On this Day I Remember

The word suicide is hard to utter for me. Hell, just saying I need help takes all I got. I’ve stood on a bridge peering down to frigid waters wondering if it would truly seal the deal. The mist and moisture emanating from the water combined with my own salty tears kept me paralyzed for hours. I paced and I paced along that bridge. Full of despairing despair. Full of frightening fear. But also full of just enough perseverance I called someone. I used to refer to it as desperation. And maybe it was. But somewhere within, I have no idea where, I found the courage to utter the S word. Out loud. To someone else. I landed at my mental health clinic and was promptly admitted. This happened to be the same day Robin Williams took his life. I learned this in the hospital and was quite devastated.
My second, rather serious, brush with an attempt took place in my car. I always promised myself I would not end my life at home. At the very least, I would not traumatize my husband even further by being the one who found me. I don’t remember all that much honestly. A hopelessness I had never felt wrapped itself around my body and mind. The ups and downs, psychosis, worthlessness, searing emotional pain I didn’t know how to let out held me hostage. I could no longer see myself carrying on, navigating the world, being of any consequence to anyone. Burden was tattooed on my forehead when I looked in the mirror.
Without much thought I literally swiped all the medication bottles of my personal chemical shelf into a bag, slung it over my shoulder and headed for the river. I sat in my car with probably 20 medication bottles I had stockpiled on my lap. I sobbed. I sat up straight. Opened those bottles and poured pills down my throat. A friend new I was struggling. He sent me a text. I replied..it’s done. The emotional warfare was finally over. The mind is an interesting and amazing creature. My friend said he had no choice but to call 911. I freaked the fuck out. Begged him not to. Pleaded. Said it wasn’t fair. All this through frantic texts. I don’t know if I was suddenly filled with regret or shame. I know for sure I was terrified at what I had done.
I drove home. The river is 5 min from my house. I took more pills. I sat on the floor. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what I wanted. I called my husband yelling incoherently into the phone that 911 had been called. I was sobbing uncontrollably. He was an hour away. By the grace of some higher power a friend of a friend was in my town. She too called 911 and came over. I asked her NOT to come over but she came anyway. I was slumped on the floor. Couldn’t hold my head up. I saw black boots. EMT boots. Heard a mans voice asking what I took, how many. I truly didn’t know or remember. They loaded me up into the ambulance. I couldn’t stay awake. They kept yelling my name. I couldn’t form words, but I wanted to say..please let me die. I was convinced I should exit the world. I woke up hours later in the hospital. In and out of consciousness I woke enough to squeeze my husbands hand. Then back out. Hours later I woke again needing to use the restroom. I could barely walk. I couldn’t support myself. It was scary. It was sad.
About 24 hrs later of IV fluids and whatever else they released me to the psych ward. I was angry I was still alive. Angry 911 intervened. I stayed angry for about a month. Angry at the thought of living with my private hell of bipolar one more day. But, as they do, things got better. Outpatient program, ind therapy, walks in nature, and the unconditional love of my husband slowly reached me. I returned to living.
I continue to battle suicidal thoughts. Just 2 weeks ago I wrote a post that couldn’t possibly explain what I was feeling. I was trying to figure out how to say goodbye. I was on my knees knees. The chatter in my mind screaming I don’t belong. My soul perishing. The concept that I matter to anyone shattered by the voices. I had a plan. A solid plan. I wrote a note to my husband. But, how to say goodbye? That stumped me. I sent that same friend another desperate text. Do you know his reply?! Wherever you are. Whatever you are doing. stop and just breathe. BREATHE. And I did. It took a minute or 2 but I found my breath. I slowed down. I could almost think. I was somehow allowed to rest.
On this particular day, World Suicide Prevention Day, I’m just going to breathe. Consciously draw air into my lungs and feel the expansion. Exhale all the invisible pain each of us feel in our own way. Be present for those suffering. Acknowledge those who lost the battle. Conjure up that sometimes elusive perseverance to make it through another day. To all my fellow warriors I squeeze your hand. You matter. We matter.


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