Sometimes being alive feels so unbearable. I remember a time when being alive was the worst hell I could imagine. Depression does that to you. It changes everything around you when nothing has changed at all. I call it “depression brain.” Back in july I wrote the story of my most severe attempted suicide that took place in February, but it was part of another story, so I feel like I should make it it’s own post. It’s important to tell your story because it helps others see into an experience they never want to have. Suicide isn’t fun, it isn’t smart, it isn’t the right way to silence your problems. It’s a way to die.
If you want to silence your problems, then fix them. I know, easier said than done. It’s hard, but it’s very possible. Then when you’re at a place where you feel like you’re doing a lot better your outlook on most things change.
After my attempt it was like I saw the world through a completely different set of eyes.
And let me say this…
If you feel like committing suicide, the most important thing you need to know is that it isn’t your fault. Depression brain is a complete bitch. But if you let it win, you lose.
And so does everyone else who ever loved you, who love you now, and who will love you someday.
What’s most important to me is to forgive myself for it. Accept that my head was in shambles and that I wasn’t me at that time. I was a completely different person that even I didn’t recognize.
I accept that I attempted suicide.
I’m grateful for the doctors who saved me, the loved ones who supported me, and the medication that changed me. I was changed back into myself.
It feels great to let it go.
I woke up and the day was gloomy. I usually like gloomy days, but there was something about this day that felt off. It had been about three weeks since my diagnosis. Two weeks since my release from the psych hospital. I decided to dress up to make myself feel better. I only always had one place to go: University outpatient therapy. (UIOP) If it were up to me, I wouldn’t waste the little time I had left with people that are paid to tell me I have a reason to live. But Joseph, Roxy, and the doctors insisted.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand fighting for something you don’t even want.
Everyone else wants it for you, so you keep trying to want it, too. I still don’t want it.
I gave Joseph an example once.
“You hate cheeze whiz, right?”
“With a passion, yes.”
“Well imagine if you told your loved ones that you hate it, and they all got overly emotional and concerned with your anti cheese-whiz choice. So they send you to a hospital-prison and stick you in group therapy where people talk about how good cheese whiz is, and they make you take little capsules of cheese whiz every day. Truth is you really want to like cheese whiz to make everyone happy, but you just fucking hate it.”
I know part of him slightly understood where I was coming from, but he refused to give me any credit for my wonderful cheese whiz metaphor in fear that I might think it’s a green light to “give up on cheese whiz”.
As I was running out the door, I realized I still hadn’t taken my Lexapro (an antidepressant). With the bus nearly at the stop, I bolted to the bathroom and just shoved the whole bottle in my purse. 15 capsules remaining.
Out the door. On the bus. In the seat. Passing by. Taking none of it in. Looking down. Feeling empty. Feeling alone.
The only good thing about UIOP was the free snacks. The free snacks kind of made me want to live more than the therapy.
In the elevator. On the fifteenth floor. Through the glass double doors. In the room with floor to ceiling windows.
I hate this room. I spend most of my time fantasizing about breaking the glass with something strong enough and jumping out. Death was everywhere in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I’d die, what I’d leave behind. How to do it without my roommates finding me. How to do it so that I wouldn’t spend my last moments in severe pain. That one seemed to be the least important. Ultimately I didn’t care if it would hurt. It’d be over soon.
So what is keeping me here? What the hell am I still doing here? Someone’s speaking. I can hear them speaking but all I hear is bullshit. Do these people expect me to take advice from another depressed person in the room?
YOU’RE FUCKED UP TOO.
We have the same issues. This is stupid.
“I always like to lean on my support groups when I feel really bad.”
Oh, fuck off. There’s only so much you can do before you feel like a burden to everyone.
I shifted my focus to these two men that look so tiny from where I’m sitting. They’re unloading a truck together. One man opened the gate and the other drove the truck into the lot. Those men, having a normal day…
They have no idea that I’m going to die today.
My palms are sweating. Fingers trembling. Eyes wide. I can’t do this anymore. I bolt up and make my way to the bathroom. Dr. Flores is onto me. She can tell something’s wrong.
