Ok, I survived the weekend!!! Hurray! This is part is probably going to be the most difficult to write and the most difficult to read. I’m writing this on my birthday, and weirdly enough it’s kind of a bday gift to myself. I’ve been carrying it for a week and I can feel it in my body because I’ve been putting it off. Time to let go.
A detailed, but not too detailed account of a suicide attempt is what I’m trying to conquer today. If you’re at work/school/public- Wait until the time is right.
I have to remind myself why it’s important to me to get this part out. It’s something not a lot of people know about me unless you’re in my family or a childhood best friend. It’s important to speak about it not only to understand my thought process, but also to understand the impact it made on my environment and the people in it.
From 7-16 nothing really stands out too much. My dad and I moved to a small town called Chetwynd (pop. 3500) in Northern BC. I continued with school and turned out to be quite the academic and athlete. I’ve always been a fringe kid. Meaning that I was accepted into all crowds in school, but never really fully committed to any of them. Even then, I knew to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I was a perfectionist and wanted validation for being so awesome*. Culturally, I was expected to be humble, so praise was minimal. Again, as a child, the way I interpreted that was to think that nothing I did was ever good enough*. I felt alone, confused, and empty most of the time, but I thought that was normal.
At that time, I also tapped into my ability to… I’m trying to think of a less harsh word to use than manipulate, but that’s completely accurate. I tapped into my ability to manipulate situations to get what I wanted out of them*.
Ok, so we covered super strict upbringing, over-achiever, fake smiles etc… Then sixteen happened. To know me is to know that I’ve got a wild side J I was born under every ferocious, fiery, and domineering sign available (Fire-Fire-Aries-Tiger-Mars-God of War etc.). When I was close to 16 I discovered this alternate version of me. Needless to say, my super strict father was not a fan. We fought to the point that I decided to move in with my mother who was located in the beautiful mountain town of Canmore.
Having a teenage delivered in full ‘whoremonal’ rebellion probably wasn’t the easiest thing to deal with, but my mom did her best. I got the sense she had some residual guilt for not being able to raise me, so the rules were very lax. I continued school in Canmore, got a job and partied, a lot. My grades dropped, and I gradually stopped going to school. The perfectionist is me was screaming at the top of her lungs; I became a failure in my own eyes.
I remember trying to turn things around and get back on track so many times. I would write unrealistic unattainable goals and give myself deadlines, only to fail miserably at them. Finally, I decided I needed to scare myself straight. So I hatched a plan, a plan that would almost kill me. My goal wasn’t to die; my goal was to get close enough to death so that I could appreciate life. I mean I’d been living, but I didn’t feel alive.
I’d often thought about suicide and associated it as almost a glamorous thing to do (suicide ideation). What was different this time was that I made a plan and gave myself a deadline (no pun). The day rolled around and I was almost reconsidering. My family had been away for the weekend. The clock was ticking until their return… I borrowed something of my sister’s and I didn’t have enough time to wash it before they got home, I knew she’d be pissed at me. That tiny little detail led me to follow through.
I carefully calculated what I thought were all the factors. My plan was: do it, have them find me passed out, go to the hospital, everything turn out all right, close call, and be cured.
This is what really happened: Did it, parents came home 4 hrs later than expected, they found me almost dead, CPR’d then lights and sirens to Canmore hospital, intubated then lights and sirens all the way to Calgary, 3 days in a coma, 2 days in ICU w/restraints and my very own guard, 7 days in kiddy mental health ward, immediate family flew in from everywhere, and I was poked, prodded, and questioned until I was a mad, mad little teenager.
That wasn’t the plan.
I failed to factor in many things. I did not factor in the effect it would have on my mom and sister when they found me- lifeless. I did not factor in the fact that my dad would get that call and have to drop everything to come to be with me. I did not factor the emotional impact it would have on anyone who got that call. The fact that my school had to tell my classes I was ‘sick’ and in hospital so my classmates could make me a card for said unknown illness. The fact that I was so close to having permanent brain damage. The fact that my close friends blamed themselves for not seeing any warning signs. How do you explain that that wasn’t the ‘plan’?
Wherever I was for those 3 days I came back with some invaluable knowledge.
My life was a gift, and when it begins or ends is out of my hands. I vowed to explore all other options before ever making an attempt again, because I really shouldn’t have survived.
24 Hour Crisis Helpline 403-266-HELP (4357).