Hello! It’s September 18, 2017. Exactly 28 months to the day my kids were removed from my home by dhs for the second time due to poor decisions made when drinking. Tomorrow marks 28 months sober! Wow, can’t believe it’s already been that long!!
I remember the days and weeks after that horrible evening I watched my kids be put into the back of a police car as I stood on the sidewalk and cried my eyes out. I remember wondering how I would ever be able to put my life back together. It seemed impossible. How could I come back from that? I was hopeless. I wanted the pain to end. I thought about suicide.
A couple days after that night I was at a friends house and I was saying to my mom that I didn’t think I could come back from this, the pain was incredible. She said I could do it and I would do it, one day at a time. That night my friends would not let me be alone, unsure of what I would try to do, I had to sleep on a friends couch. She gave me a daily reflections book because I didn’t have one and she thought I needed one. I opened up the book to the day and the message was titled “One Day At A Time”. I remember having a tiny tid bit of hope in that moment. I remember feeling like spirit was sending me a message. I remember thinking that I would make it through and I would do whatever I had to do to get my life and my kids back. And I did.
But, I’m not talking about that today. It’s Suicide Awareness Month so today I’m talking about my suicide attempt when I was a teenager in high school and my many dark moments in the years that would follow that made me wish I had been successful. I don’t talk about that night much or ever. The night I impulsively downed a bunch of pills, the night I tried to escape this life forever.
I was always a rule breaker. Rules never mattered to me, I was an exception to the rules anyway. So I thought. When my mom and step dad went out for an evening of adult time I thought it would be a great idea to invite my boyfriend and his friend over to hangout. We didn’t do anything other than sit and talk. My sister was there too, she’s two years younger. It was harmless really when I think about it. But to my surprise, my parents showed up earlier than I had expected. I sent my boyfriend and his friend out the back door. My parents knew they were there becuasue duh, their truck was parked outside the house. My parents were obviously pissed off, for good reason.
I don’t remember what was said but I do remember feeling like I needed to escape. I had messed up, I got caught, and I was in trouble. I didn’t want to deal with the consequences, I didn’t want to look in my parents faces and see the disappointment, I didn’t want to deal with the reality that I made a bad decision. I was upset, I was irrational, I was impulsive. I grabbed the first bottle I could find and without even thinking twice I downed over 60 pills and went to my room. The next morning my parents went grocery shopping, there was no communication between us. When I woke it was me and my sister in the house. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest. It was difficult to breathe. I couldn’t focus, I felt like I was in and out of consciousness. I knew that if I didn’t call 911, I was going to die and in that moment I knew I did NOT want to die. I had to act fast.
I remember seeing the look of fear on my sisters face as she sat on the couch with officers and paramedics in our house. My parents were contacted, I was put in the back of the ambulance. They were talking, I don’t know what they said but I do remember their tone. They were irritated with my poor decision to end my life. We arrived at the hospital. The door flew open and the gurney was pulled out. There my parents stood at the hospital door and the look on my moms face I. Will. Never. Forget. Ever.
What had I done?!?
I was told by the nurse had it been tylenol or aspirin I’d be dead, if I remember right I took allergy pills. Thank goodness. I had to see a therapist after that, but told my parents that I didn’t want to go anymore, I hated it. So I didn’t go anymore. I didn’t want to talk about, I wanted to pretend it never happened. I didn’t think about suicide again until years later when I tried to drink myself to death, because pills didn’t work and I wasn’t about to go through that again. The hospital, the charcoal, the disappointed looks of everyone. No, this time I would drink enough to get the balls to jump out of the high-rise building I lived in downtown Dallas.
Why can’t I do this?!?!
I looked out my bedroom window that looked over downtown Dallas, a drunken mess, I hadn’t breathed a sober breath in days. I was taking shots in the morning and puking it up because I was still sick from all the drugs and alcohol I had done the night before. I was done with myself and with my life. The alcohol only numbed me out for so long and then I was alone with the shell of a person I had become. I hated myself and the decisions I made while drinking yet I couldn’t stop.
Why couldn’t I stop?!?!
My window didn’t come with a screen. I was way up there in the high rise building and I thought if I could just drink enough of that tequila I could end the pain. I could jump. But, I couldn’t do it. I hated myself for not having the courage to climb out of the window. I hated that I couldn’t drink enough to end the pain. I hated that I couldn’t drink enough forget all of the bad decisions I had ever made. I felt a loneliness only someone who’s been that low can understand. It’s indescribable.
How did I make it here again?!?!
Ten years later that I felt that same hopelessness watching my kids being taken away in a police car. Thank God I decided to pick myself up an keep going even when I couldn’t see light at the end of the tunnel. I can’t imagine where my kids would be today had I chosen differently. Things are good today but it’s been a rough road for me and my kids. When people used to tell me my son was just trying to get attention when he said he wanted to kill himself, I said I don’t give a shit, he’s too much like me to not take it seriously. He doesn’t say it anymore. As far as I know he doesn’t feel that way anymore. I do check in with him occasionally to see how he’s feeling about life. I keep a close eye out for old behavior.
Then I think about my dear friend who lost her son to suicide almost two years ago, he was 22. I see her pain. I can’t imagine that pain. I almost caused my mom to feel that same pain, the hurt that never goes away. I hurt for her. I hurt for everyone out there that is struggling.
I spent many years trying to escape. Escape reality. Escape fear, feelings, consequences. What I found is the only way is through. And escaping all the “bad” things in life also prevented me from enjoying the good times in life. Because when I came down, all those feelings that I was trying to escape, well, they were still there. Those consequences that I tried escaping from? Yep, those were still there too, except they were worse. Figuring out that feelings pass and that I don’t have to act on every single emotion was mind blowing. I can feel the feelings and let them pass! I don’t have to self destruct every time I’m uncomfortable. Wow.
As my friend Lisa aka The Sober Hipster says “You Matter, Your Story Matters”. I can’t help but wonder if I made it to where I am now so I can share my story to help others. Maybe sharing my story will help one person feel like there is hope? Maybe. I don’t know. But I do know I am extremely grateful for this beautiful, difficult, crazy, amazing, sober, fun, wonderful life of mine. I’m grateful I’m here today to tell my story. I’m grateful I get to see my babies smiles every single day.
If you are struggling please know you are NOT alone. Never alone! There is help. Don’t give up. Reach out. Ask for help. You mater. Your story matters. You are loved. You have a purpose. There is hope. I promise you, life can and will get better.
- If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call 911 immediately.
- If you are in crisis or are experiencing difficult or suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
- If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, you can also text NAMI to 741-741 to be connected to a free, trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line.