Never Going Back: Memories of A Suicide Attempt
It's a bit daunting to say the word "never", especially when we are referring to depression. Depression has an element of surprise and the benefit of disguise in it's arsenal, but there is a part of me that believes I never have to go back, that I never will experience the darkest depths of depression ever again.
My Most Trying Times With Depression
I look back on some of my most trying times with depression now and I see that I have come so far. Even though I still struggle with the daily challenges of living with chronic depression, the worst of times from my memory are behind me. It was almost 5 years ago that I lay in bed one summer day crying and tormented by my mental pain and anguish, struggling with the decision of whether or not to take my own life.
I had been recently diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the physical pain I was in daily was intense. I had become a person that I never wanted to be. I felt completely useless to my family, my friends and to the world. I believed in my mind that day that the world would be better served without me in it. Even though I believed this to be true, I was still scared and a bit uncertain. So, in my bed, in my own quiet world, my family in the living room beyond, I grappled with spiritual beliefs and weighed the pros and cons. As the pain in my mind became too great I picked up my prescription bottle and began swallowing pills. One pill at a time with a sip of water. I counted each one. I took them deliberately and a bit slowly. I wrote a letter to my family. I apologized for leaving them, but reassured them that life would be better without me.
My Saving Grace From Suicide
I swallowed the thirteenth pill and shortly after my daughter came into my room. She was seven years old at the time. She asked me what was wrong and I asked her if she could get me more water, I had just run out. Her appearance in my room perhaps saved me or perhaps I saved myself because of her appearance. I somehow realized, upon seeing her, that I had to stop taking those pills. She was, before that day, an angel to me and she has been one ever since. I asked my little girl to get my husband. When he came to the room I handed him the letter, I did not know what to say. He read the letter and looked at me, saw the pill bottle and went to call my mother who lived close by. Someone called 911.
The experience from there only became more chaotic. I can barely stand to think of it for it makes my stomach turn so much. The dark black color of the charcoal, the tube in my nose and throat, it was unwelcome and yet necessary to avoid any damage to my body from the pills I had swallowed.
The psychiatric unit I was taken to was cold. The bathroom tiles were icy and hard. I was crumpled on the floor, ill from the charcoal, now vomiting and cramping. It was an experience I will never forget and pray no one ever has to experience. I cried and moaned. No one heard me. The next day I awoke, alive and well, but very grumpy. I was definitely not happy to be there. I wanted to go home. I wanted the nightmare to be over. I just wanted the pain to stop.
No Vacancy for Suicide
Five years later, I am here tell you, that I will never go back to that emotional place again. I may struggle with severe depression in my lifetime, as depression seems quite fond of me. It is honestly difficult to say "never", but I know in my heart that I will not allow myself to get that low again before I seek help and let someone know that I am thinking suicidal thoughts. It is not an option to consider. It has been wiped from any list I might have of solutions to despair. It has been a remarkable road to here and while I cannot say that I have all the power over depression, I can say that there is no room for it here. When it comes to suicidal thoughts, there is simply no vacancy.
If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please visit our Suicide Information page. There is help available.
Kiel, A. (2011, May 10). Never Going Back: Memories of A Suicide Attempt, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, March 31 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/depressiondiaries/2011/05/never-going-back-memories-of-a-suicide-attempt
Author: Amy Kiel
I'm only 13 years old and i read some those Tories and they touched me.I thought prehaps it was time to share my story with people who are smiliar to me.I lost my father 5 years ago andI was only young so I dont remember much but I do remember a few months after i went abit weird against everyone and I wasnt handling it every well the way I decided to handle it was to cut myself i had cuts up my arms and i made sure that no-one could see the till one night i was going to a party with a friend and she spotted them i didn't know what to say to her she started to cry i asked her if everything was okay she pulled up the sleves of her dress and she had cuts up her arms i ask her how long she had been doing them but she wouldn't worry about hers hshe realised i was wearing a sleveless dress and she went to her wardrobe and pulled out a really nice sleved dress she let me wear it for the night and thats how my cuts got discovered.. a few weeks later I went to her house again to see if she wanted to go out well she dd say yestthat time I wore a long sleve. After my dad died I started to realise that he wasn't coming home i started to realise that i only had my mum and my brothers left then suicidal thoughts started to get more and more comman to me i never said anything to anyone until i was talking to my closest friend and he got it out of me, he thought he would never hear me say the word like I really wanna die come from me he said this to me "but you always smile and look so very happy" all I could say was thats what i do so i dont get ask am i ok all the time he started to cry when i stid that and when i said that i dont think i should be alive anymore and that i was the biggest mistake that my parents made he turnt to me and gave me a hug he said that it wasn't true. And hearing your story about how you saw your daughter and realising what you did, i thought about it and I think my best friends arethe ones stopping me from ending life for good. But i dostill have my days where i do think about suicide but i dont think I can do it not wihle my best friends are on my mind ithank you so much for showing me that being here is a blessing not a cuirse but i will sometimes tink of it both ways. thank you.
