the process. Today the girls are all in their 30′s and we’ve been married 38 years.

    I’m glad I’m here too!
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..Bold Solutions For A New World =-.

    • Tess, thank you so much for your kind words.

      You also have been an inspiration and managed to turn it around and I am so glad you didn’t follow through either, or this conversation would not be happening. Thank you for sharing that.

      Isn’t it amazing the stories that come out!

  16. Hi Steven,
    Thank you so much for your amazing openness about what happened to you. You have taken such a challenging situation, and by some stroke of grace, you were able to turn it around to not only heal your own life, but help others as well.

    Stories like this bring people together. We resonate, we meet in the similarities, we reach out to support each other, we learn from one another. Social networking doesn’t even begin to capture it. This is true, heartfelt connection, where we meet in love.

    I so appreciate you, your courage and bravery. It’s inspiring to all of us.

    Much love to you,

    • Thank you Gail. You’re right about social networking not even coming close to capture this and meeting everyone on a different level. Thank you for your support, I always appreciate it.

  17. Steven, wow, this a powerful post. I imagine it must have taken a LOT of courage to share this, but I’m so glad you did. It’s incredibly personal stories like this one that reach out touch people and really change lives. Thank you for sharing this.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog to stay positive in the face of rejection =-.

    • Hi Dani, Thanks for that. I honestly am still trying to figure out why I wrote this and posted it, I am trusting that gut instinct.

      • I know why. :-)
        .-= Gail from GrowMap´s last blog ..WHO CAN YOU BENEFIT BY SHARING GROWMAP? =-.


        These posts are from 2010, but I just came upon this blog. Sounds like you were young and had everything going for you. Try being a middle aged woman, no kids, no career, and someone who had a promising life in 1990 and beyond. The last four years I have lost everything and everyone. YOu can bet, I have given up it seems. I need to talk to a professional because I really don’t care anymore and have prayed for cancer or some other illness where I don’t have to do it myself directly. I could just refuse treatment. I wasted my life, I blew it, and like they say…you only get one chance.


      I’ve heard alot of people say it will get better, which I guess it could…Kind of if I greatly lowered my standards. I can relate to your experience to a degree. But I still don’t feel all too optomisstic about life. I was leading a rough life at first but not too bad. I had met this girl and started I turning my life into what I thought was better direction. I went and spent time with her in europe. She’s canadaian I’m american. This was the first and last time I saw her. From my life was cluttered with the death of a grandmother. Followed by people making plans for my life when I already had plans of my own. I forced into a deep depression of family breathing down my neck on a daily basis. I barely got to see friends to at least have someone to talk to to gain a level mind with. I tried talking to the girl only to discover she was having difficulties and I was also being really irrational and depressed when I’d talk to her. So she eventually said she just felt horrible and that our relationship was unhealthy. Everything was just cluttered under a series of misconceptions. I had no one to talk to to gain any sort of sanity to straighten things out. While in the mean time had a terrible boss that despite me working my ass off for the bitch she gave the newly hired people more hours than me and always talked down to me. My fathers marriage was falling apart at the same time I was always always always talking to family or him about depressing things. I watched all the things I had worked very hard for fall apart at the same time relationships, friends, work, etc. And now here I am unemployed everything I had set my mind and heart to is dead and gone. More deaths of people I was close to occured. I have lost all faith in anything what so ever. I do not will not cannot and shall not ever believe there is a fucking god. I have been pushed to my edge and my limit for a whole year now and I simply just don’t care anymore. Maybe it will get better but I know its definately never going to be or is anything I ever wanted it to be. Its just a piece of shit life and a petty meaningless existence that I live for some reason that I don’t know right now. I am very quite nearly to the point of saying fuck it all I don’t care where it goes.

      • RE: COLIN SAYS:

        Hi Colin! Sorry to hear that you are going through many obstacles in life. I hope you’re doing much better. This recession seems to be getting the best of people. I can’t imagine what it would be like in other parts of the world, especially third-world countries. If it’s any consolation, at least here in the U.S. – we have many more opportunities than other people from poorer countries. While we may experience temporary setbacks in life, these poorer people must deal with no running water, no food, no health insurance and no job as daily occurrences. It may seem like your life is not going as well as you intend it to be but remember at least opportunities exist here for us to make things better.


      I use to think this stuff made sense. But now that I’m 50, and in the last 4 years I lost my job making 80k yearly, both my parents died and it has been impossible for me to get back into my original field of work. It appears my 20 years of experience isn’t as good as a college students. I guess what I’m saying is sometimes it best to end it all.

      • DAN SAYS:

        I feel the same way! I’m tired of fighting everyday. I have just given up! I need some peace!

        • KELLY SAYS:

          Dan please don’t give up my sister took her own life 9 sept and its now the living hell for me and the rest off my close family I agree life is shit constant fight but please nothing is worth the pain it causes I now live every day wishing and aching for my sister .she was 34 and my niece who is 12 considers doing the same as I said I know it’s hard but please get help join a group


        I couldn’t agree more. What you have to bear in mind is that it is much harder to carry out that you would imagine. I have been close to death twice but it wasn’t meant to be. The worst thing about failed suicide is that it becomes no longer an option. Then you REALLY have no way out. I have promised my daughter I would never try again. I regard my promise as shackles chaining me to more and more years of worry, regret, sadness, loss and increasing poverty. You would never know this to look at me. I’m attractive, popular (specially when their computers go wrong), passionate about my political causes – adopted to compensate for the big hole in my life and the fact that I know I’ve had all the best bits and that, yes, maybe things could be improved. But I really don’t care enough to improve them. Just get it over with already.

  18. Richard Grant says:

    Dear Steven,
    You are “Spot On” about all that you speak of. I too had the same life changing experience as you. I have spent the last 5 years reading and studying every book I can get on “Positive Thinking”, Physics, NLP, How the Brain Works, just about anything on human behavior available. So, at this point in my life I am currently writing a book on “The Science Of Thinking”, by “Unlocking the Mysteries of Our Brainwaves and How that Effects Our Relationships.” I have seen many, many web sites discussing The various Powers of the Universe, and I must say I believe, truly believe you are on the “RIGHT TRACK”. It is very obvious that you have done much research in presenting your thoughts and ideas and I commend you. I intend to follow you as closely as I can by sharing our thoughts, feelings and ideas. Thank you for sharing your LOVE with us all. I embrace your Grace and I am grateful for your GIFT!

    Richard Grant


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2 responses »

  1. I admire your courage to share such a very personal story. Know that you are not alone, I have never been able to share my story which compares exactly to your story. I really admire you!

  2. I’m glad you overcame, that your life was changeable. Some of us are trapped by life, and unable to change it without causing more harm than it is worth. Some of us just never had a desire to “live” in the first place. I’m glad you avoided it and you made your life better.

    I’m here, but not by choice. I’ll continue to be here, because I have responsibilities to fulfill. If there were no responsibilities, though, I’d be gone in a second.

    (not trying to knock you, just saying me)

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