May 17th, 2009 will be a date that I will always remember. It is the day I attempted to end my own life. My suicide attempt had been preceded by several years of severe depression and anxiety. I had experienced months and months of obsessive suicidal thoughts, and I had absolutely no hope. There is no one thing that caused me to attempt to kill myself, yet at the same time there was one thing that was the final straw.
My depression and anxiety had gotten to a point where I was barely functioning. Day in and day out, my thoughts revolved around the same things, how sad I was, that I was worthless, and my own death. I cried everyday, and I wanted to be alone all the time. I was miserable, and I wanted that miserable feeling to end.
Life got worse. My husband lost his job, and we lost our health insurance. I would no longer be able to afford the many medications I was already taking for diabetes, asthma, and restless leg syndrome. I went to a local, free clinic to find out if they could help me. The clinic was able to give me most of my medications, but they did not have the one I needed for restless leg syndrome. I knew what was going to be in store for me. Months and months of barely any sleep, horrible feelings in my legs, and never being able to be comfortable. As far as I was concerned, this was intolerable, and was the final thing that pushed me to the point of no return.
I did not want to commit suicide with my husband or daughter home. It seemed wrong to me. I did not have to wait long until the right opportunity presented itself. On that day, when everything was in place, I implemented the suicide plan that I had created months before.
The first thing I did was give myself a massive dose of insulin. My reason for doing this was quite simple. When you go into insulin shock, there is a period of time when you feel drunk, eventually you sort of go to sleep or pass out. I figured that if I was in that state or even unconscious then I would not feel the effects of the other medications I was going to take.
After the insulin injection, I started taking my other medications, just a few at a time. I did not want to take all of them at once, in one big dose. I was afraid I would vomit them all up if I did. So with a menu of about ten different medications in front of me, I would take three or four from a bottle and then move on to the next one. I kept repeating this process until my brain was too fuzzy to remember what I was doing. At that point, I just started taking whatever I could, not paying attention to how much I was swallowing down
Whenever I have heard suicide talked about or watched something about it on television, the only thing that was brought up was the person’s thoughts and behavior before the suicide attempt and the results of it. No one seems to want to discuss the middle part, the part when you are dying. I was mentally unprepared for that part. It was painful, confusing and messy.
Despite my best efforts, I began to feel nauseous. My body attempted to vomit a few times, but nothing came up. I could barely walk, and think. I lost control of my bowels. I was agitated. I could not sit down, but I could not walk. It was nothing like I had imagined it would be. Instead of peacefully going to sleep, I was feeling everything that my various overdoses were doing to my body.
Some tiny part of me must have wanted to live, because it was that tiny part that propelled me to call for help. My memory starts getting fuzzy at this point, because I was going in and out of consciousness. From what I was told, when the paramedics arrived at my house, they found me face down on the porch. I have a vague memory of waking up in the ambulance once or twice, and when I arrived at the emergency room. Other than that, I have no memory of anything until the next day.
When I woke up, I felt as if I had cobwebs in my head. I was exhausted and wanted to go back to sleep. It was then that I realized that I was tethered to the bed and there was a guard in my room. My nurse removed the tethers and I went back to sleep and slept for most of the day. It was not until late that afternoon and over the next few days that I found out what had happened while I had been unconscious.
Shortly after the paramedics had gotten me to the hospital, I went into a coma. It was caused by the huge overdose of insulin. During that time, the nurses and doctors worked to bring my blood sugar up and to bring me out of the coma. They also did numerous tests to try and determine what all I had taken. Things were touch and go for a while and I was almost successful in my suicide attempt.
They were able to bring me out of my coma. Unfortunately, I was not in my right mind and became violent. That is why I had been tethered to the bed. I was give several injections of anti-psychotics in hopes that I would calm down. Eventually, they took effect.
The on call psychiatrist came to see me during my time in the intensive care unit. He barely listened to me, nor did he do a proper psychiatric work up. He diagnosed me with Situational Depression and told me that I was to go to a local psychiatric clinic for counseling. Even I knew that what I had was not Situational Depression.
The hospital made an appointment for me at the psychiatric clinic. An intake appointment is what it was called. It was to take place the day after I got out of the hospital. My plan was to not go. Fortunately, my family had other plans and they made me go to the appointment.
I did not want to be there, even though I really needed to be. As the psychologist asked me question after question, it became more and more evident how badly I needed help. It was during this initial visit that the counselor gave me the diagnosis of Clinical Depression. When I left her office that day, the psychologist did not expect me to be back.
I did go back. That tiny part of me that wanted to live, knew that I needed to be there. This was the beginning of my recovery process.