Work sucked that day. I will always remember that one fact about that day. It sucked because I tried to be everybody’s “go to” girl, and I always said yes to taking on huge projects because I thought it would get me in good with the supervisors. I also listened to problems all day without my own outlet. I didn’t really talk to any of my co-workers, either. I hated them for the most part. I felt rejected by them, and I was bitter. I had also stopped taking my bi-polar medications because I “forgot” or perhaps it was because I felt good enough without them, or perhaps it was because I liked the manic feeling. Either way, I wasn’t taking them.
I drove home in an angry rage towards the world and I wanted, needed someone to talk to. I needed someone to hear me and validate my feelings of being lonely. But there was no one. I couldn’t trust anyone. I wanted out: out of my debt, out of my job, out of my whole situation; I wanted out of life. Being in a state of mind where everything and everyone was against me, I felt like I needed to have the bigger weapon, which in my case was suicide. When I got home I was at peak of mania, my thoughts rushing in and out of my head faster than my mind could keep up, and my anger raging out of control. As I closed my bedroom door behind me, I thought of how I could best kill myself and make sure it actually happened this time. I thought of the weeks and months of ignored prescription bi-polar medications sitting on my shelf, and the extra ibuprofen my mom had bought me when I left for college. I knew I’d have to do it this time, no fucking around…this was the real deal. Either I died or I didn’t; it came down to that. I remember compiling all of my pills into groups of five and counting them to make sure I had enough. I did. One-hundred and twenty prescription pills laid out before me, just waiting to be swallowed in a suicidal rage. I was manic beyond what any text book could have ever imagined, and I knew I was really going to die, there was no other option to the scenario. I filled a large cup with water and gulped down the first 20 or so pills. I have always hated taking pills, and so taking them in bulk made my gag reflexes kick in, as I gagged down another 20 before turning off my light and settling into bed. As soon as my head hit the pillow, depression settled in and I cried uncontrollably thinking of all the things I was going to miss out on: getting married, seeing my beloved miniature schnauzer Jack again, having kids, and seeing my nephews one more time. I sobbed at the thought of my nephews wondering what happened to me…or would they even remember who I was? My eyes were swollen and wet and I stopped crying long enough to call my supervisor to ask for the next day off. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to work and the least I could do was tell them I wouldn’t be coming. I didn’t mention why, or even that I was suffering; I simply asked for the day off and hung up. I then braced myself for the second round of tears. As they started to come, I was suddenly angry. My face burned red as I reached for the pill bottle containing the mix of meds. I hated myself and I did not deserve to live. I gulped down 40 more pills and turned off the light. I was determined to sleep, so I didn’t have to feel myself slipping silently away. I wondered about my roommates and how long it would take them to find me. I had locked my door and they didn’t know I was depressed. It very well could have been days before they realized they hadn’t seen me. I then slipped into a blissful oblivion of sleep. I do not know how long I slept before my supervisor called back to ask about my request. I answered the phone forgetting who I was and even where I was. Once hung up, I threw my phone against the wall and tried to sleep again. It was then I realized how out of it I felt. It was an equivalent of being high on all sorts of drugs at once. I blinked hard trying to focus, but it was dark and I didn’t have my glasses on. I grabbed my glasses and reached for my laptop computer; I needed to find help. I searched for psychiatric hospitals in the Salt Lake area and called the first number that popped up. “I took pills” were the first words that came spurting out of my mouth before I even thought through them. The lady on the other end sounded bored and proceeded to tell me to go to the E.R. and there they would assess if I really needed to go to the hospital. I angrily imagined this lady filing her nails and chewing gum while she slurred her words. I was furious at her ignorance, but I didn’t know what else to do so I listened to her. I was scared and my family was 500 miles away. I hung up on the lady at the front desk of the psych hospital and contemplated calling my mom or calling a friend to pick me up. My mind was fuzzy and I couldn’t think straight. I was twitching like crazy. I tried to focus on the keypad to dial my mom’s cell phone and gave up, deciding to speed dial my parent’s house number instead. My mom answered, and I panicked. I told her the same thing that I had told the ignorant front desk lady. My mom freaked out and sent me into an even worse panic. I told her I’d call a friend to take me to the E.R. and frantically called a girl I went to church with. The girl picked up the phone and I asked her to take me to the emergency room for a bad headache. She was there within minutes. The car ride was unbearable for me. Being uncomfortable in her presence was the least of my worries as my mind spazzed and I tried to focus on the road in front of us. It was impossible. I couldn’t keep my eyes from crossing and before I even knew it I stepped out of the car drunkenly and into the E.R.
