TRIGGER WARNING!! This Post Describes a Suicide Attempt in Graphic Detail!!
by Andrea Watson | January 7, 2021
If you read my blog then you know I have a mental illness. My twenties were the roughest part of my life. I went through a divorce, losing my children, psychosis, giving up babies for adoption, and the emergence of a serious mental illness. It was hell. I attempted suicide several times. This is the story of the last time I ever tried to kill myself, and the road I had to take to come back from it. This is not a cry for help. This is not a plea for sympathy. This is not an attempt to seek recognition or attention of any kind other than to move the reader into an awareness of what types of things might go through the mind of a suicidal individual. It is an attempt to connect with those who suffer, and hopefully guide them away from the edge. This is not my normal sort of blog post. This is a stand-alone work that speaks for itself. It does not represent who I am or where I’m at today, only what I have endured in the past-truly a different life. I have moved on.
The earth was warm under my bare feet and legs. Sitting behind the annex in the back yard, nobody could see me, and I was trying to enjoy the time away from my girlfriend. Bottles of pills were lined up in front of me, along with a bottle of water. I had been fighting with Vicki about taking them, insisting that the choices I had were to take 42 pills at once, or none at all. I was psychotic. It was bad. I had been cutting myself every day. I didn’t have a single piece of clothing without blood on it.
I took another hit off the joint. The sun blazed above my head as it can only do in the Arizona desert. It pulsed through me, harboring me, overtaking me. Looking up to the sky, my mind wandered and my eye caught a far-off floating object. It looked like a helium balloon but I could not tell for sure. It sparkled in the sunshine and watching it, my mind kind of fell through a sort of vortex. My consciousness escaped my body through the top of my head and went rushing through the sky and into space. It kept going, through stars and nebulae and the fabric of time. Everything was a blur. Then I came to a sudden halt. I was hovering, suspended in nothing, and in front of me, there was a gigantic, golden, double door. I was in awe, wondering what was on the other side Then the door began to open, and as it did, my dead mother stepped through it and came toward me. She opened her arms and I fell into them. Then she whispered in my ear, “It’s time”.
I fell back to earth into my body and with a jolt came out of the slumped cross-legged position I had been sitting in. The joint had gone out. I flicked it away. With a final look around the barren yard and a business-like affect, I firmly opened all of the pill bottles and took every single one. Then with a shard of broken glass, I cut into my wrist, deep. Blood poured out over my thighs and I felt a rush of release. I was letting go of the pain, the loss seeping out of me like the blood out of my veins.
Out of nowhere, a bolt of fear ran through me, and the thought “I made a mistake, I have to survive!” crashed into my brain like a wrecking ball through mortar and I stood up shakily. Running my hands along the walls of the annex and the main house, blood trailing my movements along the siding, I walked toward the road. Vicki was gone but she was coming back. I staggered down the street toward the highway, in the direction I knew she would be coming from. The unforgiving sun beating down on me, I followed the glittering trail of broken glass and shiny rocks in a sort of calm panic. The houses passed by me as if I was not the one moving, but rather the world was moving around me.
I saw her Cadillac ease around the bend near the bottom of the road. I raised my gory arm to wave her down and the car slowed as it approached me. I saw her face before she stopped. She looked horrified. She commanded me into the car and I complied. I remember vomiting on the way to the hospital or at least trying to. By the time we got there, the bottle of Seroquel I had taken was already taking action. I weaved back and forth as I stumbled through the whooshing doors of the emergency room. There were two nurses at the desk. They looked at me strangely and asked why I was there. Darkness took me at last and it was over. I almost felt the pain in my head as it cracked against the concrete floor.
Thunder. A noise like I had never heard before. A helicopter. Only somehow, it was around me. Surrounding me. The propellers beating their rhythm inside of my brain, relentless. A hand came swooping at my face out of nowhere and hit me hard enough to turn my head around with a crack of my neck. “Stay with us!” a voice yelled out of the darkness. Everything was tinted red. I fell back into oblivion.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. My arms were bound by some contraption I could not see. I could not see hardly anything; everything was a blur of garish yellow and blue light. I was aware that there was a tube down my throat and there was air flowing through it. Nurses came into the room then, rushing at me with hands outstretched, holding my head down and pulling the tube out of my throat. Then they unbound my hands and began talking at me. They were asking questions I could not answer. I passed out again into blackness, asleep-but not for good.
I don’t remember anything about the hospitalization except I counted seven stiff, black stitches in my wrist and there was a therapy dog that came in to visit the patients of the psych ward. I got to pet her, and somebody took a photograph of me doing this. When they released me, Vicki was magically there and I wore her red bandanna on the way home through Phoenix and up into the mountains, through Superior, and into Miami. I broke my big toe as I stepped up onto the curb in front of the house. The family welcomed me back warmly, but tentatively. As if I was some sort of mesmerizing time bomb. The next morning I drank my coffee on the rear side of the porch. Looking up, I saw the trail of blood running along the walls of the annex, the garage, the main house, and the cars in the driveway. Some of it stayed for a long time after that.
I tried. I did. I spoke, but I was slow. I slurred my words, I stumbled over my thoughts. I looked in the mirror and could not recognize my own face. I was a stranger to life. It was awkward and difficult. It felt like a big rubber suit that covered me from head to toe and I had to run a marathon in it. I met with friends and they didn’t know what to say so we sat in silence, their support surrounding me but not penetrating. I saw my parents once and tried to explain that the face in the mirror was not mine, but some stranger. They sympathized, but I was still lost.
As one might expect, a few years of intense psychotherapy and medication management followed this episode. I had two days per week that I was free from services and could relax. Every other day was mental health work. The different medications they tried had me on a rollercoaster of brain chemicals. The therapist annoyed me and worse, pissed me off. Things relaxed a bit after a good amount of time had passed. I slowly came back to myself, but it was never the self I had left that day behind the annex. It was severely altered; shifted into a different dimension or something. I’m still there, years later. I have never attempted suicide since then, and my promise to myself is that I never will again, and I believe it.
This post has been difficult to write, and I am glad it’s over. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 and get the help that you need before it is too late.