Suicide

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
A description of my recent suicide attempt. (By Gray)

Submitted: September 08, 2015

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Submitted: September 08, 2015

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The Attempt

I won't say why I tried suicide, but this is the story of my attempt.

What no one knew until I arrived at the hospital was that I'd actually tried to overdose before deciding on cutting. I downed maybe about three-fourths of a bottle of Aspirin, and then, just to be safe, I decided to slit my wrists. When I first saw the blood dripping onto the floor, all the adrenaline seemed to vanish from my body. I felt like I was slowly becoming more empty, like "me" was leaking out of every pore and collecting in a puddle on the floor. By that time I was losing consciousness from the pills and the blood, and I stumbled to the bathroom to throw up. The feeling of emptiness was overwhelming and I just wanted to be gone. I threw up into the toilet and passed out on the bathroom floor. I remember going to this incredibly dark, dizzy place. It felt like a dream where I was spinning the entire time. Although it's difficult to describe, it felt like a mix between water being sucked down a drain and as if someone had a terrifyingly strong grip on my legs and was trying to pull me underwater. The darkness was like nothing I'd experienced before, it seened thousands of times darker than when you close your eyes in a pitch black room. I was there for what felt like days, struggling to dissolve into nothingness. Eventually I lost consciousness completely, in what I thought was going to be the end.

Waking up was one of the hardest things that I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing. I remember it took incredible effort just to lift open my eyelids, and even then only for a couple of seconds at a time, at which point I would recede back into a dreamless dark for an indeterminable amount of time. There was a ringing in my ears and only the loudest noises were heard; nurses half-yelling questions at me, comforting me, or my friend Cam speaking directly into my ear: my world was more ringing and shiftless noises than visual. And the pain; so horrible and blaring that I tried to curl in on myself and strained against the restraints that held me down and prevented me from ripping out the IV and ventilator tubes. Exhaustion washed over me in waves so deep that I was actually glad for the ventilator. Then I blacked out again.

My first coherent thoughts weren't until much later, when I finally had the strength to open my eyes for more than a few seconds. I saw Cam sitting at my bedside (my parents had to work to support my two siblings; they couldn't be there). He was gripping my hand incredibly hard and he looked a mixture of horrified and terribly sad. I was shocked, emotionally numb and raw all at once, in complete emotional and physical pain. The last thing that I had thought I would have to mentally prepare for was waking up. 

I'd texted Cam my Skype username and password and a goodbye earlier that day. On an impulse, he'd concluded that something was up. He sent me a text that said, "Hold on, I'm coming over," and then I downed the pills. Dizziness setting in as they dissolved, I sliced at my breasts, one of the things I hated most in the world. My chest bloodied, I sliced both my wrists, vertically. I felt the contents of my stomach rising. I knelt over the toilet, voming up my guts, and then blacked out. Cam made it to my house to check up on me and found me unconscious on the bathroom floor, my chest and wrists covered in blood, and thrown up water in the toilet (I hadn't waten that day). And that was that; out of the pure, dumb luck that he'd found me in time, I found myself still living and breathing in this world, even though for the next two days after the attempt it would be through a machine. He never asked me why, or demanded how I could do such a thing, and for that I was glad.

Even after I was transferred out of the ICU after two and a half days and allowed myself to be led to the psych ward, I was still shocked, numb, and oddly traumatized more from awakening than the attempt itself. I felt and saw myself trudging about, but I felt strangely detached from my body in spite of the pain.

My kidneys were violently thrashed from the pills, and any sort of pressure upon them caused me to cry out; my arms, chest, and wrists were torn, bruised and painful to fully extend, and they refused to relax. The pain in my neck and back made it difficult to draw breath; my throat was raw and cracked from being stuffed with a tube for so long, and my hamstrings felt as though they felt about half their normal length, so that any sort of stretch brought shooting pain from my toes to the top of my head. But, I thought to myself, I deserved this.

I slept a lot. I felt ashamed and embarrassed. I still felt trapped inside the shell of myself, and I wasn't ready to try my hand at life again.

On the third and (thankfully) final day in psychiatric, I started smiling weakly again. I interacted with the other teenage patients and the nurses. I pretended I was getting better. But inside, I still felt completely dead and devoid of anything but a strong desire to die. When they released me, I sat in my room for the rest of the day, only leaving to use the bathroom. All I did was finish Supernatural season nine (I hardly paid attention to it), Skyped half-heartedly with my friends, and slept. I had from terrible abdominal cramps and vomiting due to side effects from the pills they'd given me to take home. Curled up in my own vomit in a cold bathtub, tears streaming down my face, I suffered from survival.

Now, I still feel too tired to make another attempt on my life, but I know I might again in the future. Too many days pass, too many medications without effect, too many unexplainable emotions to consider. It seems like the merciful, humane thing to do. Sometimes I feel anger at Cam for finding me, but I internalize it, reflect it on myself: it was my failing, not his.

