What’s life really like after a suicide attempt?
People tend to think: “It’s all over now.” “She didn’t die so back to normal.” “Up her medication and it will all be fine!”
Seriously, you have no idea how wrong this is.
I have made three, what I call, “serious” suicide attempts. There have been others, but not as serious. After each one I felt different.
After the first attempt I was left feeling really angry! Why was I still here? I shouldn’t be!
I was furious.
In all honesty, I don’t remember much after my first attempt. It was a blur of policemen and women. Ambulance staff. My mom and being in hospital. I remember being wheeled from corridor to corridor then eventually into a room.
I was strapped to monitors and went through blood tests as they attempted to reverse the damage I had done.
It’s a blur. Through all the worried faces and serious questions all I kept thinking was, why am I still here? Why did I “fail?” I won’t fail next time!
Another thing I must mention is how the “professionals” really did not do enough for people in hospitals who are struggling with mental health issues. All that I had from these “professionals” before I left the hospital was a consultant doctor asking me, “Why did you take the pills?” and, “If we let you go home do you promise not to do this again?”
I mean, seriously?
So of course I replied I would never do this again — I even promised. But that was lie. I just waited for the dust to settle and tried again.
I always had an overwhelming feeling I shouldn’t be alive. That people would be better off without me. I had an answer for everything and when I set my mind to something — I do it!
Life after a suicide attempt.
Needless to say I did try again. But “unfortunately” I did not die. I passed out and only remember being woken by a lady in the ambulance. I only remember things in the same blurry way I experienced it before. The same worried faces, serious questions, threats of a damaged liver and my promise of, “Of course I won’t do it again.” When in reality, I was so pissed off I hadn’t died yet again.
I was again physically given the all clear, but no one really paid close enough attention to my mind! As long as my liver was working then I could go home.
I was completely and utterly exhausted. My mind continued to torture me with what a failure I was and I made myself a promise I would not fail again!
I do remember this time getting back to “normal” and the routine of life much faster. But even though I appeared physically OK, I was just floating through life in a haze. Feeling everyone’s eyes watching me. Judging me.
My third attempt, also my most serious attempt, changed my life forever.
On this occasion it had been many months since my last attempt, almost a complete year. I had spent those months going through the motions, attending appointments, seeing my psychiatrist. I was saying the right things. Smiling when I needed to. Doing what was expected but still desperately unhappy.
I secretly planned and attempted to take my own life.
Again I survived.
I remember being assisted by an ambulance worker into the hospital toilet as I had been fitting and convulsing so severely I had wet myself.
The next thing I remember is my name being called over and over and the face of a nurse hanging over me. My mom and other family members surrounding my hospital bed. Again we went through the usual blood tests, put on a drip and questions about what I had taken and why.
Although that part remained the same I actually felt very differently.
I still felt absolutely exhausted and numb, but I almost felt like this is it. I can’t live like this anymore.
It was then I was told I was in much more of a serious situation than I realized.
I had damaged my liver. Damaged to the point that if I did this again, I would almost certainly be on the liver transplant list. And much more seriously, the consultant announced to me that the majority of people on these lists die waiting for a liver.
But that was what I wanted, wasn’t it?
Somehow my mind had been flipped upside down.
I am very much a believer that “everything happens for a reason.” And to me, it was like I just wasn’t meant to die.
The last three attempts on my life were very serious, and yet I am still here. The hospital nurses and doctor’s even told me how very lucky I was. Really, I shouldn’t be here is what they told me. So I really felt this was just not my time. It was light bulb moment.
I wanted to be alive.
I wanted to see my children. I wanted to be better.
I never wanted to be in this situation again.
This has changed my life forever.
On each attempt I was completely prepared for the outcome. I knew what I was doing. But what I wasn’t prepared for was surviving.
I am now a different person.
I do still have dark moments occasionally, but I would never want to go through that again.
My attempts on my life were not a cry for help or to stop the unbearable pain that many people with depression live with, but I truly wanted to die and I felt it would be the best for everyone around me. My mind made me believe that.
These times have been the hardest thing my family and I have been through and it certainly not the “easy way out” as so many people think.
Please take care of yourselves and others.
Never assume all is well. Ask, ask and ask again.
Remember you are important and you are wanted!