I needed a break from ‘me’

It would take years of pain and three death-wish crises before Suzanne Power heeded the psychiatrist’s advice to find her true life

I SAT in the office of Mr Daniels, a consultant psychiatrist. He saw something in me I didn’t yet see. His belief was if I had a rest for months I would make new choices after it.

He asked me if I would consider hospitalisation for rest and recuperation. “Just a week or two. Gather yourself.”

I said I couldn’t because I didn’t want to face my sadness. I just wanted him to help me. I was 22 years old. Mr Daniels talked about going into the mountains of his native country to live alone for months. You can’t go into the mountains in a city. So hospital would be the ‘mountain’ for me.

You can’t take two months off without losing your job, I said.

“What if you need more than a couple of months off later? What if you can’t work at all?” he asked. “You need to be a hermit for a while.”

Mr Daniels prescribed a rest from humanity for me and I didn’t take it. It was a mistake. Not taking the time then put me at risk over the next ten years. On three occasions, I came too close to enacting the death wish I lived with more or less constantly. (Examiner) >

* Read more about Suzanne’s journey through depression, and where it led her, in her book Heart Lines, €12.99, published by Londubh Books, in bookshops and available online now from the publisher’s and other websites.

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