The first time I fought to die was at a time in life when a lot of people do, Jr. High School. Not a huge surprise for a pre-teen that dealt with depression and body image since I can remember. Unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework and when I attempted to cut my wrist, I cut horizontal, not the correct vertical way as to catch the artery I needed to catch. A good friend of mine saw the cuts and let my mom know. I assured her I wouldn’t do it again, that everything would be fine. It was a moment of weakness and I would work to feel happier. I am positive it was a cry for help and not something I thought would really work, but when I got the attention, I panicked at the thought of what my parents would have me do. I didn’t want therapy, and suddenly, I didn’t want the attention.
The second time, I got more creative, but I had more motivation. I was 16, at a party full of drinking and drugs. After a fifth of what I think was coconut rum, I was taken to a truck by some guy, I can’t even remember his name. I was barely conscious as he proceeded to undress me, only from the waist down, doing the same for himself and putting on a condom. I know there was a condom because it came out of me hours later, at home, in the bathroom, as I was wrenching and barfing. After that, he got me out of the car, took me back into the house and went on his way. I felt dirty, stupid, and embarrassed. It was dark and I knew people wouldn’t pay attention much when they were leaving. I laid myself behind the rear tire of a car, ensuring my chest was touching it. I waited for my savior to back out to head home. Another good friend that had been looking for me because my mom had called a number of times, found me and took me home. My mom held my hair as I puked for hours. The boy later completely denied ever doing what he did to me. I gave up almost immediately trying to convince people I was telling the truth. I was so afraid of looking like a needy, lying, crazy girl. There was a voice in my head, that I absolutely hate, that told me I shouldn’t have been there in the first place, that I was too drunk, that it was somehow my fault. I buried the whole incident deep.
The third time, I was sure would be the one. Three friends and I were taking a drive, goofing around. Someone suggested the two of us in the back seat sit on the window and hold hands across the top of the car. We were traveling at about 45 mph and I thought, ‘This is my chance.’ As I sat outside the car, wind blowing my face, holding hands with my friend across the top, I told her goodbye and let go. The next three days I don’t remember but I am told I had a brain contusion, that suddenly disappeared after a blessing from my Uncle, spent some time in a coma, but still woke up. I couldn’t believe that hadn’t worked. I went with the ‘stupid teenagers doing stupid teenager things’ explanation and called it an accident. I couldn’t handle dealing with more questions and eyes on me. I felt like such a failure….again.
The fourth would come almost 20 years later, after one divorce, remarrying, two kids, and my Nana passing away. She meant the world to me. She taught me how to paint, which is my joy, how to fish, waterski, and whole-heartedly love and look out for those around me. She took my oldest and I in after my divorce and loved me no matter what or who I was. I tried to drink myself to death but panicked when it felt like I was having a heart attack in my living room and ended up in the ER for a three day hospital stay. The secret of my drinking problem was out. I went 90 days sober. That was my goal and when I hit it, I quickly, and quietly, went back to the comfort of being numb. Another failure.
Though there was a large gap in attempts, there has not been a day where I didn’t think of some way I could get out of this dark pain I have been constantly battling. I have had a good life, and so much joy. I have never understood why, with all I’ve been blessed with, this sadness I feel has always kept true happiness just out of reach. It’s dark and tiring to think, daily, of how to die. Of how to make it look like an accident, but I have, and continue to think these thoughts, to this day.
The fifth time I tried was Thursday, March 30, 2016. I had gotten to the point of at the least 15 drinks a day. Our monthly average spending on liquor, for just my husband and I, was $800.00. I am a very functioning alcoholic and honestly, I have always been sort of proud of that. The general public usually had no idea I had a few drinks in me. Unless they have and haven’t said anything, which is a very real possibility. I think in the last 10 years, there have only been a small handful of events, family or not, I’ve gone to sober. I had finally gone to get some meds for the anxiety attacks that where getting worse, so I took a handful of them, drank a fifth of rum, and went to bed, hoping never to wake up. When I woke up, barfing, the next morning, I was pissed, scared, hurting and sick. I told my husband that I either needed to go to the ER to help me physically through this, or I needed to end it. One of my best friends took me to the hospital and I spent the next 10 hours throwing up so much that I put a small tear in my esophagus. After which, three security guards accompanied me, my friend, and my parents, to a psych unit and told us this was where we were to part ways. They took my phone, my purse, my everything. I was terrified. Nobody had explained anything that was happening and my friend and parents were trying their best to keep me calm even through their fear and confusion, letting me know everything would be ok. On the other side of the door, they stripped me naked, checked every nook and cranny, rummaging through my hair and gave me scrubs to wear as I couldn’t wear my own clothes now. The inside of this place was a solid mix of Girl, Interrupted and 12 Monkeys. Mumbling people shuffling down a dark hall, someone was curled up in the fetal position on the floor in a corner and another was having what looked to be a knife fight with an imaginary villain. I felt as though I had fallen down a terrible rabbit hole, not the fun one Alice had the privilege of entering. I was given pills to swallow, which I immediately threw up, and as I tried to communicate with the nurse that I couldn’t hold them down, I was threatened that if they had to give me shots they would hurt. Like that would make me change my mind, and make my body do something it hadn’t been able to do in almost 48 hours. I told them I didn’t care how much they hurt. Honestly, all I wanted was something to knock myself out so I could sleep through this madness I had been thrown into. After the shots, which I am sure were made more painful than necessary, I laid on the small mattress on the floor in the room they assigned me, curled up, and shut my eyes tight.
Morning came too soon. The next three days were spent in a mindless, drug hazed, frightened state, until finally I resigned to the fact I needed to play along and do the right things in order to be let out. I had about 10 minutes a day I could use a phone, my parents visited me twice. Once bringing a sweater, I was freezing, and some coloring books. These items took approximately 5 hours to actually make their way into my hands. Apparently, they needed to be ‘processed.’ After asking a nurse at least 15 times when I could get them, I finally went with asking a different nurse, he was a sweet man that reminded me of Cheech and Chong. He had my things for me within 15 minutes. I was so grateful for that man.
After being able to meet with a doctor and case worker on the third day, carefully choosing my words, my reactions, hoping they would see I was stable and had a good support group to go home to, they allowed me to be discharged. They interviewed Dave before they let him see me and take me home. I have never liked the feel of the sun on my cheeks like I did when we walked out of that hospital. I have papers filled with sentences reminding myself this was a place I never wanted to visit again.