My junior year of college was my first suicide attempt. I would classify it as a cry for help, not a true attempt. I had no plan, my roommates were home and I was intoxicated. I did not just want attention, I needed it. I went into the bathroom with a razor and when my roommates broke into the room I cried in relief. My mom drove out, picked me up and put me right into intense therapy. I had also been suffering from bulimia since age 15 that had been escalating while away at school. I turned to working through my eating disorder, not realizing at the time that it was all related. I was always doing anything to escape the pain of my emotions. From that point forward, I had this deep nagging voice inside that told me suicide would ultimately be my demise if I ever got over the fear of the act, thankfully I was always too scared as I still had hope.
Fast forward, after years of medication trials, different types of therapy and reaching a point where the side effects of medications outweighed the problems they were prescribed for. My life became of slew of side effects and more medications to treat the side effects. Those of us with mental illness like to refer to these as “med cocktails.”
I started to tire of all the doctor, therapy appointments and side effects, while still struggling with low moods regularly. The day Amy Winehouse died I was watching the news coverage and all I could think of was how lucky she was that she was finally out of her pain. Impulsively, I took an overdose of sleeping pills and benzodiazepines. I sent a few “I love you texts” and someone who knew of my struggles and had family experience with suicide took that random text as a hint and called police to do a wellness check on me. I was taken to the ER. It turned out I did not take enough pills to do the job, the ER actually let me leave.
A month later I sunk even lower, I gave up. I was done fighting my inner demons that tried to hold me down and hold me back. I was so tired of fighting. I felt I was a burden and saw no other way out of the pain. It was not selfishness, in my mind it was truly the answer to alleviate my pain and the pain I burdened others with. I wrote a suicide note, I surrounded myself with photos of people I love and took a much more intense overdose. I lay next to my cat, crying that he would never see me awake again. I attempted suicide. There was no turning back from that act. I sent one friend an “I love you” text once the drugs had reached a point of intoxication and I passed out. He had learned from my precious attempt what to do. He called the police. My doorman knew me well and witness my first attempt and let the police in.13 days later, 2 on a medical floor and 11 on a locked psychiatric ward, four years later, countless therapy sessions and I still have not fully recovered. My depression actually got worse and was combined with shame, fear and embarrassment that created a deep oozing wound that never seems to fully heal.
It is hard to look in the mirror daily knowing that the person staring back at me tried to kill me. Imagine that.
Look beyond for a moment from the pain it causes loved ones, but the pain it causes to oneself when you have already suffered most of your life. Knowing that you woke up when you wanted to die and now need to rebuild your own belief system regarding, yourself. Rebuild the ability for others to trust you not to repeat your actions; try to protect the hearts of loved ones. Rebuild the strength to fight the unending battle yet again. While feeling like Bambi and feeling like you have to hide what you did.
Part 2 coming soon:
Copyright- National Alliance on Mental Illness(NAMI)