I have never admitted to what I am going to write about, but my time has come. My intent is not to shock you. I hope that with my words there is someone who reads this that will know they can get through today and tomorrow and the next. This is not about strength, it is about endurance. When you really feel like you have nothing left, please know that you do.
It was shortly before I received my chronic illness diagnosis in 2001 that I began trying to destroy myself … alcohol, food, drugs. I didn’t have a job anymore. I did not have a healthy support system. I did not even like myself, let alone love myself. I had no sense of self nor sense of self-respect left. I could not get better, I could not even define what ailment I was suffering with. All I knew was that I was now formally broken. Mind, soul, and body. What was left for me? What could I possibly be good for?
I will admit I was either trying to sleep away the pain or out of my mind on medication… alcohol came later, followed by food or lack of food. I simply wished not to exist. I felt I had my run at the world and somehow I messed that up? I couldn’t even die right! If this was my life now, certainly I should have died in that car accident. One of the responding officers at the accident site told me if our car had stopped three seconds later the Tahoe that crashed into us would’ve come through my door and I would have been killed. What the hell? Yep. Three lousy seconds… three!
So I planned my suicide. (I’m not going to use pretty words.) My then fiancé was getting ready to take his daughter home after our weekend visit. I had planned the entire weekend. We had a great visit! We went out to eat, I had spent extra time with his daughter digging for clams on the beach, we watched funny movies, we all laughed a lot. I was covering my bases, making sure everyone would have good memories of me. As he was getting ready to leave with his daughter the phone rang, and it was my mom. I thought, well, I still have plenty of time because it would take him close to 40 minutes to get her home and get back to our home. So I began chatting with my mom. Happily, I might add, as I wanted her to be at peace when my suicide was completed.
This is how very irrational you are when the plan is made to commit suicide, and only the deed is left to do. There is a lot of preparation. The previous week I had made sure our apartment was spotless, the laundry was done, put away, and I had made a few extra meals for my fiancé so he’d have food for the week after I was dead. I planned where I would die to leave the least amount of mess; the bathtub. I even planned on calling 911 to report my suicide before I did it, making sure I remembered to hang up immediately. I was not getting talked out of my plan! I wanted the paramedics to get to me before my then finance’ returned home. I wanted to spare him from finding my body. I knew where our gun was and how to use it. I had showered the day I planned on killing myself and put on make-up. I was so at peace and utterly giddy that I was finally going to have some control! I – was – in – control.
When my then fiance’ walked in the door, I was still happily chatting with my mom. I was just getting ready to hang up, making sure I told her I loved her. My mood drastically changed. I had screwed up! My perfect plan was ruined! Why had I talked so long? It didn’t feel like 40 minutes? It had been 40 minutes. It had been 40 minutes! My mother had literally, unknowingly, saved my life. I have never told her this story, my intentions are not to. She doesn’t need this kind of memory. This is my memory. Almost my last memory. The pain I would have caused my loved ones shames me to this day. I am ashamed of these dark thoughts that overtook my common sense. So many consider suicide to be the easy way out, but to the person who contemplates it, it seems like the only way out. These irrational thoughts of suicide seem so rational! So unbelievably “right.”
You must always fight! These are the tricks your mind plays on you when you are dealing with severe depression, pain, and chronic illness. That was the first time I had contemplated and planned my suicide. It was not my last time of ever thinking about suicide. Never again did I allow me to ‘plan’ my suicide. I knew that if I began the planning process, the irrational feelings of it being “right” may take over. Suicide is never “right.” You do not get to choose life or death on any given day. I see the terminally ill decide not to go on, I understand that. But when you are not terminally ill, the decision is just not yours to make.
So I began the process of repairing my mind, body, and soul. I now know myself. I now have some respect for self and sense of self-worth. Has this life been worth living? Yes! Yes! Yes! The things I would’ve missed! The life I live now! The purpose I have found! The love I have been given! Yes! Yes! Yes! A thousand times, yes! Life is not fair, and it is not easy. There are good times and bad times to be lived through. To – be – lived – through! Life is all that it is because you are present in it and feel all the emotion that comes with it. Feel your life. Live your life. You will find purpose, and you will love. That is what is “right.”