Monday, August 3, 2009

Something Rolling Around

I have had something rolling around my head for the past couple of months. I don't know why this has been on my mind for so long but I do think God works in mysterious ways.

This latest thing that has been rolling around my brain is very hard for me to talk about. It was not the finest moment in my life. But I need to get it out, expose it to the light.

When I was a teenager, I went through a lot of painful things. Some of which I have talked about. Some of which I still need to talk about. But anyway, these painful things led me down a very dark road.

I attempted suicide. Twice.

In hindsight, the second time was more of a cry for help.

But the first time wasn't. I truly wanted to die. I thought the world would be a better place without me. That everyone that had any contact with me would be better off if I was not around.

It was two weeks before I was scheduled to graduate from high school. I was angry and in so much pain. Pain that I had no idea how to deal with. And then I received a letter, one sent by mistake (which I found out later). One telling me that I had not met the requirements for graduation.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I couldn't face any more pain. I was done.

I went home and found every bottle of prescription drugs that I could. I bought a couple of bottles of sleeping pills. I bought a bottle of George Dickel. I went to Sonic and bought a large Sun-Drop to mix my liquor in.

Then I went to the school parking lot. I rolled a joint and smoked it. Mixed a drink. And then I took handful after handful after handful of pills. It took several minutes to take them all. To this day, I cannot take more than one pill at a time. My body won't let me.

I remember crying uncontrollably. I remember my hands shaking as I held the pills. I remember the taste of the George Dickel in my drink. I remember Pride by U2 was on the radio.

It was about 4:30 in the afternoon on a Friday.

Within about 30 minutes, I blacked out. I don't remember anything until I woke up in the hospital the next day. I have an ex-boyfriend to thank for my life.

Upon waking, I saw my Dad by the bed. He looked tired.

When I realized where I was, my warped mind had one thought before I turned over and let my brain go back into the fog. That thought? Damn, I am such a failure that I even fail at suicide.

Suicide is often seen as selfish or cowardly. I did not think I was being selfish. I honestly thought I was doing everyone a favor. Was I cowardly? Maybe but I didn't know how to deal with the things that were going on in my life. And sadly, the mental health profession was exactly any help.

The psychiatrist that I saw afterward would ask me (repeatedly) if I heard voices. And then he would lean back in his chair, put his finger to his lips as he if were thinking, and say "Hmmmmm". He wasn't any help. Scary thing is - he is still practicing.

I wasn't schizophrenic. I didn't have a psychotic break. I was a kid that had been through hell. One that was filled with anger (some justified, some not) and tired of the pain.

One common thing that people say after a loved one attempts suicide - Why didn't I know? Why didn't I see the signs?

In my case, no one knew how close to the bottom I was. I was (and still am) very good at hiding my emotions. Everyone knew that I was a troubled teen but no one knew the depths of those troubles.

And even now, it is hard to talk about even though talk would help me and would possibly help others. It is hard. I feel ashamed. But I need to talk about it. And if any of you need to talk, I am willing.


Living on the Spit said...

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this means the world to me and I am just so in awe of you.

There is a wonderful story in you.

Grandma J said...

You are a very courageous woman. I hope you realize just how worthy you are, and how much you mean to the many people who love you.

When I get down in the dumps, and believe is pretty dark and lonely, I physically lay my burden at the foot of His Cross. That's what He's there for. He never leaves us. I'm not overly religeous, but I know He loves us enough to die for us.


Busy Bee Suz said...

This makes me so sad and then happy also that you survived this. You are a wonderful person who has much to offer this world, you are light, joyful and funny as heck. I, as well as many others are so happy that you are here and you are 'worthy' of living a great life.
Don't hide those emotions. Let them is a good thing.
I hope getting this off your chest is freeing.

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

Do you have any idea how STRONG you are? it is SO important to tell stories like this.

I think the things we talk about the least are the things we should talk about more. I fully admit, it's not always comfortable but it's SO important if for no other reason than to know you're not alone and to help others feel less alone as well.

I think we shy away from anger, afraid it will swallow us up and instead never learn how do deal with it and work through it. We turn it in on ourselves. We will all feel a range of emotions, even discomfort. But we will also feel joy, elation, happiness. No one gets only happiness. No one gets only pain. But it sure can feel that way sometimes.

I applaud you for honoring yourself and opening up to us, you are one amazing lady.


Anonymous said...

this can't have been easy to write but Im glad you did. Ive lost two cousins and a good friend to suicide, and always think to myself "If they had just held on another day, another week...they would have known everything would be ok."

