It’s been over 15 years since I tried to kill myself. The first time was when I was 14. At that point in time I was a depressed kid who didn’t know how to tell people I was depressed because from the outside everything looked fine. I took some pills, waited for them to kick in, and then felt pretty stupid when they didn’t. It landed me in therapy for a while and I was given antidepressants to help me through those emotional teenage years. Then I went on with my life. I went to college, I had a great job at the family business, and life was pretty normal.
It’s the second attempt that stands out in my memory. I was in my early 20’s, making good money, and had lots of friends. Once again, from the outside everything looked pretty damn good. I had no reason to be depressed. But there was this feeling I couldn’t shake. The feeling of “is this all there is to life?”. Work, shop, eat, drink, fuck, repeat. Every day at work was the same, and every weekend was the same. Week in and week out. I felt stuck. Trapped by the life I had created. The problem was, I didn’t realize I was creating everything I was experiencing.
Eventually, I got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore, and the same feelings from years ago crept back in. I wanted out. I wanted off this ride called life. I wanted to check out, go to sleep, and hope that whatever was waiting on the other side of death was more interesting than my current life.
After another night out with friends, I went home and ate a bottle of pain killers. The decision was made at the bar that night. I remember Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here was playing when I decided that I’d give suicide another go that night. I felt relieved. It’d all be over soon. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say it wasn’t a good night. The vodka mixed with the pills didn’t work so well and I ended up puking most of it up. Dammit. The next morning I woke up to my ex-boyfriend knocking on my door (we worked together and he knew something must have been wrong if I didn’t show up for work). When he found out what happened (hard to hide as my pi’s were still covered in my own vomit), he called an ambulance and got me to the hospital.
I later found out I was about 4 hours away from dying. Despite the fact that I’d puked up a lot of the pills, my liver was shot. The doctors told me if my ex hadn’t of found me, I wouldn’t be here. You’d think I’d be grateful. I wasn’t. I was pissed. Like really fucking mad. I don’t care how many failures you go through in life, failing at suicide makes you feel like the biggest fucking loser. Ever.
I was in the hospital for a while as there was still a chance that I wouldn’t make it. I was pissing out chunks of my liver and I was on the list for a transplant. I didn’t want one. I was embarrassed, and felt horrible for taking up a hospital bed. I felt like such a loser. I just. wanted. to. die.
Obviously, things turned around and I got better. Physically it didn’t take me that long to recover. After a few months I was back to normal. Dealing with the guilt and shame of what I’d done? That took years. It’s funny how people treat you after you “pull a stunt” like a suicide attempt. It’s like you’ve done something to intentionally hurt them. It’s pretty fucked up. Little FYI for anyone dealing with someone who’s depressed or suicidal- it’s not about you. Save your “how dare you put us through this” bullshit, because honestly, that’s not what someone needs to hear when they’ve just tried to off themselves. From my own experience, and from what I’ve heard from others who’ve gone through the same, we just want to get on with our lives and forget about the whole thing. By the way, if you’re reading this and you’re having suicidal thoughts, get help-now. If you know someone who’s talking about suicide, or who’s depressed, get them some professional help-now. Suicide is not a fucking cry for attention. It’s dark, it’s ugly, and it’s serious.
Anyway, let’s keep moving forward with my little story…..
Looking back, I realize how important these events were in my life, and now I’m grateful for them. Sure I feel bad for dragging my family and friends through these experiences, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes you don’t realize how good life is until you almost lose yours.
It took years for me to get to the point where I can honestly say I love my life. I still have days where I get pissed off and down in the dumps, but that’s part of being human. The cool thing is, I now know I have the power to change how I’m feeling. I can choose to sit with those emotions like anger and frustration and learn from them. I can ask myself questions about why I’m feeling that way, and then I can fucking change things. Pretty cool.
Over the years I’ve dove head first into spiritual practices, and read a zillion or so (rough estimate) books on personal development that have taught me more about myself than the years I spent in therapy. I learned that no matter how much I drank, how many drugs I did, or how many new outfits I bought, nothing could make me happy if I wasn’t happy with myself. Flaws and all.
I learned that I’m the one creating the world I’m experiencing and that I can choose to create whatever the hell I want.
I came to realize that this life we’ve been given is a gift, and that if we try to check out early, we’ll only be tossed back on this planet to learn the same lessons.
I learned that life is magical. It really is. Every single person, experience, and relationship we have is a teacher and a gift.
I’ve learned the power of choice. That we always have a choice. That we are infinite, spiritual beings and we don’t have to live inside our self-created prisons.
At any point in time, we have the power to break free from whatever situation we don’t want to be in, if we choose to. Whether it’s an addiction to drugs, food, poverty, or shitty relationships, we always have the power to change things.
We are given this ability through our mind and our thoughts. If we want to change our lives, all we have to do is start thinking differently. Thinking better thoughts, asking better questions, and in turn, taking different actions.
It’s easy to look back now and wish that I had of made a different choice the night I tried to kill myself. It’s easy to get stuck feeling guilty for what I did. But if that hadn’t of happened, I wouldn’t have been led down the path I did, and learned the things I needed to. It was part of my journey, and while I’m pretty damn happy those dark days are over, I’m forever grateful for what they taught me. Because of those dark days, I’m able to appreciate the good days even more, and I’ve learned the beautiful power of choice. The power of decisions. We always have the power to choose. We get to choose the thoughts we want to keep in our mind, the food we put in our body, how we spend our time each day, and who we spend it with. Most importantly, we get to choose who we want to be, and what we want to do with our time on this planet.
Life is precious. Life is magical. Life is whatever you decide it will be.