Lately I’ve been writing a lot about hopelessness in here. That’s the way I’ve been feeling recently, so be it. I never started this blog to please anyone, but as a means of catharsis and self therapy. I never check whether I have followers or not, although it’s nice to get a notification every now and then telling you someone new is following you. I don’t really care if people stop following me because of the nihilism of what I write. I mean, if I end up doing like Lenny Bruce, who in his last monologues talked more about his crude reality (trials, censorship and his bitter disappointment with the hypocrisy of American society and justice) instead of delivering witty jokes to entertain people or make them think, so be it.
If some reader feels they relate to what I write about and want to leave their comments they’re welcome. It’s nice to see someone who understands you or empathizes with you when you need it the most.
First I’ll start with some trigger warning about suicide and mental illness/disorder, which is what I’m going to talk about here.
A couple of years ago I attempted suicide for the first time. Yesterday was my second. I believe it’s good to write about it because these things shouldn’t be forgotten. I need to remind myself about what stage of my life I really am in, about my weaknesses and about my strengths as well.
Yesterday was particularly painful and traumatic. I’ve spent the last months of my life in isolation in my own room, which is a complete mess, by the way. I live with my parents and I hardly ever speak to them. I’m pissed. I blame them for this situation because when I relapse in my disorder they hardly ever do anything to help. They rather become part of the problem.
I’m not seeing any therapist and do not speak with my friends either. I don’t trust them. It’s not the they-want-to-hurt-me type of distrust, but more of the they-won’t-understand-anyway type of distrust. Honestly, if I speak to a friend telling her ‘I can’t stand this sadness’ (meaning I’m feeling utter despair at the moment) and she tells me that I need some ‘laughing medicine’, I’d rather not speak to her.
Anyways. Since I don’t see any way out in my situation I had been planning to be gone forever. Yeah, there was a slight hope that in case I survived I would be taken care of as I feel I haven’t lately, but if not, OK. Too many years of anxiety and distress, I’ve had enough.
I was home alone and at around 19:00 I took 30 pills. It was the same dose as the first time, although this once every tablet was stronger. I honestly had no idea if that dose was actually going to kill me or just left me unconscious for a few days. Or induce me into a coma. I had not read the instructions and had no intention whatsoever. Any specifications about a possible intoxication would have told me out of it (wanting to die does not mean you’re not actually afraid of it) and I was determined to do it. And so did I. Right after swallowing them I waited for a short while lying down. Then I stood up and I suddenly felt my throat really dry. I touched my face and I couldn’t feel my skin. I stood up and I couldn’t feel my feet. And I broke down. I started to scream. It was the most heartfelt and genuine scream I’ve ever done in my life. But it was like screaming into the void. There was only silence within and out. Thousands of thoughts crossed my mind, but the main one was: ‘I don’t want to die’. I didn’t want to die in this pathetic manner, alone, without having been able of communicating my sufferings to anyone. I ran to the entrance and out to the stairs. I thought of going out into the streets asking for help, I picked up the keys and opened the door but I kept lurking from behind it; but even in that state I kept thinking I didn’t want to scare or embarrass anyone. What if people avoided me instead of helping me? What would the neighbours think? I called my father. I screamed into the phone asking him to save me, to come quickly and save me. ‘I’m dying’. My father, as usual, denying it. ‘No, of course you’re not.’ ‘You don’t understand… I took pills…’. He kept trying to comfort me on the phone. ‘We’re coming’,’ We’re right there’. But the only thing I could feel was that I was losing consciousness and couldn’t do anything about it because the pills were already doing its thing. And I thought, ‘how can you be so stupid as to think that something like this was not going to have any real consequences? And now you’ll die alone, abandoned, and what’s worse: with a dreadful feeling of void and anguish.’ I was asking my father to call an ambulance. I can’t believe either this time or the other I had to be the one to ask so, because he was not reacting. I hugged my mother, she hugged me back and the only thing that came to my mind was ‘I love you so much’. ‘I love you so much as well’, crying. I guess I was afraid of dying without having ever told her.
In the ambulance and at the hospital I kept anxiously asking the paramedics and doctors whether I was going to die and they kept telling me no. But I wouldn’t believe it. I thought they were just trying to comfort me or they denied it just because my parents were there. They simply told me I was having a panic attack. But they kept looking at me and it felt so uncomfortable… Even in that state I realized my behaviour was weird. I kept groping at things: people’s hands, the walls, I slapped myself in the face not to lose consciousness and to recover skin sensitivity and not to lose touch with reality. I looked at things from up close so that my eyes didn’t lose focus (also, I’m short-sighted and I was not wearing my glasses) and I kept pulling my hair and weaving it. But I could feel those weird looks in their faces. I honestly don’t understand: they’re used to these things and however they looked at me in a way that disgusted me. I was asking if I was going to die and all I could feel was their looks of pity all over me and an awkward silence (except for the rush of people up and down and the bleep of the machine that was checking my blood pressure).