I won't describe the trance-like state that I existed in after the hospital; the post-suicide blues. The confusion and disbelief, the shock and the shame. The physical trauma that was brought on by my failure. And of course, the siren's call of another attempt pulling me forward.
I probably won't try to take my own life again, not after this time. But if I do, I just want people to know how it feels; how someone can be so empty that death seems like the only option. And it's not something that's easy to explain, far from it, actually. But the world is a dark place, and can become so dark for some that they decide to leave it so early.

After

 

Where I live, there's a hospital and a psychiatric hospital a few blocks away from each other. I stayed in the ICU in the regular hospital for two and a half days, and then I was put in the psychiatric hospital. They drove me in an ambulance. I'd tried to fight against the nurses. I didn't want to go, I wanted to stay with my friend, Cam. They had to restrain me to keep me from attacking anyone.

First, they wheeled the gurney with me on it to a room and took my weight, blood pressure, temperature, and then they had to help me take off all my clothes (I was still weak from my recent suicide attempt). Then, they checked my skin for any cuts, burns, etc, and I had to explain how I'd gotten them. They gave me a hospital shirt, hospital pants, and two pairs of socks. I could've brought in other clothes to wear that didn't have zippers, strings, or any writing on it, but I'd just came out of a hospital room, so I didn't have any with me. Then, they showed me to my bedroom, let me say goodbye to Cam, and left. 

Each person was assigned a nurse everyday, and if you got upset or angry, instead of hurting yourself, you were to go talk to your nurse. This is what the schuldule looked like:

8:00 - Wake up
8:15 - Get blood pressure and temperature taken, get medicine
8:30-9- Breakfast
9:15-10- Therapy
10-10:45- "School"
10:45-11- Snack
11-11:45- "School"
11:45-12:30- Therapy
12:30-1- Lunch
1-2- Time in room
2-3- Therapy
3-5- Time in room
5-6-Dinner
6-8- Vistors
8-bed- Time in room

If you didn't attend one of your classes then you had to stay in your room the rest of the day.

I had a roommate (a girl, unfortunately). We were allowed to shut our door, but the nurses checked on us every ten minutes. After meals, they would lock all of our bathrooms for an hour to prevent bulimic patients from throwing up.

They had several seclusion rooms where they put those who are coming down from some sort of emotional outburst. Those kids were restrained, or on some sort of calming drug. A popular warning the kids liked to give was that if you freaked out, the staff would come and shoot you up with a "happy" liquid in your butt cheek or somethung. From what I saw when they opened the door to throw someone inside, those rooms are cold and not homey.

There were three of us in my room. The unit was co-ed, but only girls in girls rooms and boys in boys rooms. I hated that set-up. One of the many reasons why I'd tried to kill myself was because I wasn't born a male. Being put in the girl's ward just made me hate myself even more. It made me want to die even more.

 Around the clock, there were bed checks - every so often, we'd all wake up in the middle of the night to a flashlight being shined in our faces and nurses checking in with us. This happened more frequently in the initial days of being there. If you couldn't sleep, Benadryl was a standing order available for everyone. You weren't really allowed to be alone - you could not for example, shut yourself in the bedroom or bathroom and hide; someone would inevitably check on you. The nurses wanted to know where everyone was and what they doing at all times.

Days were highly structured. Meals, school (school was a joke. Poor education plus distracted minds equals absolutely no learning), and various therapy groups. In my unit at least, we only ever went outside at night, and it was in this tiny fenced in little playground. Bathroom time was strictly monitored, and we were only allowed to bring in certain things with us (again, I came from a hospital room; the only thing I had on me with a pen and notebook that Cam had brought me). 

The whole unit operated on a behavioral point system. You received points for good behavior, the higher number of points you had, and the better privileges you got. If you behaved negatively, you lost privileges. Example of privileges would be like getting to listen to music, or getting to stay up later than everyone else, sit in the common room and play video games or watch TV. Generally, everyone spent all their time in the unit, and the walls can definitely feel like they're closing in on you, even after only one day.

Cam came to visit me two out of the three days I was there. He came the first two days, and on the third day, I was discharged before visiting hours, and he hung out with me in my bedroom after he got home from school.

There's an oddly manic sort of bond that forms with your fellow teen patients. It's a dysfunctional relationship, but everyone usually knew your business because of your time spent together in group therapy, thus we'd look out for each other. If someone was having a bad day, we'd keep them company or try to take your mind off things. Or we'd stick up for them if they got into it with the staff. It's a pretty strange place to be in when you keep in mind what people think of as the "normal" teenage experience, and the typical dynamic between teens. In a normal high school for example, you wouldn't necessarily consider telling other kids your most embarrassing or personal stories. In the unit however, my peers and I saw each other in a very stripped down, raw, emotional way. It was an unusual social experience, and in a way, you do develop relationships with the staff. Often they will joke with you or talk to you like a friend or a friendly relative, but they'd also keep a sense of authority.

It's a strangely isolated culture, the psych unit. Being only thirteen years old and being advised of your legal rights is disorienting. 

There's a sign on a heavy locked door that says HIGH ELOPEMENT RISK, and I remember those words really getting to me. I also remember days arguing with doctors about wanting to leave, and then going to my room to cry about it and seeing that doctor out the window, free and able to roam outside. It was truly upsetting.


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