LEANNA WHO?,  Mental Health,  MIND

I Attempted Suicide

Writing about my experiences with ME/CFS is always easier than sharing about my mental health issues. ME feels like something that happened to me and my mental health issues feel like something I caused. Of course, this isn’t true, but for some reason that’s how I feel.

During my teenage years, I attempted suicide many times and the last time was when I realised I was seriously ill and there was no cure. Thankfully God stepped in and I survived.

Now and then these thoughts play with my mind and it can be a real battle, but thankfully I know when to reach for help.

Gaining help isn’t as easy as it should be. When a person has gotten to the point that they realise they need help they are often faced with being put on long waiting lists unless they can afford private care.

My friend was in hospital being observed by a nurse as they were deemed at risk, the nurse told my friend “I should be caring for really ill patients not sitting here with you.”

Sadly mental health is still seen as a weakness or a self-imposed state by some people even health professionals which of course isn’t true. Just like a computer, there are hardware problems and software problems, mental health for me is a software problem that is hard to detect but very real.

It’s harder to deal with because it’s not as easy as replacing a part, new protocols (strategies) or a change to the programming is required and that takes a lot more time. A hardware or software problem amounts to the same thing a ‘computer’ that is unable to carry the tasks it was designed to do.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week. During this week, please take some time to check in with yourself and find out how you’re feeling.

Being aware of your mental state is really important.

If you are struggling turn to someone you trust and talk it through or call Samaritans.

Also, check in with your friends. Don’t accept their smilie face as a sign they are ok.

I know its a cliche, but a cuppa with a friend can make a huge difference.

Take care,


PS Thank you, Leon Fleming, for inspiring me to share this.

At the tender age of three, Leanna Benjamin knew her place was in the limelight and that nothing else would do. From her parents' living room in Leicester, she pirouetted her way straight through school into the BBC. Just as her dreams were coming to fruition, a simple case of the flu triggered a debilitating illness that has left her with life changing consequences. Leanna Benjamin is a Graeae Theatre Write to Play alum, and a Leeds Playhouse Fuse Writer, but this is not the synopsis for her new play - it is the story of her life. And she wants to share it with you.

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