“At first, I was ill. I had breast cancer and then myeloblastic leukemia. I’ve been transplanted, and everything. At that time, I had a lot of tests to do and nobody around me. I needed support. I said to myself, all alone: “Would my children be better off without me?” I thought, “Yes. Maybe they’ll be better off not living with this disease.” I was without my kids at Christmas, I have three daughters. With my ex-husband, it was complicated, he was an alcoholic. It was difficult for him to cope with the disease. I had to tell him it was over. I didn’t mean to hurt him. So that’s why I tried to kill myself. I thought with the alcohol and the meds… I wanted to without really wanting to. I didn’t want to get hurt. I wanted to go to sleep, not to have to think. It wasn’t elaborate. I wanted to fall asleep, to fall asleep, to think no more, to stop making others suffer and not to suffer myself. Really to get rid of myself, I don’t know. I was at home, in my bed, with a bottle of Pastis. I hate alcohol. With a lot of mint, it was fine, and paracetamol. I called a friend, and said, “I’ve just done something very stupid.” I was sorry for having done that. She panicked and called the fire brigade. She said, “Go and open the door or the firefighters will smash it down.” I don’t know how I got to the door to open it. I remember waking up on a trolley at the hospital. A metal door locked behind me. It was horrible. I felt like I was in an asylum. I panicked. I said to myself, “I tried to kill myself they’re gonna commit me.” Everything fell apart. I said, “Stop, I need help, I’m sinking. I have three very small children, I must run away.” I wanted to see a psychiatrist, not a psychologist, a doctor. He put me on track. I found him in the phone book. He had to be near my house. He didn’t talk. He was incredible. There were lots of chairs in his office. He’d say, “Pick a chair.” My first chair was like an egg. I got stuck in it, but I was fine, I started unloading my story. He said only key words. In my head, it was beginning to click. He’d just say a word and poof, the whole puzzle would come back together. It was incredible.

Extract from “Kilomètre 25 746” by Margot Morgiève, researcher in humanities and social sciences.