"I had nothing to live for but drugs" - Paula attempted suicide when she was being badly beaten by her partner, she shares her story with us to help others.
I’ve been addicted to heroin and crack cocaine since I was 21. I never in a million years thought I’d still be here to tell my story.
I became hooked after I met my partner. I visited him in prison and when he came out he moved in with me and the kids. He said he was clean but I knew he was still using drugs. I wanted to see what went on in his head so I when tried it for the first time, I thought it wouldn’t get a grip of me - they say it can get you hooked the first time and I was.
My kids saw so much that they should never have seen, I’d take my daughter shoplifting, she’d come with me to my dealer. When my mum died my dad took the kids but couldn’t handle me. I dropped out. I wanted so much to give up but I didn’t know how.
I first came to Mersey Care after I’d been badly beaten by my new partner. We’d had what for us was a normal day, shoplifting, getting off our heads on drugs and having a chippy tea. I still don’t know why but he jumped up and started to punch me. My daughter, who was 13, ran next door and phoned the police. It was surreal, like a film.
I had broken ribs, cuts and bruises, I was in pain. I’d thought about ending my life before but at that point I thought ‘if this is all my life is going to be, I don’t want to be here’.
If someone feels bad enough to want to take their own life they need someone to be there for them. I was lucky; I had the police and the hospital staff and then Mersey Care. I was taken straight from A&E to the Kevin White detoxification unit.
When I was about to be discharged I was still thinking about going back to him – I had nowhere else to go and I thought he loved me. Thankfully my support worker took me to a mirror, showed me the bruises and said ‘that’s how much he loves you’. She made me realise I had to find another way.
They found me a place at a rehabilitation centre on the Wirral. My dad brought the kids to see me – I’ll never forget his face when he walked in – we’ve become close again and I’ve still got him in my life today.
I’ve stayed off drugs ever since, now I get my kicks from the normal things in life, like having food in the cupboard, being able to put the heating on and pay bills. The best bit is that I’ve got my kids back. My daughter is training to be a nurse. I’m so proud of her and so glad I can finally be a mum.
I’ve had bad times since. I fell downstairs and eventually had to have my leg amputated; I admit I wallowed in self pity for a long time but I came through it. I volunteer for Mersey Care now, I sit on recruitment panels and work at Brook Place drugs outpatient clinic . It’s like a family; the support is there whenever you need it.
I saw my ex partner there not long ago. He’s still a service user. I looked at him and said a silent thank you to him – without going through what I did I wouldn’t be where I am now. I have no bitterness, just joy.
Watch Paula's story on our YouTube page by clicking HERE.
Substance abuse not only increases the likelihood that a person will take their own life, but it is also used as a means for committing suicide.
Domestic violence is a risk factor for suicide. Studies have shown a connection between exposure to intimate partner violence and suicide.