The "S" word…

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!

—————-
Now playing: The Freshman – The Verve Pipe
via FoxyTunes

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34 thoughts on “The "S" word…

  1. I’m not sure what to say CG. I’m SO glad you’re still here. I’m glad you’re mother could stay with you and you didn’t need to go to the psyc hosp. I’m glad those in the medical ward were compassionate and non-judgemental. I’m glad you continued to gain support from your blog. I’m amazed that you continued to provide support to others.

    I’m sorry it’s been so hard for you. I’m still sitting with you. Thank you for being open and sharing this with us.

    Dawn

    • Hi Dawn,

      Thank you. I was worried about posting this… worried it might trigger others, or make me seem like an attention seeker. But, I also know that many people struggle with suicidal issues, so I was hoping that by sharing this, someone could possibly feel some comfort in not being alone in those struggles.

      I’m so thankful for the blogging community that I’m part of… there is amazing support out there. Sometimes I gain a sense of community and strength out of supporting others, even if I’m at a low point myself. Sometimes it’s too much, so I withdraw… But I know the withdrawing isn’t healthy, so try to connect with safe people.

      Take care,
      CG

  2. Dear CG, I can not read this post, because we struggle ourself so much with this, you call the “S”-Word 😦
    I hope you remember, what you have written in my blog some months ago. I hope you can communicate with R.
    I’m really, really glad that you are still here my friend.
    Sending you all lots of positive thoughts and strength
    (((Warm safe hugs))) to all who wants them
    Lsc

    • Hello my friend,

      I was worried about you reading this… about it triggering you. I hope you are safe.

      I’m trying to communicate more internally, it’s so difficult. But even R showing me the image of what he wanted is progress. It was scary, but it was progress.

      Please take care of yourself… you will always have my support and positive thoughts…
      (((warm safe hugs))) to all who want them,
      CG

  3. CG! Oh wow! I knew you were in the hospital because we talked and I didn’t feel it was my place to post about you on my blog as I felt you would say something if and when you were ready to. Don’t worry about triggering me, I’m so glad you talked about what happened! First, I can’t believe they sent you home the first time! Second, I’m glad you found kindness the next time. I’m so, so, sorry this happened to you at all though. I’m thinking about what you said about the thoughts you had about taking the pills to “sleep” instead of the usual thoughts and maybe it was some other part with a different motivation? I think it’s important that you keep doing what you’re doing to figure out what or who was really behind what happened. Were you just extremely exhausted? Or was it something else? I think it’s significant that “no one” came to stop you the first time but they were alarmed later like maybe the first time was about sleep? Keep writing it out ok? *Big Hug*

    • Hi tai,

      Thank you for your support 🙂

      I’m pretty sure that the “sleeping” phrasing is a different groups terminology for “running away”. I remember when I was young wanting to go to sleep and never waking up again… I think this is where it comes from.

      I know a huge part of the intent is because of the upcoming ACC assessment. Last time we had one, it was over two years ago… we had the assessment on Tuesday, attempted suicide on Saturday, was held over in the secure psychiatric unit overnight, released to the then husband, and later that afternoon he tried to kill us. It’s easy to see the trigger. The problem is that the assessment is still over a week away…

      There was alarm both times, but the protectors knew that the second attempt was far more likely to be deadly.

      One moment at a time…

      Take care,
      CG

      • Holy Crap, I don’t even know what to say to that! But, obviously the assessment is freaking you out so that’s really understandable. Man,you are a survivor with a capital “S”!

        • There’s not much you can say… it is what it is…

          But thank you tai… I know it’s not an easy subject to read about, deal with or try to understand.

          Take care,
          CG

  4. I’m sorry this happened, I’m not sure what to say. I’m glad you’re here, that you got help, and that (for once) the medical staff were kind and compassionate.

    I’m tying a bl00dy big chain to your ankle so you don’t fall off that cliff. Even if you do I’ll be here to help you back up. 🙂

      • I just happen to have raspberry, as a matter of fact. And… I think I will have a grape one with you.

