Suicide attempt: Disturbing affter knowlege

I don’t remember the thought process that led to my suicide attempt, although I remember the act and the lack of emotion involved. It is an unfortunate result of the retrograde amnesia you can get with some sleeping pills. For example, I remember waking up late on Thursday but nothing else of that day until the dramatic end. I do remember the act and I remember my brother finding me and driving me to the hospital. I remember being in the ER and talking to people, but not too much of what was said. I remember a co-worker visiting me the next day but not too much of that either.

I am gone quite mad from the knowledge of accepting the overwhelming number of things I can never know, places I can never go, and people I can never be.

So really I do not remember the most important parts. Only flashes of facts; concerns over work and the endlessness of chronic pain. Obviously, reading my post and the ‘note’ I thought it through and articulated it sufficiently. Afterward though I was neither happy nor sad that I was disrupted (although now, man, am I glad my bro happened to be awake and happened to come into my computer room). Thing is, afterward, I was more concerned for upsetting my family than my own well-being. Because I know suicide is a selfish thing and it bothered me that I had upset them so much, but I felt nothing about my own survival. I felt fine talking about my motivations because they seemed rather reasonable. I did not want to stay in the hospital because I abhor them. And that was that. I was surprised and a little stunned by my friends responding on Facebook and then regretted freaking them out as well.

What is disturbing is the lack of response to surviving such an event. As though the difference between living and dying was not important, except in how it affected the people I know. This highlights my largest concern over the whole thing really. I am not an emotive person generally… I think about my emotions, I reflect, I digest and I move on. I know coping is a process and chronic pain will cause fluctuations in my emotions, but I know they will pass. While I know suicide can be a well thought out process, generally, it is a spontaneous emotional one, which means for me, a passing thought I would never act on.

But I did act on it. I did think it was time to end the pain in the most final of ways. I explained myself in detail. I remember writing that note and thinking it was good to get it out of my system. I vaguely remember thinking why not act on it. Sure it was stupid and rash. It is also understandable and scary.

It, in fact, terrifies me now. Not the reasoning, which obviously I understand. It terrifies me that I could choose to act on a moment. Sure I knew I was capable of doing it. Hell, I wished for a heart attack just to have a nice, neat ending that would not be my fault and therefore would not cause guilt in my family. The thing is it was too damn easy. Easy to do and easy to sit there bleeding and not caring. The best way to describe how I feel right now is it is like completing a dare. I used to be afraid of diving from the high board of the swimming pool because I have a fear of jumping from high heights. So heart pounding I went to the very edge of the board and said to myself ‘one more step and then it is done and out of my choice’ and I did. Then I was never afraid of it again.

And now that I have had a little time to reflect on my survival rather than the act itself it scares the hell out of me. Too damned easy. And now there is not even the fear of it. Suicide was that occasional temptation on a really bad pain day, that limit, that extreme that was a comforting option but not something I would actually do… it was just a comfort to know if the pain got too bad I could. And now I have gone beyond that limit and it was too damned easy. I am afraid of myself. I am afraid of my own reasoning. I am afraid to be alone at night with just the pain there to taunt me and remind me that I did not even care that I survived. I should I think. I rather like my life. I am still the same laughing goofy person I was before. But now I know if left to myself and I think too much I can do something I will not have the chance to regret. I do regret it now because of the distress I caused. But I ought to care a little more about my own survival. I guess for now it is good enough that I am scared of myself.

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3 comments

  1. I have been reading your blog for a while. I am a fellow Chronic Pain sufferer, and this posting hit me particularly hard. It is something I have also gone through, and obviously survived- but many of the thoughts you have mentioned, I have also thought about. I haven't had the courage to voice them or discuss what happened too often. It is something that I think is over looked with people in pain, and it is shameful. You bring about a very very good point in stating that there really isn't much response in surviving.
    I have thought on many occasions how it would have been better if I had been successful, but what happened and the pain and the vomiting and ugh…it has also installed a fear not so much of death itself (ie. if I had a guarantee I would succeed, I don't think the fear-factor would exist) but of if I fail again.
    Further, the lack of recognition of what brought you to that point where you feel so desperate, you feel you need a way out. I do believe that a lot of the medications we are on, cloud our ability to better handle things, cognitively. I am glad that you survived, and enjoy your blog.
    Take care, and may you find many pain-tolerable days in the future.

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  2. Shoshanna… you are right, often attempting suicide is seen as shameful and to not be talked about. I simply refuse to feel that way. Chronic pain is a battle and there is no shame in feeling lost sometimes. I think we hide way too much of our pained existence as it is. I think that helps promote the whole invisible disability, because people cannot see the cost of surving with it, and there costs are plentiful as are the compramises and sacrafices. Putting our voice out there, a name to our pain hopefully helps people understand it better. So after I survived my suicide attempt and I thought on the reasons that caused it… well those reasons are valid, those reasons are powerful and yeah many of us seek the ultimate end to our pain, which simply shows the lack in the medical field to help us cope or to help us when we really need it. I should not feel ashamed for that. I should not be proud of it either. I should just accept I am not always going to be strong and use this experience to help me adjust better. I have no problems talking about it, expecially not when many of us have thought about it and some of us have survived it.

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