I don’t care.
As I sit in a stall on the floor, my eyes well up. I don’t know exactly why I’m crying, but crying seemed to be the only thing I did lately. I took the bottle of Lexapro out of my purse and got up to look in the mirror.
“Okay, Jess. You’re really doing this. It’s happening. It’s finally happening.”
I smiled at myself for the first time in months. As I opened the bottle, I laughed. I was over the moon. My pain was about to be over. For the first time in my life it seemed I finally had control .
An empty bottle.
An empty person.
I went back into the room to get my coat and leave.
“Jessica, you can’t leave this way. Please sit and talk with me for a little while.”
“No I have to leave.”
“Please don’t leave when you’re feeling this bad. Let’s just calm down and talk this through.”
“I have to make a phone call.” Empty psychiatrist’s office.
You have reached the voicemail box of 773 — —- Please leave your message after the tone.
“Joseph, I’m so sorry. I can’t do it anymore. I tried and I failed. Please make sure Khaleesi stays with you or Roxy. Please. I love you. I love you.”
Therapist tries to make me talk. I talk. I talk with tears in my eyes and a tired soul on my back. I talk, and the thrill of no one knowing I have a stomach full of anti depressants was exhilarating.
Ironic how the pills that were supposed to help me with depression, aided me in my suicide.
“If I try to leave, will you force me to stay?”
“No, we can’t do that. But-“
Up out of the chair, out the door. Stranger therapist calls after me. She doesn’t even know me. Down the hall. In the elevator. Lobby. Out the revolving door. Doorman calls for me.
“Miss, Dr Flores would like to speak with you.”
Down the street. Phone rings. I owe it to Joseph to have at least one last conversation.
“Jess, please. Please don’t do this.”
“…It’s already done.”
“Where are you? Please tell me where you are.”
“I’m so sorry I couldn’t be what you hoped I’d be. But I love you. I’m sorry.”
Turning right. Walgreens. Walk in. Medicine section. Tylenol. Rip it out of the packaging.Walk out.
Starbucks. Used coffee cup. Starbucks’s bathroom. Open bottle. Fill up cup.
Handful 1. Drink.
Handful 2. Drink.
Handful 3. Drink.
Losing count of handfuls.
Die alone? No. I want to walk around the city one last time. Roxy calls. I turn my phone off. I’m going to die in peace. It’s been 15 minutes. I walk. I walk. I walk.
Suddenly… yes. I feel it. Sweet surrender. My body feels cold and hot at the same time. My eyes are glazing over. My stomach hurts. My hands feel clammy. Tipping over. Smiling. Giving in.
“She has a bottle of tylenol in her purse. It’s almost empty.”
“Jessica. Jessica. That’s her name, right?”
“Yeah that’s what her ID says.”
“Jessica. Wake up.”
I opened my eyes and immediately realized that my death was short-lived.
A few good strangers saved me from my decision to commit suicide and called an ambulance.
And there I was. In a cold ambulance under a fluorescent light of reality.
And there they were. Two EMT’s that looked down at me disapprovingly.
“We’re going to take you to the hospital. Just stay laying down.”
Suddenly my stomach began to writhe in pain. Sharp, constant, and unforgiving. I cried out and clutched my stomach.
“That’s what happens when you take too much tylenol.”
Fuck that guy. He had no idea what I was going through.
Not only was I in pain, but I wasn’t supposed to be feeling anything.
I wasn’t supposed to be alive anymore.
My stomach couldn’t take it anymore, “I have to throw up.”
Those bastards couldn’t find anything besides my purse at a moment’s notice.
So now I was in pain, I was alive, and I had vomit in my purse.
The ambulance took off. There was no siren, so I figured what I had done to myself wasn’t a big deal.
I was wrong.
The next two days were a battle for my life. My liver could have easily failed. It was all up to my body whether the rest of my life would be spent out in the real world, or in a home for someone who can no longer take care of herself.
What have I done?
I’d like to tell the story of being in the hospital, and the psych unit right after that. That is where everything changed. Not right away. Not all at once, but that’s where it all began.