        August is half over, and I’ve seen loads of monarch butterflies, lately. Autumn in on the way, now.

        • Dear Ms Meredith,

          It’s Winter here, so it’s raining all the time. But in Summer we have a Swan Plant at the corner of the house for the Monarch Butterfly’s. The boys sometimes have one of the caterpillars build a crysalis in their room. We would watch them change colour as the caterpillar changed into the butterfly. It looked painful when they hatch, but that’s what makes them able to fly. They tell me that healing is like this.

          I’ve never had a grape Popsicle. But I’ve had grape Hubba Bubba bubble gum. That was nice.

          Thank you for thinking of the Popsicles, Aimee was getting very scared and that helped.

          Yours sincerely,
          W

          • I hope you are feeling a bite better, Aimee. It’s all right to be scared, sometimes. I get scared, too.

            Have you seen the Monarchs all stop to rest in one tree, or one bush before? I saw them all resting in a maple tree, once. It was autumn, and at first I thought the orange color was from the leaves. Then, as my children and I got closer, it looked like the tree was breathing. We stopped–all of us at the same time–and just stared at the tree. It was late afternoon, so the orange seemed to glow. It was the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. I felt like I was seeing a miracle.

            ~meredith~

            • Hi Ms Meredith,

              Do you really get scared too? You seem so brave and strong. But I suppose everyone gets scared sometimes. Maybe?

              Oh, I would love to see the Monarchs like that! We used to walk around them really quietly and carefully when they landed on the Swan Plant. But them all sitting on a Maple would have been beautiful!! I would like to have seen that. I’m glad you and your children saw that.

              Take care,
              CG

  5. Dear castor, I’m so sorry for what you’ve been going through. I’m not the least triggered by this. It’s been a long time since I felt suicidal. and i attempted only once. But I remember it like it was yesterday. I think it’s important and healthy to talk about it. I think it seems a good sign that you could share this. I’m glad to know what you are going through and now understand what you meant about d.one and the need for your mother to be there now. I’m so glad you have supportive people in your life: us – your friends in the blog world, your mom, and wpt, and the staff the second time at the hospital. I’m so glad they were gentle the second time. I’m angry they weren’t the first and that they let you go home without making sure you were safe. 😦 but I’m glad you’re safer now. though I understand you feel shaky still.

    Sending you safe warm hugs if wanted…(((castor)))

    • Hi Katie,

      It’s easy to see why we were sent home after the first OD. We appear high functional, even when incredibly distressed, because of the dissociative coping mechanisms. It’s rare for us to appear obviously in distress… We have to really trust the people around us, before the signs of distress are really obvious.

      I’m incredibly thankful for the blogging community I find myself to be part of… An amazing group of supportive people.

      I think we do need to be open and honest about the suicidal issues. But there is a line between educating and validating, versus triggering and glorifying. I was worried about which side of the line I would come down on through this post.

      Thank you for your support…
      (((warm safe hugs))) if wanted,
      CG

  6. I only got so far into your post and I couldn’t finish it because we did sleep, sleep, sleep several times and were very upset we woke up. It’s good you wrote it out.

    • Hi Lisa,

      I’m really glad you took care of yourself by not reading the whole post.

      I’m sorry you’ve been on this place too… It’s an awful place to be.

      I also felt anger upon waking. Also stupidity and even more self-loathing… I obviously can’t do anything right! But I also know that there was fear of the damage done and quiet optimism that we’d pulled through… We are that stubborn survivor after all!!

      Take care,
      CG

  7. CG and all, I so glad you made it thru.
    Kinda sounds like young ones doing this cuz of the terminology huh?
    😦 Guess they must be real sad 😦
    Do you know who they are?
    Are they the ones that like the butterflies?
    I think that post was well written and from a clincal POV interesting. Well reported.
    Glad the hosp people were nice the second time around 🙂 I’ve had both ends, nice and not nice.
    Hope them tired ones can get some peace and rest w/o causing probs.
    Can you make a peaceful restful place for them to go to? A special place for tired ones to go to?
    It don’t go to allus be bad. It can be good too.
    Like butterflies is good.
    TC
    Ones

  8. I think it’s remarkable that you were able to post this… It’s meeting things head on and bringing everything out of the shadows. And facing things.