I have a incredibly difficult situation. I live in seattle and have lost everything. My house slip off a hillside . I lost my job 2 Yrs ago. My money is gone. I am about to become homeless in seattle( most depressing place to live in us) I am 62 and my profession is obsolete . I developed major depressive disorder Andy am having many psychological issues. Bankrupt, homeless and mentally ill is horrible seattle. Can I make it?
Hi understand things you are going have had times in past when felt no hope wanting to die many many times, crying everyday for months at a time ,feeling no strengh really introvered hardly able to physically move with anxiety.one day went to a church poeple had their hands raised in worship neverseen anythinglike it before at end of service they asked people who wanted jesus to come into their life to put their hand up. I did this since then gradually been improving giving me strengh sorting my anger out helping with anxietyhelping me communicate people.i have felt little miracles happening hope at last
It's very courageous of you to talk about your suicide attempt. I made a 300 pill attempt when I was 26, which was 30 years ago! I'm still haunted by that attempt and the aftermath, much like you describe. When I am stressed, I often think about trying again, but if those pills did not work, or Divine Intervention worked to save me, then why try again. I wrote about my experience, and the reasons for wanting to die, in my memoir Beyond the Tears: A True Survivor's Story. I also have fibromyalgia, and feel useless, but I felt useless before the diagnosis. What keeps me going now is...that many people tell me that hoarding and counting pills is not an option. I wish all of you freedom from the thoughts that have tragic consequences.
Thank you for this deeply open, honest and vulnerable post. As I read through the comments I am touched by the permission that is given for people to open up with their own experiences because of YOUR courage to share.
Like you, as a mother of young children, I know the anguish of being torn between ending your pain (whether emotional or physical) for good, or choosing what may seem to be the less attractive option at the time (life), in order to be there for your family.
I have suffered from severe suicidal ideation for about 11 years now, and have overdosed several times. Three overdoses were a cry for help, as I knew they would express to the doctors the degree of desperation I was feeling. Last year, I took a large quantity of prescription meds together with alcohol. I was deeply unconscious when they got me to hospital, where they pumped my stomach (don't remember this) and put me on a ventilator for 2 days in I.C.U. My heartbeat was apparently very erratic because of the pills I had taken, but no permanent damage was done.
My husband is very supportive and has shielded the children from the truth of what I did. It would devastate them to know that I was capable of abandoning them through suicide. I am haunted daily by this realization, too! I nevertheless continue to struggle with suicidal ideation daily. These negative, destructive thoughts are my constant companion. It is as though they have become hard-wired into my system and there is no psychologist or psychiatrist on this planet capable of deleting them.
The prospect of living like this for the rest of my life is daunting, but I am doing my best to embrace life, and I remain hopeful that eventually I will get well. Besides, when you have overdosed, and tried to sleep yourself to death "gently" and "peacefully", you realise that "soft suicide" does not actually exist! It is scary and awfully lonely - which is what life can seem like sometimes, but hey - as long as we keep waking up each morning, we have one more precious opportunity to hug our children and tell them how much we love them.
Thank you for sharing your experiences in this forum. I hope that your physical health improves and that you keep up the philosophy of "No vacancy for suicide". You are on the right path!
