(Trigger Warning! I am going to talk honestly and candidly about my suicide attempt on May 29th. If you are feeling suicidal right now, stop reading now and get help. I wish I had. This is the only warning you will get. It’s about to get ugly!)
I have been having so much trouble writing down the events of last week. I have a whole other version of this already written; but I just wasn’t happy with it. It was too whiny and rambling, full of shame and I really didn’t get the point I wanted to get across on the page. As I was just in my bed a few minutes ago, desperately trying to fall asleep, I decided I would give this story another shot.
I need to get this out of me.
The details of the days, weeks, months and years leading up to the fateful day of my suicide attempt are quite foggy right now. A lot of what I was feeling was lost in the trauma of that day, locked away inside of me somewhere I can’t find. Much of the past few months can be found here in my blog, but there was a whole lot more to the story than what I have put to the page.
But from whatever events lead up to it, I finally decided that I had no other options. Things had been building in my head for a long time, and that day, Flora and I had another “Falling Out” and I thought it was over between us.
I couldn’t have another failed marriage.
I couldn’t go back to the States in shame, leaving my child fatherless; trying to buy love from 8500 miles away.
I hated the fact that everyone would find out what I already knew: I was a bad father, husband and all-around horrible person and I have sucked the love and life out of everything along the journey of my life.
I couldn’t leave more empty people to fix yet another mess I had made.
I was despondent, and had been for a while. Along with depression, I had the gut-wrenching anxiety I knew so well, voices speaking to me in the night and was paranoid about everything and everyone around me.
The worst symptom I had was overwhelming thoughts running through my head, keeping me from one of the last true things I even enjoyed anymore: writing.
Planning My Death
Writing was my one true last form of therapy. I had given up ever being able to afford a therapist, I had become somewhat distant with my Mom and Dad (my fault) and Flora and I were not being civil to each other anymore.
I had no support system.
I have friends: Facebook friends from my past that I keep in touch with and talk to regularly. Old friends I thought I could tell anything. I also have new blogging friends I have made in the past couple of months. But, I wasn’t talking to any of them either.
It was too late to hope that I could find any help from them or anyone else. At least, that’s what the voices were telling my brain.
Are you really going to talk with some stranger at a suicide hotline?
The voices never stopped. They were always there; I was just able to drown them out at certain times to give myself a break.
The combination of all the pain I was feeling, the constant negative racing thoughts and the voices are what convinced me that there was no other choice in the matter.
I would have to die.
After I made that decision everything seemed to fall into place and a “plan” emerged. It took me most of the day, lying in bed, to finalize everything, but, just in time it seemed, I had it all figured out.
- I would spend the rest of the day with little Zoey and trying to talk to Flora. I would skip dinner so I had an empty stomach, and go to bed until they both were asleep.
- After they fall asleep, I would kiss my baby one last time and give a silent “I love you” to my wife, then start my “suicide note”. Then, I would ready all the links for my family and friends to find after I was gone. I typed them out so all I had to do was press a button and everything would post automatically.
- I would gather all the pills from around the house and put them in two categories: time-release and regular. I did this so I only had to chew the time-release pills and not all of them because I knew it would be gross.
- I would take the pills and wait till the point-of-no-return to send out my links.
- Then, at last, I would die.
That was how the plan was supposed to go. I figured if I finished the note by 11:45pm I could take the pills by midnight and be dead by 1:00am.
Some unexpected things happened that almost ruined the whole thing.
Writing the letter took longer than I expected because I was spending a lot of time Tweeting suicide quotes on Twitter and posting suicide hints on Facebook. I didn’t even realize why I was doing it. I think part of my brain was trying to find a way out of this mess that didn’t end in death.
Also, my eldest son Jason was on Facebook and started asking me how I was doing and other questions I had no answer for. It broke my heart that in a short while he would be receiving a link to my “suicide note”, and he had just talked to me and I said I was fine. I didn’t try to reach out to him: it wasn’t part of the “plan”.
Maybe he could have saved me if I had let him.
The Moment of Truth
I had somehow finished my suicide note and got everything ready to send.
By then it was already 12:30am, so the time had come for action.
I gathered all the old, failed prescription medications and the newest ones as well. I figured I had enough for about three handfuls. The first handful I would chew before swallowing because they were time-release medications, and time was one thing I didn’t have. I got a liter of water, gathered up all the pills and went to sit in the beanbag chair next to my computer. I had everything I needed.
But, I hesitated.
I was scared. Fear was pulsing through my head and I felt weak.
“Am I really going to do this?”
I put everything down on the floor. I was seriously threatening my “plan”, because Flora could wake up at any minute and ruin the whole thing. But, I was frozen, so I took three Rivotril out of the container and swallowed them, hoping for a bit of courage, then hid all the evidence of my “plan”.