I walked up to the grey counter, “I have a headache…a bad headache” I told them. A nurse asked for my insurance and told me to sit down and wait. There was a police officer sitting behind the desk among the nurses; I remembered being high off of pot in high school and noticed how similar it felt to being high on prescription medications. Panic struck through my body as the officer glanced in my direction a few times in a row. After what seemed like an eternity in the waiting room the nurse took me into the back to take my pulse and blood pressure. Once there, I broke down. I handed her the orange medication bottle of remaining pills and sobbed that I had taken most of them. She took the bottle and showed me into a room. It goes blank there. When I came back into consciousness I had somehow gotten myself into the hospital gown and was lying in a bed staring up into the fluorescent white lights. Everything was fuzzy. I lifted my head and looked down past my feet, discovering the girl who drove me to the hospital sitting in a chair at the end of my bed. She was doing what I assumed was homework. It was, after all, a school night. I remember watching a greenish figure peek out of the trash can at me and laugh, “Stop laughing at me” I slurred. The girl looked up at me with intently worried eyes, “There’s a leprechaun in the trash can…please get him out.” I fell back into the hospital bed. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed the cupboard beneath the sink opening and closing but when I jerked my head around to see it, the cupboard stopped moving and I saw spider footprints running away from what I thought was a conspiracy. Then I went into an unconscious state of mind, waking up to a male nurse asking me questions I could not comprehend. I told him about the leprechaun and the spiders, and he walked out. The next thing I knew my hospital bed was being rolled down a hallway that seemed longer than the hospital itself. My eyes were closed and I heard voices that seemed to be foreign in my state of mind. After who knows how long of more unconsciousness, I regained consciousness in a different room that was strange; it seemed to be some sort of storage room because I opened my eyes just long enough to notice medical supplies on shelves. Soon after, I felt myself being wheeled outside. A man’s voice spoke softly telling me I would be transported to another hospital and that they were going to lift me into an ambulance. As the medical personnel talked among one another, I wondered if my life was worth enough that it merited a siren, but quickly fell back into an unconscious oblivion before the ambulance even started up or left the parking lot.
I woke up in a darkened hospital room in the intensive care unit of another hospital. I was barely conscious but noticed at least the window in my room that looked into a nurse’s station. Or perhaps the window allowed the nurses’ station to view me in my bed. So there I was; alone in a dark hospital room wondering why I hadn’t died yet. I looked around at myself, assessing how much damage I had done. I had I.V.’s in both arms, a heart rate monitor clipped onto my left index finger and breathing tubes up my nose. From what I could tell, I was still alive. I looked into the nurses’ station and my eyes met a blonde woman in purple scrubs. She glanced into my room to discover I was awake, and quickly vanished. Soon after a man appeared in my room, I assumed he was a doctor; he asked me questions that I did not know the answers to and told me a psychiatrist would be in to ask more questions. The psychiatrist visited me in my hospital room to ask her questions, but left shortly after arriving because I could not answer simple questions like what time is it, and who the president of the United States was. It seemed to me that whoever the president was had to have been the least of my worries in that moment.
The whole night was once hallucination after the next, and closing my eyes proved to be more terrifying than keeping them open. I had childish nightmares about monsters and horrible things trying to hurt me and eat me. I thought the hospital and doctors were trying to hold me hostage and at one point in the first night, I tried to run. I pulled out both I.V.’s and sat up making to stand. It was after I sat up, I realized how big of a mistake I had made in trying to run. The doctor came in and restrained me back onto the bed. Then I threw up. Throughout the evening and late into the night I felt sick to my stomach. Conspiracy theories continued to run through my hazy mind as I talked to imaginary objects and people within my room. The second evening my parents arrived in Salt Lake. They walked into my room very quietly and avoided my eyes. I sensed my father was upset because he sat in the corner looking out the window most of the evening. My mother sat in a chair by my bedside and held my hand late into the night while I sobbed in my nightmarish sleep. I remember begging my mom to please stop the frightening images behind my eyelids.
On the third morning in the hospital the nurses helped me out of bed and I tried to walk for the first time since I had gone into the E.R. two nights before. Walking proved to be more difficult than I had originally remembered. Right foot, then left foot, then right again; the world danced circles around me faster than I could comprehend any given object I was looking at, resulting in blurred vision and extreme nausea. I pulled a barf-dish close to me, and dry heaved. I had thrown up so many times the previous night that there was nothing left in me to throw back up. Later, the psychiatrist reappeared in my room; she spoke with my parents alone, and then with all of us together. She was going to send me to a psychiatric hospital; I had been to the psychiatric hospital so many times, it seemed pointless to send me again for the simple fact that it had never helped before. My parents told her that they would take me back to Colorado, keep a close watch on me, and enroll me in some sort of therapy. It was then, another new journey began.
One year ago last month, my parents were almost forced to plan my funeral. It is the scariest thought I can even think of. Life is so good for me now, that thinking back to a time in my life where I was so unhappy is daunting. If I could say one thing to someone who is on the brink of suicide, I would say this: There IS a tomorrow. I know it doesn’t feel like tomorrow will be any better but at least you will still be alive. Life will not suck forever.
Life one year after I graced death through suicide, I am ever grateful that I'm still alive. I had to endure some rough times between then and now, but I never gave up. I think that is the most important piece to surviving life, NEVER GIVE UP! One day life will be wonderful beyond measure and you will be so joyful that you didn't end your life. I am happier today than I have been in many years and life is actually worth living for. I take new opportunities for what they're worth and learn from mistakes that I make. Just remember to NEVER GIVE UP!!!!
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