…I am no mental health expert, but what I can do is share my experiences with all of you in hopes to help those battling mental illness feel even just a little less alone.
I will never forget the day of my suicide attempt. It was cold, like really cold, and it was snowing. A lot. I was (obviously) not in the right state of mind, and I lashed out at those I loved the most. I was in so much pain, and I didn’t know how to process that pain. So I lashed out. I may not remember exactly what I said, but I remember storming out of my mother’s house, screaming that she’ll never see me again and that would be that. Then I jumped into my car and left. It was really early in the morning, and the roads were empty thanks to that fact, and the snow. It was really coming down. I went and parked in a parking lot. I was so angry and hurt. My mind was racing and I couldn’t get it to slow down no matter what I did. I cried and I cried until finally the tears stopped, and it was almost like I stopped feeling anything at all. It was in that exact moment that I made the decision to take my life. I calmly started my car, made the turn out of the parking lot and sped my car up…my eyes never leaving the pole directly in front of me. I didn’t blink until my head smacked off of the steering wheel from the impact of my car hitting the pole. Next thing I remember is the firemen pulling me out of the car. I don’t even remember the ambulance ride, but I remember thinking to myself,
“…you couldn’t even do THAT right.”
I felt defeated.
After the first 72 hours in the hospital, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward for (at least) 30 days to get the help I so desperately needed. I was at my rock bottom, and I finally collapsed and accepted that fact. My white flag was up and as weak and fragile as I was, I was waving that flag feverishly. I needed help. I couldn’t go on living the way I (barely) was, and on top of that – I couldn’t get better without some help. This was it – my utter rock bottom…now, there was nowhere to go but up.
I failed at living, and I failed at dying. I had lost all hope and will to go on. I was lead from the emergency room to the psychiatric ward by a nurse that I don’t ever remember making eye contact with. The feeling of shame was too much to bear. Sitting in a room, another nurse began asking questions. Attempting to better understand what help I truly needed, she asked triggering questions. Discussing, even in the briefest of details, the many traumas I had experienced in my life was overwhelming. I stared at my hands as I began listing all that I could remember, thinking to myself, “Will my hands ever stop shaking again?” It’s always difficult discussing trauma, especially when so much of it is still buried, and especially when in such a fragile state. As I continued, I glanced up and saw the nurse writing everything down…by the end, she was flipping through multiple pages of notes. That couldn’t be true. That couldn’t be my story. Was I really THAT damaged? But, alas – it (I) was.
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It was like peeling an onion…there were so many layers and the more I cut in, the more the tears flowed.