Many of us have been told, “Your problems aren’t that bad. They don’t add up to suicide,” or, “If you only took 15 pills, you weren’t really serious.”
Unfortunately, I was serious.
Last weekend, I swallowed pills. LOTS OF PILLS. As I laid in bed, I began to reconsider my actions. I stumbled downstairs and attempted to wake my sleeping husband. I said, "I think I made a bad decision." He was quite groggy and I wasn't sure if he heard me, so I shook his shoulder and said, "I may need to go to the doctor. I just swallowed a couple of pills."
Husband jumped up from the couch and went into serious panic mode. By this time I was feeling very light headed and tired. The room was spinning in pleasant circles and I was relaxed. I remember laying down on the couch and slurring, "You know what? I think it's going to be okay. I am just going to sleep for a while."
After that, my memory of the next 48 hours is sketchy at best. I have been told that Husband called my mom, who came over to our house. Since I was barely coherent, Husband carried me to my mom's car and stuffed me inside. Mom drove me to the hospital where I was whisked into the ER for evaluation.
I was committed to the "behavioral health ward" for observation and treatment. I have just returned home from the hospital and here begins the journey towards wellness...
Why did you want to take your own life?
This question is probably the hardest to answer. My problems at the time seemed insignificant, so I would brush them aside and hope they would go away. I guess I was in denial that by brushing them aside, instead of confronting them, I was merely storing my problems in a little box in my brain -- and one day that little box would become full and explode.
Deep down, I don’t think I really wanted to take my own life. I wanted people to see that I had problems. I didn’t have the courage to simply put my hand up and say "I don't know what to do anymore."
I thought to myself: How can I possibly go up to someone and say, ‘I’ve got lots of problems emotionally and I think I’m going to kill myself because of them’? I was embarrassed. I certainly didn’t want people saying that I had psychiatric problems.
At the threshold of suicide, I sought to understand the extreme limits of my ability and willingness to endure my emotional anguish and still remain alive.
There is "a realm of experience that is ruinous, where ceaseless pain suffocates the spirit and consumes the will to live". These are the moments when one begins to consider the possibility of a suicide attempt. Faced with all of the feelings, thoughts, and actions...
Suicide attempts cannot be understood by isolating any one moment in time that leads up to "the event". An important question emerges: What frightful clash of internal and external forces could cause a person to consider self-annihilation a feasible and reasonable option? What abandonment of hope could challenge my basic innate instincts toward self-preservation?
The story of suicide begins with the feeling of an unbridgeable sense of alienation, and a deep need to hide your pain. Withdrawal begins and then deepens -- gradually, almost imperceptibly. Eventually, the person who was once there is no longer present... she only goes through the motions of living. Hiding behind a facade, feeling isolated, and vulnerable to the urgings of suicidal thoughts. When left unchecked, the thoughts entice her to one fatal choice.