Everyone has a different experience. Mine is not exactly the same as anyone else’s, nor is it exactly different. I’m not a first responder so I didn’t face the same challenges, but I believe we can all learn something from each other. I don’t walk around and tell my story, it’s not a comfortable topic for people. I’m not ashamed, it’s part of who I am, I know when to talk about it and when I shouldn’t.
Oftentimes, families find out I’ve attempted suicide three times in a short period of time. They ask me about it. They ask me what their loved one was thinking at that moment. I can’t tell them; I can only tell them what I was going through. That is why I am sharing this, to give those of you who lost your loved one a little perspective. While it won’t answer all your questions, maybe it will answer some. For those of you who are where I have been, perhaps it will let you know that you are understood by many. You are not alone. You can learn to live again.
The things you have heard, been asked, and are now asking yourselves, have been heard and asked millions of times. All I can tell you is what I would have said had I been able to respond.
I don’t lack the courage to stay alive, I simply don’t know how to.
She tried to take the easy way out.
I’m scared. Scared that this is going to fail, that my mind will be trapped in a non-functioning body, or that people will hate me more. I am scared of staying alive because of how badly I feel right now. I am scared of death. No matter what happens, it’s not going to be easy.
Don’t tell anyone outside this family, this is no one’s business.
Are you ashamed of me needing help? How can I heal if I can’t tell anyone? How can I get help if you don’t want people to know? Why won’t you let me get help?
Why didn’t you ask for help?
I didn’t know how . I didn’t want people to think less of me. I was afraid. Mostly, I didn’t know how.
If she really wanted to be dead, she would be.
I tried. Three times in six months would indicate that I tried. I had even “escaped” from an inpatient facility to try again. By the third time, I knew what to do. I had been asked what I took, how many and if I mixed them with other specific drugs. By the third time, thanks to the questions asked of me, I should have been dead. Instead, I was alive in the ICU.
Why would someone so pretty try to kill themselves?
Is that all you, see?
She has everything going for her.
What I have and what I feel are two different things. What I need is help getting my head straight, nothing I have now can do that for me.
Doesn’t she know how much we love her?
No, I don’t. I can only hear the negative things I am telling myself, I’m not worthy of help. It’s really horrible inside my head.
Doesn’t she care about what is going to happen to her family?
They are going to be better off! They are not going to have to worry any more. They are not going to have to be ashamed anymore. I think this is for the best for everyone. But honestly, I’m not always thinking of them. I am thinking about how much this hurts and how I want to go away.
You were only doing this for attention.
Yes, you are right. I was doing it for attention. I was hoping someone would see how much pain I was in and help me. I was hoping that if I died, someone would see how much pain I was in and help someone else. So yes, I was doing this for attention.
Is she going to attempt suicide again?
I’m trying really hard not to. I recognize that trap door in my mind and when I am standing at its edge. I know how to step back. It’s still really uncomfortable, but I know how to ask for help. I know how to think past that moment of desperation.
How is she going to get her life back and recover from this?
A little at a time. With help. With understanding. By believing the people who say they love me. By accepting that being well mentally is hard work but I think I can do it. I have to try.