Stigma Fighters: Johan Fleetwood

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Stigma Fighters: Johan Fleetwood

I have always been a thinker, a bit of a lonely wolf with just a few close friends. My family says that when I was younger I was always happy and full of energy, but that changed when I became a teenager. It was probably there I started to have something that is called Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). I was often angry, frustrated and constantly worried about things that were happening around me.

The spring / summer of 2010, I got something called hyperthyroidism. Something that totally changed my life and broke down my body and could have taken my life, but I got help in time. However, the disease had left a deep scar within me. After half a year after I got the disease, I began studying at university in the belief that I had recovered myself enough. It went well during the first year, but during the second year, things began to change. Around Christmas 2011 Started I drink greater amounts of alcohol and wasting more money.

This continued deepened in 2012 and I was feeling less and less purely psychological. Stopped caring about how I performed in school. Nevertheless, I tried to keep up appearances, and thus I began to lie to everyone around me. Manipulated them and told them that everything was fine with me. The money ran out, and given that I was after so much at school that my student loan disappeared.

At the end of 2012 was my worst period. I just wish I would die and financial liabilities grew. To allay this fear, I drank more alcohol and began to plan how I would take my life. Looked at various places that were appropriate to die. Took overdoses of painkillers, went on railroad tracks or the thought of jumping from bridges. After all the alcohol I drank felt my body as a way too old and sour dish cloth.

After some time, I had accepted that I would die. Life was finally much easier to live. The date when I would take my life was approaching. However, the story took an unexpected turn. A few days before I would take my life, my parents found out that I had not paid my rent in a few months and decided to take me home. Then I ran into the woods that lay five hundred yards from where I lived. This was the beginning of 2013 and there was a lot of snow and cold. I ran around with a knife in my pocket in the woods, looking for a place of refuge.

The cell phone in my pocket keeping ringing. It was my parents. They were looking for me. They searched among the houses for me. I found a place near an open field where the sun was shining among the leafless trees. Cold and frozen in shock, I stood there, trying to urge myself to die. After trying to cut up one of my wrists, I was covered in blood. My body ached and the pain made me paralyzed.

I stood there and tried to decide what to do. Die or live? Die to avoid, or live and face the consequences of my actions? After a while, I do not know how long, I decided to give a shit about the situation. I chose to continue living. My life’s most difficult choice, but the best choice I have ever made. I was united with my parents and we went straight to the emergency room at the hospital. There, I told the whole truth about everything that had happened. In my state of shock, I told them everything. Sure, they were incredibly disappointed in me and I do not judge them for it.

For two weeks, I was admitted to the Psychiatric ward and was allowed to come home on weekends. It was like I was inside a bubble. I was in my own bubble, but I had awakened from a long bad dream. Today I call it the Matrix effect.

I moved back with my parents and a tumultuous time followed. The help I received from the County Council was varied. Via the Commune, I got an extremely good means of support persons. The County Council was both good and bad. The open psychiatric clinic did not care so much about my mental state. Every time I was there to meet a doctor, there was a new doctor that did not know what my story. It was a constant repeat about the situation with no progress. I was very lucky and got in contact with another clinic that focused on individuals in the age range of 15-25. The person I met there helped me a lot to learn how to handle all my emotions and thoughts exploded inside of me. I would not be this strong without her help.

But the most important part of this story is that I survived. After four different suicide attempts that all failed, a lot of frustrated days that I felt so lost and hopeless, I am a new person. A lot happier and stronger with more will to live and explore the world. Yeah, I have days with a lot of anxiety and nightmares combined with low energy, but I can manage to move forward and continue with my life.

“Life always finds a way.”

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I am 26 years old and live in Sweden. For a large part of my life I lived out in the country and had close contact with animals and nature. I love nature, it has shaped my personality to be a quiet person. Fluctuations in nature’s seasons can be seen as shifts in my life and how I have felt over the years. Now I see the beauty in all seasons and enjoy them, whatever the weather. Other major interests I have are watching movies (especially science fiction, fantasy, horror and drama), listening to music where I can listen to almost everything. An interest that I’ve had for as long as I can remember is to write stories. The genres I write are science-fiction, fantasy and horror, but recently I’ve written satire and humor. For the moment I’m studying energy technologies. I love it ;).

By | 2015-02-17T11:45:32+00:00 December 11th, 2014|Categories: Brave People, Uncategorized|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Helen White December 11, 2014 at 11:14 pm - Reply

    Wow. Johan that is such an intense story. I’m glad you chose to live and to tell us about your experiences. You should be proud you were able to share this.

  2. Carrie Baughcum December 12, 2014 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    What a story. So much you had to conquer. I am so happy that you found someone who understood you, your story and was able to help you. It sounds like you have found your place and are happy.

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