“I don’t really want to die. I just wanted it all to stop.” That’s what I once wrote here when I mentioned my suicide attempts. That’s what I answer people when asked “why did you do it?”
What I did three weeks ago is no exception. The only difference from previous attempts is that it got that far. Closest I’ve come to to actual suicide. Had I not…had I not fought til the end, I wouldn’t be here right now. You wouldn’t be reading this.
I can’t tell you what triggered it. Don’t even know what set it off. I knew it was coming. I felt it all week. I was going to have another episode.
It shouldn’t have happened that night. It shouldn’t have happened that damn night.
By all accounts, I was in a safe place. I was in my element, in my environment. We had an event. Common Ground Music Fest. Red Ninja was one of the organizers. I was working. I was photographing. I was surrounded by friends and strangers in the community. I was alive that night, despite some minor incidents that got resolved immediately.
That afternoon, a friend asked me why I wasn’t drinking. I said that it was dangerous in my head. See? Awareness. I knew I shouldn’t imbibe on alcohol because my head wasn’t right that day. I was god damned stubborn as all hell.
Figured I was in a safe place. So I drank. And got drunk.
I was happy drunk. For the most part, anyway. I was having fun. When the event was over, I celebrated. I was talking to friends and strangers, being sociable and shit. I was being normal. I felt normal. It felt good.
And then I didn’t. The depression switch turned on. The episode I knew what coming was happening then and there. I felt the darkness consume me. Not slowly, but it devoured me and ravaged me. I don’t know why I suddenly felt dread – an overwhelming dread that I couldn’t claw myself out of. I don’t know the safe environment I was in suddenly felt hostile. I don’t know why I suddenly thought “I’m gonna OD on my ant-anxiety pills when I get home.”
I tried to fight it. Tried to talk to a friend and mental health buddy I had there. Tried to talk to a friend whose sunny disposition always brought out a smile in me. Didn’t. Couldn’t. All I wanted to do was get away from there, grab some take-out, head home, eat, lay in my bed, and drink whatever was left on my Xanax stash (12 pills,) and rest. Sleep.
That was exactly what I did. Except for the last part.
I was tired. I was so tired of fighting my demons. So tired of constantly skirting the lines between depression and normalcy when I know I’m still far from complete recovery. I felt like I was just fooling myself into thinking that I’d be anything other than flawed. Felt like I didn’t have one last fight in me. I was wrong.
I sat on my bed, laid my pills in front of me – ironically the ones that could keep me sane in moments like that – all twelve of them. Stared at them and heard that voice that said “do it, just fucking do it. End it. You deserve it. You’ve been fighting all your life. You deserve to rest.” That voice that I loathe so much. That voice that I love so much.
It felt like eternity, staring at those pills. Thought about all the things I won’t be waking up to the next day. Thought about the things I’ll never get to do again. Thought about the people I love. Thought about my family, my friends, the people I’ve helped – fellow broken ones who just need to know that they’re not alone in the struggle. Thought about that dreams that came true and the ones that could still come true.
Took a deep breath, took six on my palm, gulped. Took the other half on my palm, gulped, turned the lights off, and sprawled in my bed.
“You’re almost there,” the voice said.
“I don’t really want this…I’m not done yet,” I countered.
“But you’re so close. You’ve done the hardest part. Best not to fight me. Just sleep. I’ll take care of you. I’m with you til the end. Like I always have.”
Ten minutes felt like a lifetime. Ten minutes of the 12 pieces of Xanax in me felt like a lifetime. Ten minutes of the greatest fight for my life. Ten minutes. I turned the light on and sped to the bathroom. Sat on the floor and inserted my index finger on my mouth towards my throat.
Felt my consciousness float over my body as I was done throwing up the McDonalds and the alcohol and the Xanax. Saw that I was a fucking mess. I wanted to break down and cry, felt like I had to, like it was needed. But I couldn’t. The tears on my eyes came from vomiting.
Upon insistence from a friend, I went to the ER to have myself checked. Drove myself. Told the attending doctor and nurse everything. That I am diagnosed with clinical depression and am being treated for it. Showed them my PWD card to confirm. That I was taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. That I overdosed on the latter. That it was an intentional overdose. That I was drunk.
I was put in four hour observation. Rehydrated with those dextrose things that they insert in your skin. Standard operating procedure, I suppose. While I was on the hospital bed, I overheard them talking about me and if they should contact my doctor. Told them that my doctor has a clinic in that hospital and my doctor’s name.
I don’t know how I got to sleep there after what happened, but I was woken up, checked again, got presented the bill, and got discharged.
Drove myself back home and slept to escape the nightmare I put myself in.
It’s so easy to single out and put all the blame on the darkness for what happened. It’s so easy to put all the blame on my sickness. But no…my hand isn’t clean. I played a huge part in it. I got drunk even though I knew I shouldn’t have. I underestimated the darkness.
I have to commend myself. Even though what I did was heinous, deplorable, I fought til the end. Fought the hardest fight of my life and won.
Learned so much since then. Got so many takeaways from that night. But that’s for another entry. I’m spent.
John Mari A. Marcelo