Suicide Shatters Lives!
Suicide Shatters Lives!
I had never been in a room as dark, silent, and lonely, as my living room was on that horrifying night! The only sound I heard was that of my heart pounding in my chest...the slow, but steadily rising panic was taking over. Nothing in my head seemed familiar anymore. That panic, which usually stemmed from fear, was enveloping me, paralyzing me (both physically and emotionally) for no logical reason...it just was!
I sat there, on the edge of my couch, just staring at silhouettes of my furniture...it all looked so strange, like I'd never seen it before. I couldn't relax, but couldn't move either. My mind was racing, yet, to this day, I can't for the life of me remember what I was thinking just before the darkness.
I do remember forcing myself to get up though, to go check on the kids. I had to make sure they were alright. Then, as I closed my son's bedroom door, the tears started flowing...the flood gates had opened again. The pain in my chest, and in my heart, was beyond anything I had ever felt. The grief was so strong that I was gasping for air every chance I could get.
It had been days since I last slept...three to be exact. I had spent three entire days hiding in my house with all my curtains drawn, and three long, lonely, nights on my couch in the dark, by myself...just sitting in my head! I know the kids had been around, but I don't remember having any interaction with them. My husband had been doing his best to accommodate me. He had mastered the "walking on eggshells" around me, and I'm pretty sure he had those poor children doing the same thing, including the baby. I don't remember hearing a peep out of anyone!
I didn't want to wake the kids, so I picked up the bottle of wine that had been sitting at my feet, and moved to the kitchen...more strange silhouettes, more eerie silence! I remember trying to make some sense out of my thoughts, but there were too many of them, and they were racing through my head too quickly...nothing was registering, nothing but a paralyzing fear. A feeling of total, and complete, despair!
The doctors had been working with me for months, trying to get my anxiety, panic, or depression, under control! Not one of them could tell me which disorder was taking over, and to me...they were interchangeable...they were all fear, and they were all consuming. I had two different doctors working with me, both with their own ideas of which combination of medications I should be taking. Therefore, I had an excessive amount of prescribed (controlled substance) medications at my disposal.
Up until that night, I had abstained from any alcoholic beverages for a couple of months. Even though I was an alcoholic, I was willing to try anything to regain control of my mind again! But nothing was working, and things had come to a head. So there I was, in a pitch black kitchen, opening my third bottle of wine...staring at a half a dozen vials of pills.
I managed to find a notepad, without turning any lights on, and I remember writing something on that pad. I don't know what I wrote, and I'm not sure to whom I addressed it, but there was a note. Then I sat and cried through a couple more glasses of wine. All I wanted was for my mind to shut down, to just stop...even if it was just for a minute. Finally I gave up...I couldn't handle the pain anymore. I wanted out of the darkness...I wanted peace!
I sifted through the pill bottles that I had lined up in front of me and grabbed the one that contained the most pills. The medication was called Trazodone. One doctor had prescribed it to me, telling me that I could try taking up to three pills a night (which should be enough to knock out an elephant) and I would be able to sleep. I had tried taking them, exactly as the doctor prescribed...one on the first night (no sleep,) two on the second night (no sleep,) then three pills, about four hours earlier, on that very night...still no sleep!
My glass was empty by now, so I poured the remaining wine in my glass and proceeded to swallow pills. It took my three times, three hands full, to get that many pills down! I sat there in complete silence...then the true fear set in! There was no feeling of relief, there was just more panic...a different kind of panic now!
I don't know what happened, or why it happened the way that it did, but suddenly a moment of sanity set in. The very first thought was "My god, the kids, I can't do this to them!" My thoughts were starting to make sense again...but was it too late? I have more memories of those last few minutes of consciousness than I do from the entire three days prior...in fact it almost seems as if I lost a couple of months.
As I was struggling to get myself upstairs, I kept thinking about the kids. I didn't want them wondering (for the rest of their lives) if I didn't love them enough to stay alive. I couldn't bare the thought of them thinking they were to blame for my moment of madness. I could visualize three broken hearted children, crying for their mother. So I was fighting, with every fiber of my being, to stay awake. I had to make it to my bedroom and wake up my husband. In those few seconds, which seemed to go on forever, I saw the devastation I was about to cause my entire family...I could literally see the grief in the faces of my husband, my mom, and my grandparents. Those were the last thoughts I had before I shook my husband awake and told him what I had done...then everything went black!
Returning to consciousness was like waking up from a really bad drinking binge. I started to come to very slowly. At first I could only hear muffled voices...echoing voices! The voices became louder, as did the machines and beeping I was hearing. Everyone was talking very rapidly, they all seemed to have a sense of urgency. Then I felt the first wave of nausea, and my eyes popped open just in time to see myself vomit black all over the place. It all became very clear...I knew where I was, and I knew what I had done!
I spent the next couple of weeks in the hospital, in intense therapy. I didn't really feel alive, in fact, I was completely numb. I'm guessing that, at that point, I was overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment. My heart would lift every time my husband brought the kids in, but other than that, there was nothing. And, although the fear and anxiety had subsided, there were definitely no inner feelings of peace.
To even attempt to explain how I got myself to that dark place, I would literally have to write a novel. It was all really just a combination of poor decision making (on my part,) difficult life events (that I hadn't learned how to deal with,) and regular every day lows that I didn't have the right tools to handle back then!
That incident took place almost seventeen years ago, and since then I've still had my share of ups and downs. Some of those (self induced) downs could have easily brought me back to that same dark night, but they didn't...and I'm glad. It took many years of hard work, and patience (something I've always lacked) to get where I am today...but every minute, of every day (be it a good day, or a bad day,) has been worth it...if for no other reason than getting to watch my children grow up and have kids of their own!
I still don't know why I was given that moment of clarity, or why I was spared from destroying so many lives. But I thank God, and whatever power it was that brought me to my senses, that I am still here to enjoy what has turned out to be a wonderful life.
I know, first-hand, how devastating life's events can be. I know how helpless, and hopeless, one can become. But I also know, that if you truly want it (and work at it) you can make your life livable. And maybe, just maybe, you'll find that "Life is Good!" And, no matter how much you are convinced otherwise, there is always someone out there who loves you (who will miss you!)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - With Help Comes Hope
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255): Suicide hotline, 24/7 free and confidential, nationwide network of crisis centers
Addiction, Alcoholism - In The Rooms
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