My Suicide Attempt Saved My Life - Anonymous - Trigger Warning
As a child, I’d always had suicidal thoughts because of poor body image and low self-esteem, but these were only fleeting thoughts, much like dreams. “If only I could die-“ sort of thing. During one of these fancies, I took a number of pills and waited patiently to go to heaven but nothing happened.
Things became very real when I reached adulthood. For reasons I couldn’t understand, from the age of 23 I lost my grip on reality. I couldn’t focus on a task for too long, couldn’t finish school, and was aggressive, defiant and always spoiling for a fight.
I drank a lot. I don’t remember now how bad it was but there was always alcohol in the picture. From the age of 26 I was in out of asylums and emergency rooms. It was towards my late twenties that my first diagnosis was labelled ‘Alcohol dependency’.
The nerve! I was sure my mental illness (for I was now sure I was mad as a hatter) had nothing to do with alcohol. For years I was treated for depression and bi-polar disorder.
In the last few years towards my serious suicide attempt, I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. He was an asshole to be sure, but the victim in me still says he wasn’t so bad. Maybe he wasn’t. There were lots of good times but people who observed our relationship from the outside tell me they only saw the bad.
Anyway. I thought I was the bad one because I drank a lot of his booze. He cheated, insisted on an open relationship, took girls to expensive hotels of which I found receipts lying around, discovered him slyly leaving the house once at 2.00 am smelling of the cologne that I loved and once he didn’t come back home at all. The worst time though was when one day he started hurriedly packing my bags, saying he’d met someone and he wanted to see where it would go if I wasn’t around. He dumped me at my sister’s office who dropped me at a friend’s house.
I was already so groomed as a victim that I focused on my own shortcomings. How could I reduce my drinking? How could I make him happy? My fault, my fault, my fault. My fault.
In a week, he called me back and I run towards my ‘safety net’, overjoyed that he’d realized he wanted me after all. The abuse continued. One day when we went grocery shopping, I dropped some bacon in the trolley and he took it out and said, “When you’re the one paying the bills, you can buy whatever you want”. He did things like that all the time and I thought it was normal, even though it made me cry.
Eventually, I found a personalized frame with a woman’s name on it on our dining table, and the letter ‘M’ with a heart inscribed at the back. He lied about where it came from and I ignored it. That was the affair that eventually took me to rock bottom.
It was a girl we hung out with every week. I learned that they were in love. They planned to move to Brazil together. In my insanity, I focused my fury on her. How could she hug me knowing what she was doing? How could she be a part of throwing me out of my home and taking my place in his bed?
My drinking escalated and my ex told me to go. Again, I didn’t blame him. In fact I offered to vacate the premises. It never occurred to me that the relationship with him played a role in my escalating alcoholism and I don’t care. The fact is, I was an alcoholic and would have still been one in his absence.
I can honestly say I suffered. The pain and shame and guilt I inflicted on myself, no one deserves. I passed out in public, fell into trenches, stole money, almost got raped and had memory gaps that lasted days.
One night I’d had enough. I’d moved back in with my mum at the age of 32, disgraced and had proven that indeed I was a failure. I was done. Drunk as a barrel, I tried to go to the kitchen to get a knife to stab myself in the stomach with but it was occupied by guests. In my room, I dug around frantically, looking for something sharp. I found a needle. I started puncturing my wrists, trying to prick and hack. It didn’t work.
Even in my drunken stupor, that shit hurt. I needed something less painful to get the job done so I planned to try again the next day, maybe overdose on pills. Instead, I told a friend about it who ordered me to go to a treatment center for alcoholics.
I was poor (still am, but that’s irrelevant) and without transport, I walked every day to attend the program I was now enrolled in as an alcoholic. I will never forget the first time I introduced myself as one in the circle while sharing. I tried very hard not to cry as I realized that maybe, just maybe, there was a light at the end of a tunnel because everyone’s stories somehow mirrored mine and they seemed happy. I wanted to be happy too.
I’m now one year sober, I still miss that worthless son of a bitch, but I’m learning how to live with reality, how to accept my flaws and forgive myself and others.
Life is hard and I’m not surprised I tried to escape it with alcohol. But I’m enjoying discovering myself. Learning I have self-respect, principles, and gaining the esteem of my fellow human beings. I’m taking it slow because I’m still young in my sobriety and often life does get hard for me to live with but with Alcoholics Anonymous having my back, I believe I have a fighting chance.