I grabbed my pack of cigarettes and went outside and sat on the little laundry stool by the doorway, closed the front door, and started smoking, waiting for the pills to work their magic and help me finish my task.
The Second Moment of Truth
I sat outside at the stool for a half-hour: about five cigarettes. I could feel the medication calming the butterflies in my stomach and my hands stopped shaking.
I grabbed one more cigarette, crushed the remainder of what I had left, and lit it. I got up and walked around the yard, looking at the stars, wondering if anyone would miss me.
The decision had been made, as soon as I finished one last smoke, I would take the pills.
The cigarette didn’t last long enough.
I dropped the butt and crushed it out with my foot. I turned and opened the door, walked in, and locked the door and deadbolt behind me.
LOL. Deadbolt. What a coincidence.
The voices took their opportunity to take one last jab at me.
I walked straight for the fridge, grabbed the pills from the top where I had hid them earlier and poured the first handful. Without hesitation, I shoveled the pills in my mouth and started chewing. It was bitter-tasting and my mouth dried out immediately. I drank a little water and kept chewing until it was a paste. Then I put the bottle to my lips and washed the paste down my throat.
No turning back now.
I swallowed the other two handfuls of pills with little effort.
(NOTE: Taking a break here. It has all come back to me and I feel like I am back there on that night. I am feeling all those same emotions and I can even taste the pills. I want to vomit.)
Finally, I Was a Success at Something: My “Death”
A certain calm and quiet settled over me.
Had I really just done it? I had!
I took a few more mouthfuls of water and went to sit in the beanbag. I grabbed the computer and checked to make sure everything was ready to go when I started to feel the effects of the medications.
I took one last picture of myself and added it to my suicide note.
I went to Twitter and started tweeting messages about my success and counting down the minutes. No one on Twitter said anything about my messages or replied in any way so I set the laptop aside and closed my eyes and took a few deep breaths.
Ten minutes passed and I hadn’t felt anything from the pills yet, but I was breathing heavier and starting to sweat.
Twenty minutes passed and I still felt nothing. I hoped Flora wouldn’t walk down the stairs and ask what I was doing. I don’t think I could have answered. I tweeted a few more messages. Nobody was there.
At thirty minutes I finally started feeling the effects. My legs were weakening and I was sweating profusely. My head was getting very light and my eyes were drying out. I had a feeling like something heavy was on my chest.
I started to panic, but I took a few more breaths and was calm again.
It was time.
I grabbed my computer and hit “publish”. A message came up that my post had been published. I went to Reddit and posted my message. The last step was Facebook, where I hit “post” and my message showed on my timeline.
Everything I had to do was done: except die.
The meds were taking control of my body. I was really sweating and I started to feel nauseous. I was breathing heavily and I couldn’t seem to control my hands anymore. I put the laptop on my desk and tried to turn the dial on the fan higher. When I sat up I became very dizzy. I took a minute and fixed the fan and the cool air dried the sweat from my face.
My stomach was turning and I finally felt the vomit rise in my throat. I tried to force it back down, because I didn’t want to waste any of the precious medicine I swallowed, gagged and with no warning, shit my pants.
This wasn’t part of the “plan”. For some reason, having someone find me with shit in my pants was horrific to me, so I regained my composure and stood up. I swayed and my knees buckled but I stayed standing. Now all I had to do is make it up the stairs.
The stairs never looked this tall and long before. I grabbed the rail and pulled myself up, one step at a time. The dizziness was blurring my vision, and I still felt like spewing from both ends, but I made it up and into the bathroom. I cleaned myself up somehow and finished emptying my bowels.
Now, I had to make it back downstairs.
I blew a kiss and waved goodbye at the bedroom door, slowly and quietly going down the stairs. My vision had almost turned all-black now, but I could feel the stairs with my feet.
I knew I didn’t have much time.
I somehow manage to get back in the beanbag and closed my eyes and gave in to the blackness.
I felt like I was falling. Images were running through my head and I tried to grasp at them with my mind, but they drifted away. I could hear Facebook chiming again and again, but I was beyond the point where I could have done anything about it.
I was really feeling in distress now. My breathing was labored and I felt like I was spinning. I wished I could just fade away and not feel this part, but I somehow held on to consciousness.
In my mind I saw my dead brother, Lee, and he was looking at me disapprovingly and shaking his head.
I don’t remember anything after that.
I’m Awake. Wait. Oh Shit I’m Awake!
I realized I could see light through my closed eyelids. I felt a sharp pain at the middle of my chest and someone was calling my name.
(Note: I don’t remember much about this part. What I remember, and what Flora has told me happened, follows.)
The sharp pain in my chest was Flora giving me a sternum rub. She was yelling my name, so I opened my eyes a bit and looked at her. I wondered why she looked so worried. She was telling me to wake up, and asking what was wrong with me.