    I think there will be a fair bit of time where you will be struggling with making sense of these attempts. Unless and until you can find the space to do that, I think you will have big trouble and be caught inside it all.

    Somehow, you need to find some space to heal.

    • Yes, I’m caught inside it all still. It was scary to see the emails sent to Allison on those days… So much defiant pain.

      Thank you for your continued support… I do appreciate it…

      Take care,
      CG

  9. We were reading your blog post and one of us was saying to the others inside, “I’d do the same if any therapist had me sign any contract about not having choice to live or not live, it’s my human right to have this choice, always, no one will take away this right from me ever. It is another form of abuse to make a client abandon this right. Therapist who do that are abusing their client by doing this. If they can not deal with this freedom in their clients, they should never become therapists in the first place. It’s similar if they would want her husband/wife sign a contract that they will not divorce over next month/year/rest of the life, it is a human right to be able to divorce anytime, we are not in middle ages anymore!”

    • Hi Samo,

      Allison now agrees that the sort of contract she was talking about, won’t work. I gave her Paul’s entries on his agreement, and she is comfortable with working within that sort of framework. It’s been put on hold until after our assessment next week, so I’ll see what happens…

      Please take care my friend,
      CG

  10. I’m so unbelievably late in posting this. CG, so sorry you felt like this and are going through such a time. I’m really appreciate your post…more than I can express. I’m sure that I’m one of many who have benefited from your disclosure. I’m glad you are okay physically and I hope that emotionally, you continue to improve too.

    BTW, I totally hear you in regards to using the iPhone (or iPod Touch in my case) to deal. They have horrible battery life though!

    • Hi Sanity,

      I’m glad this post helped… if nothing else, I hope you don’t feel so alone in this struggle.

      Physically, we were lucky, very lucky. Emotionally, we’re getting there. Today our session with Allison was just what we needed – she mentioned some new strategies she is going to adopt to help us, and there was more of a connection made with her.

      The iPhone and iPod Touch are BRILLIANT for grounding… I don’t know what I would do without mine now. They could do with double the battery life though – they always seem to run flat just as you need them the most!

      Take care,
      CG

  11. Just found this now CG and can totally relate to your experience as I’ve been there too… I think the post is good in that it does bring awareness, and as you work through this and heal, and blog about the healing, you are helping others who read along and follow your healing journey.

    I feel honored to know you CG, you are an amazing person! I really like the light around the small figure in your Expressive Arts Piece. I see that light as your Awakened Mind, the mind of Clear Light that sees and understands all–your Buddhanature (if its ok to use that term?). You can’t kill that light. When I finally realized this my “S” ideation kind of dissolved (though never completely ;).

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog and getting to know you better. Thanks again for your comment on my art at Mindparts.org. It means a lot to be understood 🙂

    Namaste

    jahda

    • Hi jahda,

      Thank you for your supportive words… I appreciate it.

      I like the concept of the Awakened Mind, although I get easily confused by faith and beliefs, it seems like a positive concept. Some within the system don’t believe that we could have anything that positive within us.

      What you described with your art is such an important part of the healing journey, but so scary and confusing. Thank you for sharing it with us.

      Please take care,
      CG

  12. This is my first time visiting your blog. I attempted suicide more times than I care to think about. So, I know what you’re feeling.

    I’ve been walking on the edge for many years.

    Good luck,
    jo

    • Hi Jo,

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting 🙂

      I’m sorry this is your struggle too. The edge is a scary place to be, it’s even scarier when you’ve been there so long that there seems no other option, or place to be.

      Please take care,
      CG

  13. Pingback: Reflections | Scattered pieces

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