This site now acts as an archive only. For the latest news, opinion, blogs and listings on disability arts and culture visit

Disability Arts Online

Robin Williams & lots of talk about suicide. / 12 August 2014

In the wake of Robin Williams death, at the time I’m writing this there’s still no confirmation of how (do we really need to know?) but there’s a lot of talk about suicide.

With this in mind, here’s a couple of scenes from my one man play, written last year, and based on personal experience I had some years ago.

I feel distant from these feelings now, and am grateful for that, as its allowed me to write about it in this and my book. I will never forget that I’m one of the lucky ones.

The show has been my most successful in terms of script writing, and has already had a number of successful performances. Maybe I should take it to Edinburgh?

Sam: When we have past lives, we keep having them until we get it right.
I have no memory of this in a past life.
And no idea why it happened.
It continued for days.
Days turned into weeks
Weeks turned into months.
I couldn’t remember feeling well.
I couldn’t remember not feeling angry
I couldn’t remember being happy.
I had these thoughts, these delusions in my head
and it felt like that’s all that was there.
Whatever knowledge I had, whatever dreams I had
couldn’t get through because there was only violence in my head and it was all against me.

After four months it got unbearable.
At 3am I got dressed, and went out.
Walked in the fields.
Pitch black.
Cold. Dark. Alone.
Angry. Fearful.
Shouting, Screaming, lashing out at nothing in front of me
because it was all in my head.
I just couldn’t get it out.
Got scared,
made my way back.

Still crying when I got home.
Didn’t wake anyone else up.
So no one knew.

(He sits in one of the chairs)

Next day I went to my doctor but I couldn’t describe what was wrong with me.
So he gave me sleeping tablets.
Good call.
Seriously, sleeping tablets, are you fucking kidding me?
I went home not knowing what was wrong with me.
Still no diagnosis.
Still no idea.
I tried not thinking about it.    
I started taking the tablets.
But they didn’t help.
So I took them all.
Well, I stopped half way, got scared.
Didn’t know what to do.
Went to bed.
Nothing happened.
Woke up next morning.
Carried on as normal.    
Next night I did the same thing.
Took the rest of the bottle.
Nothing happened.
Woke up next morning.
Went back to doctors
nothing happened.
I was already on the waiting list for therapy see.
So it was fine.
I got told to go home and sleep it off.
That was it.

(He lies under the duvet)

Got home and got back to bed
and I Lay there, feeling –
Not knowing what to think.
Not knowing what to say.
Physically exhausted.
I was staring the lock as if it might force itself open and pull me towards the door.
Pulling me as I cling to my bed, my duvet pulled right over me
Saying to myself over and over
“I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die,
I don’t want to die"
2am turns to 3am.
The clock getting blurrier as I close my eyes and then finally I fall to sleep.
The thing is, when you’re in that place you can’t think of anything else.
I couldn’t remember ever feeling happy, or remember ever feeling as if anything else mattered.
I couldn’t remember being well, I couldn’t remember that I had a past, and most important of all, that I had a future.

Keywords: mental health,suicide