Then I remembered: I was supposed to be dead.
I immediately felt a very strong emotion: anger.
I was supposed to die! This was not the plan!
I opened my mouth the best I could and told Flora what I had done, but she looked like she didn’t understand me. She asked me if I needed the ambulance. I said no, I want to die!
I lost consciousness again.
I woke and someone was slapping my face and calling my name.
I was being carried somewhere wrapped in a blanket. I told them not to drop me.
I could hear a siren and could tell we were moving very fast. I was buffeted back and forth every time the ambulance hit a bump, or the driver swerved. I looked up and saw Flora looking back at me.
It was very cold in this room. A lot of people were running around doing medical-type things to me. A Doctor-looking woman was talking to me, but I couldn’t understand her.
Then, everything felt quiet. Maybe I finally died?
Aftermath: Things Only Get Uglier
I woke up in a darkened room. There were bars on the windows. I knew I wasn’t dead. I was very much alive and in a mental hospital. They all look the same to me.
I felt sharp pain in my face and realized someone was pushing a plastic tube up my nose. Damn, that hurts! Feels like a big wad of boogers are stuck in the back of my throat. I open my mouth to tell someone that it hurts, but I can’t talk. People in white uniforms are standing all around me. Flora was there too.
Now they are putting black stuff in the tube and I can feel it trickle down my throat. I gag and taste the charcoal, then swallow again. Shit, that tube really hurts! They finish and Flora sits on the bed beside me.
I fall asleep again.
When I wake I realize two things. One: I have to pee really bad. Two: I just shit myself again. I open my eyes and Flora is there with a Nurse. I open my mouth to tell them I have shat myself and all I can manage to croak is “POOP”.
Yep, they figured it out. The nurse puts a small plastic bedpan under me and I fill it up, then I choke out the word, “PEE”. Flora holds up a small urinal. I try to tell them I could fill up two of those little urinals, but all that comes out is angry babbling. I try to sit up to find a proper toilet, but dizziness takes over and I fall back in bed.
I try to pee in the small container, but no matter how bad I have to go, it won’t come out. I try for a long time and finally manage to fill it up and spill pee on the bed. I still have a full bladder, but when the nurse comes back with the now-empty container, I can’t pee again.
I try to turn on my side so she can pull out the bed pan, and I bump my IV and pain shoots down my arm. She starts to gather the sheet to pull it out and I look down and see black shit everywhere.
This is my worst nightmare.
We somehow manage to get all cleaned up and they ask if I want to eat. I say “No” and fall asleep.
I wake up to three nurses yelling, “Sir. Sir. Sit up! Sir!” They are very loud and I can hear the condescension in their voices. I sit up with their help and they start to ask me many, many questions. I am very confused and my speech is very slurred, which makes them all treat me more like a child and talk down to me.
I am already angry, and I have to pee again.
I ask if I can use the CR (Comfort Room = Filipino Bathroom) and they hold up a bedpan and urinal again. There is no way I am trying to use them again and they suggest I can put on a diaper with a little smile. I try to tell them I can walk over to the CR use it and be done in five minutes, but they shake their heads no, so I tell them to give me the diaper just because I want to see the shock in their eyes when they realize I am seriously going to use a diaper.
After wedging my 200 pound frame into the diaper, I think I may die from embarrassment. Flora is laughing, which makes me laugh too and a little shit comes out. But, I realize there is no way I am going to use that diaper and make someone clean me after I use it.
Can my situation get any worse?
I just decided to hold it as long as I could, then ask again later for use of the CR.
I had been there two days already. Flora had to tell me, I would never have figured I’d been there that long. My speech was still slurred and I was still a little woozy, but I was sure I could get up.
They brought me some cold food and I ate it mechanically, not even tasting it. After I ate, I asked about the CR again and they said it would be okay. I finally got to empty my body out and it felt very good. My legs were very weak, but I walked.
I was still alive.
The next five days was a boring routine of eating cold food and sleeping in my cold room with four other patients. No therapy, just a five-minute a day visit from my Doctor, and the inevitable rounds of medication. I got the tube out of my nose at three days and the IV out at five days. At seven days I left, only after paying my huge hospital bill. They won’t let you leave if you don’t pay every Peso.
After the Aftermath: What I’m Doing Now
How do I feel now?
Well, I am broke. My medication is very expensive and I can’t afford to buy any more. It’s not helping anyway. I feel the same as I felt before I tried to kill myself, except I am no longer suicidal. Add to that the withdrawals from my old medications and you have the hell I am living now.
The stay in the hospital was a waste of time and money, but I did feel something new today: I felt a little bit of hope to go with the shame of putting my whole family, and myself, through the worst time in my life..
At least I can write.