Thank you for sharing this. I have been in a similar situation. It took an actual attempt to convince me to never EVER try again. It was not a failed attempt, but an aborted one. I found myself in a bathtub full of water, having consumed 3 bottles of pills (any one of those bottles alone would have done the trick), playing with a knife. This was not a cry for attention. If I messed up one part, the other 2 would take care of it. I was serious, and I would have died. But something in me, maybe my survival instinct, took over. My head screamed "WHAT ARE YOU DOING????????" I was so messed up, I had trouble getting out of the tub and making it to the nearest phone. But I did, and I managed to dial 911.
The police were the first to arrive. They managed to help me find some sweats and put my slippers on my feet while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. I wasn't sent straight to a psych ward. I spent quite a bit of time on a cardiac unit first. In the ER, I surprised everyone. That black charcoal that my my favorite slippers ended up covered in tasted good to me. The guy told me to hold my breath or whatever I needed to do and just try to choke it down. He went away for a minute and I had finished it by the time he came back.
The cardiac unit sucked. The psych ward sucked. The whole experience sucked. But I learned something valuable. I am a fighter. I am a survivor. I will NEVER GO THERE AGAIN. I asked for help at the last minute that time. I will NEVER let things get that bad again before asking for help, ever. And I too, do not like to use the word "never" and I do not take it lightly.
Another great resources is 1-800-SUICIDE and I also like this web site: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/
I am so glad you are still with us! My husband and I both suffer from Bipolar. I have a mild form of it (Bipolar Type II) and my husband has the classic form. I have been so depressed that I have thought of suicide, but I never had the guts to do it. I became really concerned when I started thinking of ways to do it because it never happened before. I have seen it in my husband. He has tried to kill himself on several occasions and the thought of even thinking as I was really scared me. I have prevented my husband from killing himself, I have locked up his meds and kept an eagle eye on him. Thank the Lord that he does well when he takes his meds, but when he stops, he has problems.
So I understand this. What is so frustrating is people who don't understand. They say you have sop much to live for. Well, I have been depressed in an otherwise great time pf my life, and I knew life was supposed top be good, but I could not grasp it. I wish people would understand that it is irrational!!
Anyway thank you for this! I pray that you never do go back down that dark road again. :)
Talking about suicide, depression or mental illness has always been a tabboo subject however the more we acknoledge it and accept there is no shame in suffering from a mental illness i hope the better it will get.I have suffered severe depression,anxiety and an eating disorder since i was 13. I am 29 and struggle every day. I have tried to end my life and self harmed too such a degree when i could have easily died or lost a limb unintentionally just to stop feeling the menta pain, and now take it one day,week,month at a time. Things can change and i have only recently learnt that as i have finally found a therapist who does not bully or look down at me nor does she patronise me. I would not say i think i will definately recover but i will say i will try to stay alive and have a better quality of life. I hope everyone finds the courage to put of suicide for one more day, just wait, it may not get better but it might get manageable and different. keep going. x
Thank you all for sharing. I know how hard it is sometimes to remember the events that brought us here. I was misdiagnosed with unipolar depression and my doctor gave me a script for Paxil. I went through a week of super hypermania. I think everyone thought I was going crazy. I was capable of doing anything in my mind. Thus I discontinued the Paxil since "I didn't need it" - I was fine!. The next week I crashed. One night my husband and I got in a fight which I of course started. I can remember screaming that I need help and he just didn't know what to do. After the family went to bed, I started taking valium that my doctor had also prescribed. I had everything planned and ready. I had no identification on me and planned to go to the nearest train station and jump in front of the train. I fell asleep from all the Valium and my husband found me sleeping on the floor. I remember going into the bathroom and finding some Vicodin that I also took. I just wanted to numb the pain. I had never been so low in my entire life. I finally told my husband to call my doctor. The last thing I remember is being shuffled from hospital to hospital because no one had room or even a behavioral health department. By the time I made it to the last hospital and was mostly coherent. I begged my husband not to admit me but he knew better. It took me a week in the hospital to get medicated properly. It's wrong to say but it was the best thing that happened to me in the diagnostic way. It's been five years now and I'm still in phase I - accepting. I have yet to fully accept that this is life long and there is no cure. It will take some time yet for me to really believe that I will need medication every day for the rest of my life. I'm learning to take it day by day. I'm learning to read my symptoms and to be honest with my psychiatrist so I can get meds adjusted. I also have returned to my therapist and I'm finding that I really needed to do that a while ago. I cannot explain I relieved I have been to have found this site. It has been a real eye opener for me and a great source of information.