I have lots of memories from yesterday night. Even if they are blurry, and I was dissociated, I was struggling so hard that I even remember my mother (and at some point another woman who was visiting a patient) trying to hold me so that I didn’t go out of the ward and into the corridor; I remember hitting my head against the wall and walking up and down the ward to stay awake. They wanted to hold me (they even talked about using ‘restraint’; how can they fucking do that? Do they understand what it means to tie down someone who is in the middle of a crisis and is positive that she’ll die if she stops moving?!), but I didn’t want to stand still because I was scared that I would fall asleep and die. I tried to breathe in and out (and that actually helped me calm down) because I was feeling out of air and I was convinced it was because of the pills. I was afraid that my breathing system would paralyze and I would die of asphyxiation. I kept thinking of an article I read once about the lethal injection they administer people in the death row. First it paralyzes your members, then your lungs (and apparently that is very painful), and finally your heart and brain. Apparently the lack of air was because of the panic attack (or the psychotic break; I’m not a doctor and doctors never tell you shit anyway, but I believe that was closer to a psychotic break than to a panic attack, since actually I had been losing touch with reality for a long time), but it felt so real… Every time I felt I couldn’t hold it anymore and I would lose it to the sedative effect of pills, something triggered in my mind and I panicked: I couldn’t lose consciousness no matter what or I was going to die. Everything felt so unreal, I just saw myself groping in the air and voices echoing just as when you are under water. ‘I don’t want to die HERE!’.
Have you ever read The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe? It’s about a man who’s hypnotized at the very moment of his death and his consciousness remains imprisoned in his body in a way that he can’t either wake up or fall asleep, and he agonizes until his body ends up rotting. I think I understand now what kind of disorder poor Poe must have had (no doubt worsened by his alcoholism). Johnny got his gun comes to mind as well, now that I think of it.
I kept asking for the doctors to hurry and perform a stomach pump and give me some medicine to work against the effects of the pills, as they were supposed to do. My mother tried to calm me down telling me I was not in danger, otherwise they’d have come sooner, and they were just getting everything ready and waiting for me to be more collected and cooperative. I was willing to cooperate, damn it, I didn’t want to die. I just couldn’t understand why the hell they didn’t hurry. Apparently that night was a busy one due to several severe cases of flu among elder people.
At the same time, though, there were moments when I kept telling myself ‘No, you’re not going to die’, and I realized somehow how strong I actually am. I guess even if I was actually dying I would have kept struggling until the end. I guess…
Eventually I got better, I don’t even know how. I must have struggled a lot to prevent thirty damn pills of 25mg each to knock me down. I guess 30 pills are not that much after all. I’m so naive and dramatic… By the way and on a side note: the pills I took (and at first I intended to take more than 30) are damn easy to purchase at any pharmacy, whereas in case you have an anxiety attack and you urgently need to take some actual anxiolytic, they won’t sell it to you unless you have a medical prescription. Talking about fucking double standards, here.
As soon as they got a ward ready for the stomach pump I was feeling better. I’m not sure if it was actually that, because I kept thinking it must be already too late. In fact, not a single pill came out of my body after the procedure. They took blood and urine samples and the tests came out fine. A psychiatrist came and asked the usual questions. He also said I could stay at the hospital or go home. That was my call. If I was thinking of doing anything ‘stupid’ again I’d better stay, although in ER there was not much more they could do, and maybe it was convenient that I entered a waiting list to check in, since at the moment there were no beds available. To sum up, they give you an apparent range of possibilities without actually giving you anything. Splendid. I have a scheduled visit this month with a doctor and last night’s psychiatrist also prescribed some antidepressants to me to start somewhere, but honestly, things have gotten so much out of hand at this point that I don’t think I can’t wait anymore. Otherwise I wouldn’t have resorted to… that. And at that moment, after going through such turmoil, do they expect me to be able to take such decision? For fuck’s sake, no one wants to be interned in a hospital, but odds were I would go back to the same last month’s dynamics if I went back home. What to do? I decided to go back home. I didn’t want to spend the night at ER. Either way, no one would take care of me the way I needed to be taken care of. At home either. At the most, I would be checked out every now and then and told to eat, but that was about it. And the drama has always been too prevalent at home, even if I myself am aware of the seriousness of what happened yesterday. But at least it’s home, a ‘safe’ space with (too well) known people.
But today is another day. Even before I did what I did, I knew that in case I survived nothing would have changed. In fact some things have changed, and I’m still touched about what happened, but that’s not enough if everything around me remains the same and I keep having the feeling I need to punish myself or do harm to myself in order for others to react to my problem since I feel powerless to do anything myself. First I decided to check in at the hospital but I don’t know anymore. It’s not the first time in my life, but the first time it was not an asylum, it was more of a shelter home. I’m scared and I feel terribly lonely in this journey and yesterday’s events are still so very recent. At this point all I can say is I honestly don’t know what will become of me.