Darkness and Suicide, some of my experiences
Because of the recent tragedies in the news, and a discussion in church this am, I am writing a bit tonight, on darkness... that can ultimately lead to suicide. This isn’t just two instances this week. This happens daily in the world.
I realize that we are basically heading toward death from the moment we are born. I realize that none of us will live forever, and some live longer than others. We don't know the in's and out's on life and death, but I know that I was helping along my own death in many ways, including my use of alcohol and drugs. It was a slower process. It was like paying rent on death... I was killing myself. I was helping it along. What probably kept me from doing it quite a few times, was that I was afraid I’d go to hell. I didn’t even quite know what that meant, but it kept me from doing it.
In September of 2007, drunk again, I decided to take a bottle of pills. I just was so sick of living, and just didn't know what to do, anymore. I hated myself, I hated my life, and I hated what I had become. A drunk, an addict, who just couldn't take it anymore. I didn't care, that I didn't care. I just couldn't see the light anymore, and just wanted out. I was lonely, and just so tired and frustrated. But after I took those pills and began to drift off, I got scared and made a call to someone, and said what I had done. He asked if I could make myself throw up, and I think I said that I couldn't get up. I couldn't even get up because I was becoming numb. Next thing I knew, I was being put in an ambulance, and I remember someone asking if I needed to be intubated.
That's all I remember until I woke up, to a doctor asking me if I had intended to take my own life. I remember my mom showing up, and I was so angry at her (she had stopped talking to me again). I remember our pastor showing up, but I have no idea what went on with any of them, except with the doc. I could either go to a psychiatric ward willfully, or be forced to go at that point, where it'd be on my medical record. Since I didn't want this on my medical record, I said I'd go.
It was all so scary for me. When I was waiting for my intake when I got there, there was a guy in the waiting room who had slit both of his wrists up his arm, and he made it through. We chatted a bit, even though we weren't supposed to. Then off I went.
They didn't have a bed open on the floor where I normally would have been, so that first night, I was on a floor where the "real crazies" were-- people were screaming, and had workers sitting outside of their rooms (suicide watch). I ended up in tears, and was comforted by a nurse who saw how scared I was. I was transferred to another floor the next day, when a bed opened up. We had a few sessions during my stay, but the whole thing was basically boring, and there really wasn't much to do there, or much available help available. But yet, I related to it all; all those people there. I guess we all had something in common. I did a puzzle with a few people, talked about alcoholism and addiction with a few people that had the same issues. I read books and a Bible a bit. I had no clue what I was reading in the Bible back then, but I tried, and strangely felt comforted in trying to do so. I was out of there in 3.5 days, and vowed to either not do that again, or if I would, I'd do it "right", so I wouldn't end up in a place like that, again.
My mom was furious that when I got out of there, because a doctor prescribed the same pills that I had taken to end my life. I blew it off. After all, I wasn't going to do it again. And I just didn't care.
Just 6 months later, after the St. Patrick's Day parade, I was at another low point. I said goodbye to the dogs (Bella, and Lilah, who was with us at the time). I apologized to them, to God, and cried as I fell asleep. And wouldn't you know, I woke up. I was mad. I was disappointed. Part of me was glad, I guess. I had to try to get ready for work. I couldn't miss anymore work, or even be late, or I'd lose my job. Well, it was already too late, in that it was past my start time when I woke up. I went in to work and was fired. And I drank the whole way home.
I was trapped and in my own prison. I was a mess, in a mess, creating more and more of a mess, and just couldn't see the way out. I was scared to die, but didn't want to live; I didn't know how to live.
It doesn't matter what takes us to that dark place. I was in it quite a long time; long before the drugs and alcohol kicked in. I was born with a hole in my heart that couldn't be filled with anything physical here on this earth. I was depressed, and carried the weight of the world on my shoulders. I was spiritually and mentally sick, big-time, and became such a slave to it.
When I think of all of this, and look back at all that's happened since I decided to get help... I just can't believe all I'd have missed. I would have left Bella, and who knows where she'd be. I just got choked up and am in some tears as I write and think about this. I wouldn't have been able to give her the life she has now, and she'd only know what I was, when I'd have left her. I wouldn't know Facebook (of course... well, let's not go there), I wouldn't know you guys, I wouldn't know Rich and a wonderful relationship, I wouldn't know Love, and I wouldn't know God. I'd have missed out on so much. There's so much good and beauty in the world. I met so many awesome people along the way, and if you told me any of this back then, I wouldn't have believed it, but maybe, just maybe, a small part of me would have wanted to believe you. A glimpse of hope.
I had to reach out. I had to find some light. Actually, the Light was already there, waiting for me to step into it.
People-- there is a way out. Please reach out. You can do it. One call. One word to someone. Don't let this sickness get the best of you.
I still suffer from some things, and life ain't always easy (no one ever said it would be), but I have the tools and means to help with that, now. We are works in progress. I still have my down times and rough times, but I know it'll be ok.
Ironically, Bella just came in to me, as I finished this.
Enjoy your night, and may Peace and Love be with you, always.
Sunrise at Old Orchard Beach in Maine, May 2017. Please contact me here or at firstname.lastname@example.org, for prints or for use of the photo. Feel free to share.