Suicide, The Silent Stalker


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By Patricia Reid

ISBN: 978-1-84747-836-8
Published: 2009
Pages: 92
Key Themes: autobiography, depression, attempted suicide, empowerment


I decided to write this book because I could not bear to hear people’s comments regarding someone they knew who committed suicide. The sort of comments where; they were selfish or they wanted to get back at someone or as a vendetta. Having suffered depression and also tried to commit suicide, I was non of these things. I want to take you on my journey when I tried to kill myself and survived. They have a name for it, it is simple, it is a mental illness which is not well understood. Please think twice before condemning someone who has taken their life. They got lost on their journey through life and paid the price for it. So did their families. This is my story.

About the Author

Pat Reid grew up in Bristol, England where she has fond memories of a carefree childhood. She has two brothers and two sisters who at one time or another kept her in line, being a bit of a tom boy and climbing things she shouldn’t[t. like the church school roof. She moved to Sussex when she was 19 years old to become a nanny to a beautiful little girl and where she met her husband of 30 years. She moved to New Zealand with her husband and two son’s 23 years ago and still resides there, in a lovely city called Dunedin which is in the south island. She has an affection for animals and residing in her house are two dogs, two cats and the occasional possum. Then there are all the ducks….

Book Extract

This was a good day; just feeding my ducks at my home in wonderful Dunedin where the Royal Albatross have lived for many a secure year thanks to DOC (Department of Conservation along with a few dedicated volunteers), on the Otago peninsula. Outwardly, I look the typically content middle-aged woman who has everything, especially the most precious of all: my two sons. They are twenty-nine and twenty-seven, respectively. I am happy to say we are very close as a family. Their father lives in the USA mostly but makes time to see them, which is good. Yes, I have no complaints, except this one thing that has dogged my life. Depression.

I must make you aware that I am not a clinician of any kind. I do not have any qualifications in the mental-health sector, but what I do have is unwanted experiences of attempting suicide three times by means that should have done the job effectively. I do not have the answers to your pain; I only have my experience to share with you. I will describe the depth I had to reach before I contemplated suicide. This will give you some insight as to how much the body and mind has self-preservation, a security system in place if you like, to protect you from such an act of self-destruction.

The people who took their lives cannot come back and tell you how they felt prior to exiting this life or why they did it — how they felt even. But if they could, I would bet a bottom dollar that they would tell you they were not in their right minds at the time, figuratively speaking.

I am a compulsive writer. When I am deeply depressed, I write. In a way it is like a lifeline for me to write how I feel at that moment. Imagine being very, very drunk and then writing how you feel at that moment. The concentration is acute as you have to make the brain perform a task when all it really wants to do is black out. The handwriting change, as it is hard to write when the head is not “with it,” so my writing looks very childish, but has the essence of how I felt at that moment. When you’re up and flying, the perceptions change and you see things very differently. Sometimes the writing is illegible, but can be deciphered. I know I have this burning need to explain to my sons why I am killing myself. So I write my way through the experience as I wait to die.

I beg my sons to understand even a tiny bit of my pain. So this is what this book is really about. If you have lost someone to suicide, then this may be worth reading. They did not have the same reasons why they died, but the pain — the whole barrel of emotions that we experience — is there, one hundred fold, crushing us. You are then lost in the depression until it lifts again to free you for a time.

This subject is important to me because I think there is little understanding about suicide. This is my story of doing just that: committing suicide. The fact that I failed is irrelevant; for all intents and purposes, I committed an act that should have killed me.

And so this book, I hope, will give you some insight as to the last moments before the act itself — taking the drugs — and then waiting to be released. The defining moment, if you like, of what the mind is telling you, this is common in most suicides.

I myself was incapable of thinking rationally at the time prior to my self-destruction. So it may help you to know that the person you lost, was for a while, lost to reality for that time. I was lost to reality for that moment too. I never gave my beautiful sons a thought other than practical stuff. However, I did survive where others did not. In a way, I want to say that they didn’t do it consciously to hurt anyone they loved. They were lost and couldn’t find their way back in time.

This book is for their loved ones who have to continue life’s journey without them. I could have died also and then there would have been no one to explain to my sons in a empathic way that I had a mental illness and this was the reason their mum left them this way…and certainly not because she did not love them because she did, with all her heart.


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