Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Me!

Tomorrow is my one-year anniversary.

One year ago I made a poor decision.  The decision resulted in many complications in the life of my loved ones, children, and friends.  Unfortunately the consequences could have been fatal.

To celebrate life, today I choose to remember my unsuccessful decision from a year ago and honor how far I have come in my journey for balance and wellness.

(Photo: Larry Poncho Brown)

One Year Ago Today:
Many of us have been told, “Your problems aren’t that bad. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” or, “If you only took 15 pills, you weren’t really serious.”

Unfortunately, I was serious.

I swallowed pills. LOTS OF PILLS. As I laid in bed, I began to reconsider my actions. The wee ones had stayed the night before at the in-laws and were still there.  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 brushed them aside and hoped they would go away. I was in denial. I thought that by brushing the worries aside, instead of confronting them, I was somehow getting rid of them. But I was merely storing my problems in a little box in my brain -- and one day that little box become full and I guess it finally exploded.

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 a loved one and say, ‘I’ve got problems 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 were the moments when I began to consider the possibility of suicide. Faced with the crazy swirling of all the feelings, thoughts, and actions...

Suicide attempts cannot be understood by isolating any one moment in time that leads up to "the event". Instead I look at it and consider: 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.

I am lucky that I survived that nearly fatal choice.  My precious wee ones and loved ones did not need that fateful choice to be successful...

I now know they need me here.  I think of all of the wonderfulness I would have missed had I exited the stage.


moochiemomma said...

Thank you for sharing this powerful story. May you continue to find strength in your family and loved ones.

Cory Thians said...

God has a plan for you. I'm glad you're here.

Jessica said...

Thank you for sharing. Living is such a wonderful thing to celebrate.

Cory Thians said...

If only more people could hear that there's hope. I just lost a dear friend.