Feeling alone is known to be one of the worst feelings in the world, especially when suffering from a mental health illness and feeling like taking your life is the only way out. This was the case for 31-year-old Christopher Tutt, from Epping. What he thought to be the end of his life has now been written into a poem. Z Betton visited him to hear his story.
CHRISTOPHER was just seconds away from hanging himself in Epping Forest after the build-up of his depression pushed him too far to the edge. Christopher’s life was saved from just the thought of his family, and he now lives to share his story.
On April 27th 2010, Christopher’s life took a dark turn when he attempted to take his own life. Various factors, such as losing his job, having to move around the country, and being separated from his family took a really bad toll on his mental health, giving him reasons to want to take his own life. He recalls: “It was a build-up of various factors that happened. Things that happened in 2009 kind of over spilled to 2010…” Chris remembers the day of April 27th and its events clearly, he shares: “I think about that time, being in a tree with a noose around my neck and getting ready to jump – it was as if the world had slowed down or that moment was in slow motion.” Chris hadn’t told anybody that he would attempt to take his life on that day, he had pretended that he was working from home and missed work. It wasn’t until six months later when he disclosed the shocking truth to his family, leaving them mortified, hurt, and angry about him remaining silent. On the day of his suicide attempt, Chris recalls a breeze on his face that felt like fingers running through his hair, which instantly brought his family to mind; he couldn’t stop thinking about his mother, brother and sister, he mentioned: “It was them that actually stopped me; they are the reason why I am alive.”
Living to tell the tale, Christopher is very open about sharing his suicide attempt with others, he mentions: “I’m not afraid to talk about my suicide attempt, it’s something that happened, but I’ve kind of grown from that these past nine years. I’ve learned a lot about myself and how to actually deal with a problem instead of ignoring it and to actually face it. I’m not the sort of person who says, “Yeah, I tried to commit suicide, don’t ever speak to me about it.”
As a young boy, Christopher grew up in a happy household with his mother, brother and sister. But from as young as 21 years old, Christopher has been battling with his mental health. He has suffered with depression since 2009, due to various life-changing events that happened in his life. He still currently suffers with his mental health, but feels that he is a much stronger person than what he was nine years ago, he says: “I think what happened, happened. It hasn’t changed me, I’m still the same person, but I’m just stronger and more in tune with how I feel than what I were before.” Personally, for Chris, the hardest part of suffering with a mental health illness is the feeling of being alone and not having anyone, his exact words were: “I guess the hardest part is feeling alone, feeling like you’re the only person that is in your head that understands what is going on, and not having anyone to talk to.”
Poetry is a form of therapy and a hobby for Chris, he feels that it’s a physical release for him. Following his suicide attempt, he has written a poem called “Noose,” detailing some of the experience, while incorporating his emotions and feelings during the time he thought was going to be his last moment on earth. Chris shared: “A lot of people read it and have cried, but there are some people, particularly my brother, who cannot read that poem, because for him, it brings about the feelings that he would have lost his brother, his younger brother.” Other people who have read Noose have told Chris they’re “glad he didn’t do it.” In terms of Chris taking his own life or attempting to again, he wouldn’t, because he “knows how it feels.”
The difficult time the 31-year-old endured brought he and his family close than ever, where they now reside in Epping, Essex. Despite hitting rock bottom, Chris is happily employed as an accountant and tries his best to remain positive. He spends time on the weekends socialising with his friends, alongside having passion for poetry, and spends most of his free time writing. Christopher hopes to spread awareness on mental health with his story, and urges anybody who is silently suffering with their mental health to speak up and to reach out for the correct help.
Christopher’s mother, Lorraine Tutt, feels strongly about mental health and the effects it can have on people, she mentions: “Having had a close relative suffer with mental health problems, I’ve seen what affect it can have on a person. So I feel strongly about mental health.” Several years ago, Christopher had a mental breakdown which herself and her family helped him to overcome. Lorraine herself hasn’t suffered from any mental health illnesses, though, she does recall having stress with family losses and her marriage breakdown. She believes there should be more support for people crying out for help, and says, “The ones struggling seem to be invisible to society.”
More and more people are struggling with mental health issues each day, according to the Mental Health Foundation UK, Anxiety and Depression are the most common mental health issues, with around 1 in 10 people affected at any time. To find out more details about mental health, or if you need help with your mental health, please visit: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/