Note: This entry may trigger due to issues around suicide being discussed.
I’ve been fairly open about my levels of suicidal ideation on this blog over time. But the last week or so, I’ve been dancing around the subject. The reason why… on the 2nd and 3rd of August I tried to commit suicide.
I’m still trying to make sense of the attempts, and the triggers which precipitated them.
The main things I remember about Monday, are that I didn’t work my usual late shift, and that I was very tired… very, very tired. So tired, that it made perfect sense to come home, empty a pill bottle into my hand and swallow them down with a caffeine drink.
I vividly remember looking at the pile of pills in my hand, and thinking… “This will help me sleep”.
This terminology is significant… “This will help me sleep”. Usually, my suicidal ideation and intent is termed “running away”, so I wonder if the change in phrasing was an indication that different ones were driving the attempt, or whether I was just really tired?
In the past, whenever there has been even a suicidal gesture, a protector has come forward and immediately called for help. But not this time. This time, I climbed into bed and waited for sleep. That was at about 6pm. The next thing I remember, is waking in a panic at 2.45. I wasn’t panicking about the pills that were now well absorbed into my system… Oh no, I was panicking because I wasn’t sure if it was morning or night, and I was worried about missing work!
The details are fuzzy, but somehow we ended up in ER. ER’s always seem so bright… so well lit… super bright… I know this is a medical necessity, but it’s also about our fears. We hate hospitals. We feel ourselves get smaller, younger and more tongue-tied in hospitals… It’s hard to hear what people are asking of us, and we become more robotic.
As an indication that there was still come cognitive thinking happening, we’d remembered to bring our iPhone with us. Hours of playing Boost 3D, Euchre, Hell’s Kitchen… Anything to try to keep calm! Then the unspeakable happened, the iPhone battery ran out… This tipped the scales back to crazy.
- We removed the lure ourselves and went to the nurses station, asking to leave. They took us through to the observation lounge instead. Yay… power points for recharging the iPhone 🙂
- WPT came and visited us in the ER, and we brushed him off… told him we were fine and not to worry about us…
- When we were assessed by the psychiatric team… I say “assessed”, but to the system, it felt like a grilling. They asked about family relationships, abuse history etc.
- By the end of the assessment, angry protectors were up front and they ripped up the discharge papers as we walked away from the nurses station.
Yes, we were released with no follow-up or safety options mentioned.
When we got home, there was still the need to sleep. I think one of us called the crisis team, but gave a fake name… I remember the crisis person yelling at us that they were sending the Police around. This was the wrong threat to make, as it gave the protectors hope that help was on the way. They became less vigilant…
We sat down at the table with enough pills for a fatal overdose. It was very mechanical and quick. Again, there was a need to have enough pills to “get some sleep”. Once these were consumed, we went to bed. Again, a panicked waking a few hours later and a ride in an ambulance.
This time it was serious… I knew that because of the number of nurses around. I remember looking over when they took my blood pressure, and saying how good it was (53/45). Usually my blood pressure goes through the roof in hospitals due to anxiety (the next day it was 195/146). I asked if I could go home, because my blood pressure was so good, and it was all just a silly mistake…
I remember the nurses being nice.
I remember them wheeling me down corridors to a ward.
I remember a nurse sitting in a chair at the end of my bed all night.
We called the mother, asking her to come up because we needed help. Our cat needed food…
We were kept in for a couple of days, and again had a psychiatric assessment, this one was much more gentle. They asked about safety and stressors. They gave us options – they suggested hospitalisation, or respite. But the psychiatric ward was fairly full, and the respite place would be different to the one I’ve been to previously. Instead, we were released to the mother (a former nurse) at home.
The thing that blew me away about the medical ward, was their compassion and understanding. I was there for an overdose, but they didn’t judge. They had almost no knowledge of mental health issues (I had to tell them how to spell “dissociative”), but they were respectful of me as an individual…
It’s now over a week since the attempts, and I’m still on shaky ground. Last night, R was very present. I know it was him, because I could clearly see what he wanted – to be wearing just jeans, standing in the middle of the road, in the pouring rain, arms up, yelling (in pain, release, anger???).
I’m very aware that I’m still walking along the cliff edge. One little push will send me over.
It’s times like this that I realise how amazing the people around me can be… WPT came to see me in hospital (twice); while my blog friends have been a steady, calm voice of reason when I needed it desperately… thank you!