Lisa said...

You are here for a reason. From all your posts, you seem to be celebrating your life. :-)

Caution Flag said...

I've spent many years being very angry with a parent who has never been able/willing to find appropriate help. Some of that is incompetent medical professionals and some is her own embarrassment of the social stigma against depression. I can't blog about any of it because she reads my blog, so thanks for writing about it and giving me a different perspective.

kristi said...

Thank you for the honesty. I am not sure if you read my Living in Tx blog but if you did, it has been deleted. If you would like to read my new one, e mail me so I can add you. I need your e mail in order to do that!

Linda said...

I'm sure this posting took a lot of courage. I haven't personally experienced depression so bad that I wanted to take my life, so I can't really identify with these feelings, but I want you to know, we have all seen a very strong person in you. Always remember that you have friends, and as Grandma J says, our Lord is always with us.

Blessings to you, IW!

Wend's Place said...

Anyone would feel suicidal at the thought of failing to graduate after putting years of hardwork in. What is normal after all? You have a right to your feelings like we all do. Sharing this with us helps others in a similar situation put life into perspective. It is a journey with lots of adventures and it is the way we respond to those adventures that helps us to be healthy and happy. Thank you

imom said...

I know this was hard to post, but I'm glad you did... It gives me the opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and sincerity.

We've all been through tough times at all different levels and it really helps to know we are not alone!

big hair envy said...

It must have been terribly difficult for you to post this. It's SO unfortunate that you were not able to see a competent, compassionate psychiatrist. They ARE out there....I was an office manager for one many years ago. Please know that I am always here if you need a shoulder or an ear:)


Oh, WOW! Word Verification: tomend
To Mend...Indeed!

Sharon Nee Goodman said...

You may (or may not) remember me, but I grew up two houses down from you on the corner... my parents still live in the same house. My younger sister and your sister were childhood friends and I'm sure your parents just cringed when she showed up as she ended up having stitches twice in one week from falling on your back patio!

I found your blog a couple of months ago and have made it point to check back frequently to see how you and those in your life are doing. Your Dad hasn't changed a bit and I would recognize him anywhere! I also remember him in the front yard in his white T-shirt raking, mowing and taking care of the lawn! I also loved your blogs on the Grand Canyon and have since been there myself! Words just don't do it justice!

I remember the cute, serious little girl that you were and (from reading your blog) you have grown to be an intelligent and hysterically funny woman! I admire your ability to say exactly what you want in a way that captures the humor, the satire and the endless range of human emotions as we all make our way thru life.

I wouldn't have left any comments on your blog, but this particular blog touched me in a very special way. The honestly of your writing and the strength to write about suicide is nothing short of awesome and I for one, am glad that you failed at it... for you certainly have more stories and adventures to tell us and more photographs to share! Thank you for taking the time to include us in your life and I look forward to many, many more blogs from you!

Sharon Nee Goodman
Corona, CA

Travel Girl said...

I wish I knew just the right thing to say. I know one thing for are a fighter.

Desert Survivor said...

I am so glad you are here today! You are such an exceptional person, and you are amazingly strong. You've gone through so much more than most people, and that makes you able to understand so many more people. You can really celebrate yourself--you are worth it!

jay said...

That was a very courageous post, and I'm humbled by the fact that even though you are still struggling to deal with this yourself, you are reaching out to help others too.

Yes, I used to be of the 'suicide is so selfish' school, but I see now that it's not that at all, it's just that some people get overwhelmed and simply cannot cope. Do we fail them? Only if they let us see their pain, or ask for help and we do nothing. Do they fail us? No.

We have no right to expect anything at all from our children. They don't ask to be born. We have a duty to bring them up as well as we know how, but they owe us nothing. I tell you this, because while I don't know anything about your parents, I do know that some are manipulative and put a lot of pressure on their kids, then blame them when they fail to live up to expectations. If you or anyone else reading this feels obligation to their parents, well, shuffle it off. You don't need to carry their burden as well as your own.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Woody, You are so brave to share this story. Do you realize that you NOW can talk to other teens about suicide--and you can help them (since you've been there). Have you thought about offering your services to some of the area schools??? Teen have EVEN more stress and pressure on them now than when you graduated. You could be a HUGE help. Think about it.

My husband's youngest brother committed suicide when he was a teen. The family never knew why. So SAD!

Hugs and LOTS of love,