I just recently overdosed~4 weeks ago? Only one friend knew and he lives out of state and coudnt really do anything. I have been self injuring for 10 years now~since I was 16 and had to get 11stitches yesterday. When they asked if I was suicidal~I lied. When they asked if I have ever tried to kill my self I brushed it off. I don't have family to go to or friends. I don't have insurance and don't think my daycare teacher salery can cover the cost of seeing someone.. its been 10 years~and I'm still waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. And I've decided I will wait one more year
Your struggle is hard and I know the pain must be great right now. Perhaps one thing to think about... if you have given yourself one more year...you could choose to be honest with the doctors, with ANYONE you come in contact with about your struggles so that you can get help finding the resources you need to find that light. I completely understand the financial concerns, but there are places that help people with low income or no way to pay. It might take a little more work and effort to find the help you need, but if you seek it and you are open about where you are at emotionally, I know that it can be found.
It is really hard to tell people the truth about what is going on inside but if we don't share, then how can we get the support and treatment we need? I strongly encourage you to use this time to think about being open, honest and search for the support you need right now. It is a dark place, and has been for a long time for you from what you say, but I do believe you will see light at the end of the tunnel. Please consider seeking it out?
As you know, I am not a doctor or therapist or in any way licensed to give you medical advice, so these are just my thoughts and ideas of what might be helpful to you during this really difficult time.
You can always call a hotline like 1800273TALK (8255) and they can help you find resources as well! Wishing you light.
...so now what? is anybody even here? no, what , let me go there, or help. Help, so spendy. i dont want help
How courageous of you to tell your story. I suffer from depression due to fibromyalgia. Last year, however, I was diagnosed with generalize anxiety disorder and I realized I had actually suffered from both anxiety and depression my whole life. In fact, you can say it's pretty much all I have known. My mother suffers from bipolar disease. I grew up being very calm and then having what would be called a maniac phase. I thought that was what you were suppose to do ..... that it was normal. At 17, my best friend was killed in a car accident. I had no one to talk too .... no one to help me sort out my feelings. I buried them along with my friend. I struggled inside to make sense of it all. Why would God call a 16 yr old kid home? Would people other than me remember him now that he was gone? Would they share their memories, cherish their memories, and look back on them with fondness? In a nutshell, I wanted to know if others would know they were touched by his prescence. I went away to college the following yr. It was my first time away from home and I was still struggling with depression. One day, I was driving back to school after being at home for the weekend. It was raining. There were lots of trees around. It was the same conditions as the day my friend died. All of a sudden, I said, I want to see Chris, and I drove the car off the road. My attempt failed. I meant to hit a tree. However, the mud slipped the car into a ditch instead. I remember being very angry that I had failed. So I thought I would attempt another try. I stood in my dorm room with a handful of Percocet that my roommate had when she was recovering from an injury. I had the glass of water ready. But I just couldn't force myself to take the pills. The radio was on. And one of my favorites began to play. I collapsed on my bed, crying. I realized that as much as I wanted to see my friend, I still wanted to be here too. I wanted to experience college, I wanted to get married (that hasn't happened), I wanted children (cancer took away that dream), I wanted to have the house with the white picket fence. I knew that I would have to make a choice. And as much as it hurt, I chose me. It's been 20 yrs since my friend passed away. I miss him more today than I ever have. I know one day we will meet again. However, it'll be when God decides to take me home. Until then, he'll live on in my mind and my heart.
hmmm what to say
still herenowalways 16 years after a suicide (pills) attempt.
greatful for this fact.....though have to learn to roll with the recurrent waves of de4pression when they come...(and then go)
They seem as though they will stay for ever....but they do go.
I happily take my meds each day.
Every day without a suicidal thought is a win.
ps wingsofmadness.com has been a literal life saver for me on a number of occasions
great forums there where we can all share. --- get and give help and information.
I know that kind of crushing depression and have attempted suicide myself. It's a horrible feeling. I hope you continue feeling better!
