I’ve mentioned it briefly before that I once had a serious issue with depression. So, I have another honest tale about myself that I wish to share, as I hope that my story can be useful for those who are going through darkness now or recently beginning their recovery from it.
I am not proud to admit this, but I have tried suicide over twenty times, within the period of a year. I’ve tried it so many times that I can’t even place a direct number, only that I lost count after the twentieth time. I’ve heard the guffaw before of, “Well… if you tried it that many times and didn’t succeed, it must meant that you didn’t really want to die.” Excuse my bluntness, but such a comment is complete horse sh$t!
Each time I made an attempt, I seriously wanted to die and took very drastic measures to ending my life. I wrote notes for it, had a clear plan and tried many methods. I never told my family or friends of every attempt, nor threaten it audibly, I kept each attempt a secret. They only knew of the bad ones that backfired and sent me to the local ER for treatment.
I won’t go into specifics, because part of what I use to do was to scan blogs and websites looking for ideas on how to kill myself. So I don’t want to be responsible for giving ideas to anyone who may be reading this blog and suffering. Nor do I want to trigger anyone who’s recovering or struggling through it still.
Let’s just say, I winded up in the local ER ten times for my bad attempts, as they went south and it wasn’t just a fail that I could “sleep off”, because I was obviously injured. I’m generally a stubborn person who doesn’t stop to get what I want (or what I perceive that I want), which is good trait to have for positive things. However, in this time of my life, this kind of trait was a lot dangerous and potentially deadly.
Six of those ten ER visits landed me in six different mental hospitals, two involuntary stays and four voluntary. I’ve never been in a more empty, cold, and devastating place than those hospitals. There is no hope or help to be found in those places, or at least that was my experience of them. So, please forgive me if I don’t want to go into specifics about my stay, I rather not dwell on those memories. u_u
Anyway, the other times in the ER, I’ve gotten pretty good at fast talking and lying well to cover up my attempts, so that a medical doctor wouldn’t call in the psych doctor. I thought I was clever, but actually I was just escaping once again to make another attempt against my life.
It didn’t finally stop until I was age twenty-five. I had tried inpatient so many times and had a handful of bad experiences with outpatient therapists. For whatever reason (I still don’t know why), I decided to try outpatient again before my next attempt, and I lucked out with a good one! I am a believer of therapy, as it helped to save my life. I did most of the work, but I didn’t do it alone. ^_^
Back then, I was a young woman who believed that there was nothing I could do to make my life any better, that there was no hope, that if I continued to live in this world I would only experience misery. I believed that my depression and despair was a permanent disease, that there was no cure for it. I believed that the only way to escape the pain was by dying.
I was too blinded by the darkness to realize that depression isn’t forever and that dying solves NOTHING. When a person dies, the part of the brain that feels relief dies too, so if I had succeeded I never would have felt that relief that I so desperately wanted. I would have died alone and in pain… that’s all folks.
And I would have cheated myself out of the wealth of happiness that was to come later in my life. I’m not trying to be over dramatic but honestly, besides my few happy moments as a child, I had NO real experiences of happiness or fulfillment in my life. If I had died back then, I would have left the world only knowing grief, emptiness, and despair. And what a shame that would have been. :-(
It’s my personal belief that suicide is a very stupid and selfish thing. I do understand being so wrapped up in one’s pain that you never think about the pain it would leave on those you leave behind. I had somehow convinced myself that when I died, my loved ones would cry at my funeral, but then they would “get over it”. In my moments of the deepest self-hatred, I convinced myself that my family would be glad and relieved to be rid of me, as I was a “burden” to them. I couldn’t have been more WRONG!
I realized how much it could affect my family, after a really bad attempt and I witnessed my sister crying. Her wavering voice and tears are forever burned into my mind, as she was falling apart at the thought that I may die from an overdose I took that night. My heart sinks to remember that moment, although it was that moment that opened my eyes to the fact that I NEED HELP.
It was my last suicide attempt eight years ago and I will never do such a thing again. I’m so sorry for the pain that I put my loved ones through over my attempts.
In 2012, I got another hard insight into what happens when someone dies when they’re not suppose to. My nephew was killed unexpectedly one early morning in Philadelphia. He was age 24 and I was sure that he would outlive me, due to the fact that he was so young.
My nephew didn’t choose to die, he very much wanted to live, but found himself with the wrong people, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time. Every week before Christmas (the date of his death) we feel his loss the most, although we feel it every day regardless. The pain of it is ours to keep forever, we will carry it to the end of our journeys, and it will affect how we live our lives permanently.
I keep the last texts he sent me on my phone, unable to ever delete them. I’m still connected to his Facebook page and will always be so, even though he’s no longer around to update his status with crazy and funny things. I dream about him sometimes, I miss him, and I wish he was still here with us.
This is what loss do to loved ones, when they’re left behind, except I believe that suicide is worse. My nephew didn’t choose to leave us, he wouldn’t do that. And if I had succeeded in my attempts, that would have been a choice. There’s no way to justify or pretty it up… suicide is suicide. A choice is a choice. And everyone has a choice on whether or not to take their own life, EVERYONE.
A person may have their reasons, but it doesn’t make it right. And the guilt a person leaves on the loved ones will stay with them forever, no matter if the person leaves notes or messages of “It’s not your fault! Don’t blame yourself!” The loved ones will blame themselves and will always wonder, “I could have said or did this to save them. I didn’t try hard enough!”
I still feel some guilt that I didn’t nudge my nephew enough to not get mixed up with his new “friends” or maybe I should have invited him over that night instead of thinking, “I’ll catch up with him later.” I would feel a lot worse if he had taken his own life, instead of it being robbed away from him by some criminal. There is always hope to escape depression and suicide is a senseless act of murdering yourself.
The odd thing is, the person I was of pain and despair, I don’t recognize her at all. It’s like there was another person living as me, a clone of some kind. and it’s a little unsettling to feel this disconnect. When I think back on how this person use to believe “I won’t be around to see my thirties, nothing matters, everything in life is pain.”, i shudder. Who was that girl? I don’t know her! O_O
If I could somehow go back in time and meet my other self, I would shake her and shout, “Come off it! You’re in for some very awesome stuff in the future! It WILL get better and you will prevail! Now, knock it off and gather some cojones!”
Not that I believe that those suffering with depression should be handled in this way! No, never. For myself, I respond better with a little “tough love” sometimes. Heehee. ;^_^>
My point is… I will never give up, I will strive to LIVE in this lifetime, and I will keep moving forward. I lived to vote for the first time at age 28, to find out what true friendship is all about, to really laugh like I mean it, to try new things and learn something new, to experience my first flight on an airplane, and to publish my first book. I can’t wait to see what else I will explore and discover next!
Life may not be easy and nothing is ever perfect. Perfection doesn’t exist, I believe. There are times when I still feel sad for a while and when my nephew died I felt despair. However, I get through it and remember that the sadness will pass. I’m still flying and that’s enough.
Mal: I had a good day.
Simon: You had the Alliance on you… criminals and savages… half the people on the ship have been shot or wounded, including yourself… and you’re harboring known fugitives.
Mal: We’re still flying.
Simon: That’s not much.
Mal: It’s enough.
Thanks for reading and be safe. ^_^