Here is the full transcript of Gill Hayes’ TEDx Talk on Depression, Suicide and the Power of Hope at TEDxExeter conference.
The TEDx team warned me that when I was announced as a speaker, some of you would google me. If that was you, you’ll have discovered I keep a very low profile, so by way of introduction, I asked a few friends to offer a few words as to the kind of person I am. “Jill is the kind of person who lives life to the full, who believes anything’s possible, who laughs from the belly.” No one said, “the kind that suffer from depression,” no one said, “the kind to attempt suicide,” and yet, in the early hours of March 13, 2013, I got out of bed, left my sleeping family, drove to a nearby bridge and jumped. I don’t remember the fall or the impact; I remember being found, I remember a neck brace being fitted and been put into the ambulance.
As I was being taken to a hospital, two policemen would knock at my door and break the news to my husband. From there, the news would spread causing shock and disbelief. Not surprisingly, I wasn’t in great physical shape; many of the bones on the right side of my body were broken: my lung had collapsed, my pelvis shattered; neither was I in great mental shape. Thinking I’d already hit rock bottom, I now contemplated a life as a social pariah confined to a wheelchair with limited access to my kids.