Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Celebrating life

*Trigger warning*

This entry is about suicide.  If this subject upsets you, please do not read.

This is not going to be a normal, fluffy blog post.  It's not that kind of day. 

I woke up this morning in a dismal, rotten mood.  Today would have been my mom's seventy-fifth birthday.  I miss her everyday.  I honestly thought after ten years the pain would lessen.  It hasn't.  I can't dwell on what never will be.  She had lung cancer, which she fought valiantly.  So much so, it spread to her brain and bones before she passed.  They said she would probably live six months at most...she ended up living for almost six years.  Not a day goes by that she doesn't cross my mind.  This is her with my brother in 1990, before she got sick.  I get told constantly I look just like her.  It's not a bad thing.  I love you'll always be with me.

But today marks a more significant milestone for me.  Three years ago tonight, I attempted to take my own life.  So many people over the years have asked me one simple question...


Why?  You have a wonderful husband, you have two beautiful children.  Why?  Why? WHY?  How could you  be so selfish/thoughtless/heartless?  I would only answer with a shrug of my shoulders and a shake of my head.  I've never written about that night...never answered anyone's questions.  I'm going to try.  Bear with me.

I was depressed for almost eighteen months.  I had already been hospitalized multiple times for threatening suicide.  I was over medicated and the shell of who I am now.  I was tired of being a burden, tired of all the drama.  I wasn't getting better...and thought I never would get better.  I stopped caring.  Honestly? I didn't think anyone cared anymore either. 

But know this...I never wanted to die.  I wanted to not hurt anymore. 

Without going into too much detail (there are people I want to protect that I love dearly), June 29, 2008 was a nightmare.  I had run away from home that the beach in West Haven where I took a long walk.  I went for a drive that night, with the intention of ending it.  I went to Stop and Shop and bought two boxes of sleeping pills, twenty-four each.  Even in my misery, I was excited they were buy one, get one free.  And I grabbed a Sprite, intentionally...there was no caffeine in it.  I went through the self checkout...I didn't want to draw any attention to myself.

I drove to a deserted parking lot and methodically popped each one out.  I wrote a note on a napkin, very simply in block letters "I'M SORRY".  I took twenty-four, then the other twenty-four.  I looked at the clock.  It was 9:04.  I dropped the seat back...and waited. 

I started getting groggy, and scared.  I went to reach for my cell phone but couldn't lift my arms.  My last thought before I went under was "Oh my God, what have I done?"

I remember things after that in bits and pieces.  The cop's flashlight in my face, and thinking I was in Heaven.  All the lights from the fire trucks and police cars.  Being draped over my steering wheel.  Drinking a quart of charcoal in the ER.  Hallucinating on my gurney...and seeing clocks of every kind on the walls.  Hearing someone say "Oh God, there's a note."

Amazingly, they sent me home the following day with a number to check in with the crisis hot line everyday.  I lasted five days before I was put back in the hospital...for the final time.

I did three months of intensive outpatient therapy after that.  My depression finally broke in September.  I started writing, and found out I was good at it.  My husband got a new job and he was happy.  I got off my meds and thought clearly for the first time in years.

I'm here today.  I have a strong core of girl and guy friends who would do absolutely anything for me.  I know now that if I get down (I still have blips), I can count on them to hold me up when I'm unable.  I saw my son graduate high school, and held my niece when she was fifteen hours old.

And my hubby?  He said leaving me never crossed his mind.  He stood by me throughout my ordeal.  The truest meaning of  "In good times and in bad. In sickness and in health."  I have never loved anyone more.

This is a poem I found in a magazine about a month afterward.  I feel like it was meant for me.  It hangs on my mirror to this day.

Stop, ask for help. 
Seek out counseling. 
Death is no answer. 
Try to believe in something,
a God,
a song,
a book,
the ocean.
Don't give up.
People get better.

Always remember the last line..."People get better."  I got better.


  1. I am so glad it was a fail. Now that I know you and you're in my life, I don't want you to ever not be in it. I know we don't talk every single day, but there's always some form of communication between us. You're beautiful. Inside and out. I love you to bits. I will come visit one day. Our bond will grow stronger. I know how it feels to want the hurt to stop.

    I love you, lady! You know how to reach me, any day, any night, any time.

  2. Another friend of mine once told me that when he had some counseling for depression after an "almost" suicide attempt... "Temporary problems... permanent solution." Good way to look at it.