I can’t say I’d ever given much thought as to how I would die, but I can’t bring myself to accept the actions and decisions that literally brought me face to face with death. It also brought me face to face with the biggest wake up call of my life.
When I was younger I never understood how someone could be so tortured that they’d self harm and become addicted to something so brutal- I never imagined it would be me that’d be scarred for life from brutal episodes of self harm. I never understood how someone could hate their body so much – I never imagined that it’d be me bingeing till I purged and be stuck in Mia’s brutal grasp. But worst of all I never understood the brutality behind mental illnesses that would drive the victim to attempt to end their life, I never imagined it would be me laying in a hospital bed at just 19 years of age fighting for my life after taking a major overdose on benzodiazepines/ 50mg lorazepam. I have written a couple of blog posts about that particular event so feel free to read them and follow my blog as I continue on my journey. However this post focuses on life after attempted suicide hence it’s title – “Waking up … Alive”. In this post I’ll attempt to explain the emotion and isolation that a suicide survivor suffers when they wake up and learn they survived.
Attempted Suicide is a torturous subject for the victim, it’s a lonely, dark journey that one embarks on, you feel isolated and the roller coaster of emotions is the worst – the guilt that you have over what you’ve done to those you love is crippling, the shame is overwhelming, anger and sadness when you tried to end your life and wake up having to live with scars and emotional pain because you’re still on the planet that you tried so hard to escape. There are so many emotions attached to attempted suicide but the thing that broke my heart more than anything else was the sympathetic stare. People started talking to me differently- like I couldn’t handle life, they avoided certain conversations like the plague and when people talked to or looked at me they made me feel like I was a mentally ill person. They just treat you so differently than they have in the past and it’s the worst feeling ever.
In terms of my mental health 2016 was quite literally the year from hell. I was severely bulimc at the start of the year when my relationship ended but wasn’t diagnosed till mid September, i overdosed on paracetamol but didn’t tell anyone, I started self harming again in February which lead to the diagnosis of major depressive disorder and my first round of anti depressants- “the escitelopram haze” self harm escalated which lead to multiple psych related hospitalisations and a night in crisis respite, they changed me to venlafaxine in April.Somewhere among all of it I met Sophie (previously Rob) a transgirl who was my saving grace. Later in the year they concluded that I have borderline personality disorder and stress related hallucinations. Sophie and I had a huge fight in December which coupled with family drama and me believing our relationship was through led me to overdose with the intention of ending my life. I spent a whole week in crisis respite and I’m lucky to be alive right now.
However it’s not all that it seems despite still being with Sophie my life has changed dramatically. I didn’t want to survive so I’m still bitter about being alive. For many young people who attempt to end their life it is a cry for help, they don’t actually want to die.
I did, but now I live with the repercussions of my actions and the bitter memories of that fateful day because for me waking up alive was the proof that nightmares are real and surviving what the doctor described as “the worst case of attempted suicide he’d ever seen” was the biggest wake up call of my life. I wasn’t scared of dying I was scared of surviving because I knew if I did I’d only be more messed up than I was before.
In the words of one of the songs that saved my life
“I’ve got pain, I’ve got scars that I will never show, I’m a survivor in more ways than you know”
– Warrior by Demi Lovato
I survived suicide and I hope to inspire others to overcome their difficulties and be warriors and unite as “Suicide survivors” so if you’re having a rough day place your hand over yor heart, can you feel that? It’s called purpose – you’re alive for a reason so never give up because you have the power to say this is not how my story will end.