Well done and thank you for sharing your story... I too am a Suicide Survivor... Having been there myself with two overdoses I know how much of a long hard struggle it is, and how it never really leaves you. Its difficult and very few understand what it feels like to survive, and reading your story really struck a chord with me. I just wish there were more resources and stories like this out there.
I am now 55 years old, but your description of yourself and your mother is my own memory of walking in on my mother in a similar state when I was about 10. My Mom just passed away at age 84. Struggling with depression, she lived a good life and as her daughter I am forever grateful that she had the courage to stick with it. I am sure your daughter feels the same. Take care
As a Physician I have seen many people who are suicidal and have had one patient who committed suicide (in 30 years of practice). I have Major Recurrent Depressive Disorder myself and have first hand knowledge of the mental and emotional pain that it causes - worse than any physical pain. A story originally published in the New Yorker provides a helpful perspective on suicide. "Jumpers" is about people who leap to their deaths from the Golden Gate Bridge and society's responses to this tragedy. There have been a handful of survivors, who, to a person, regret the decision. Over many years I have found that my patients do not want death, but relief from their anguish. Many things can help - faith, family, therapy and medication are but a few. Thank you all for your posts
what helps me personally is to think that Jesus has saved me so I dont need to die until he takes me home....... I still struggle at times...
Our faith can certainly be a tremendous help in times of struggle! Thank you for commenting.
Hi, thank you for publising on this subject - in all my web surfing on this issue, I have never seen surving suicide addressed - stuff is mainly about what it like to experience for everyone else! I guess I went a bit further and closer to death. I have Bipolar Disorder and several other life threatening mental illnesses. Three years ago I had lost my career due to my illnesses, had lost my Mum 5 months before, was daily bed-ridden with profound suicidal ideation every day, with no-one coming to see me. To be honest, I had a different experience maybe to others in that due to both my illnesses and long-term mis-prescription that made me a lot sicker, as well as my profound isolation, meant my 100% serious attempt to die was inevitable. I took a MASSIVE cocktail of psychiatric medication and due to a fluke was found the next day by the Police and Ambulance, I was in a coma when they found me and was in a coma for 5 days and had many major medical interventions to save my life. But ironically, when I came out of the coma and the following horrific psychosis, I was not regretful tha I survived - I was simply amazed!!!
Three years on, well you can imagine how hard it's been, I have still been very isolated due to the stigma around mental illness, but the suicide attempt has pushed me to become relentless in my search for the best clinicans, the best meds regimes and supports of many other types. Due to proper meds and excellent psychotherapists, I have come a long way and do have hope. I still suffer terribly from my illnesses at times, but things are looking up.
It's wonderful that you have come to that place where things are better and looking up, that you have hope! If we have hope, we have everything. Your experience sounds devastating and horrific. I am so glad that you came through. Thank you for sharing with us here, so others can be helped by knowing what you have been through and still made it to the other side. Best wishes!
That is amazing J. Amy I have also been in the same spot as you. I took sleeping pills and extra insulin. I also remember the tube running down my throat and the stomache cramps. I have been in this spot many times and it still does not get any easier. Again I think like you that my family would be so much better with out me. I still struggle to this date about my family, they would be so much better without my medical expenses, from diabetes to major depression.
When we are depressed or suffering from depression it is so hard to see our own value. I feel pretty certain that your family would gladly take the medical expenses over grieving the loss of you in their life. While I know that is very hard to digest at times, I hope that you can see that as truth. Once you see or know that is the truth, you can hold on to that. I believe that our value does not come from what we can or cannot do but from just being... just being who we are. I am so sorry you have struggled in a similar way that I have. I hope that in the future you will never ever return again to a place of such darkness. I believe it is possible.
Thank you so much for sharing!
I attempted to kill myself about 2 years ago. I took a lot of pills from my cabinet. I had never felt so low before. Feeling sudated, I was ready to lay in a filled bath tub when a coworker showed up at my house. She said that after having read my mood status on a networking site that I had posted up the day before,"dead," she had a feeling I wasn't right. she knew I was going through hard times. she showed up at my house and she knocked on the bathroom door for several minutes to come out, even though I asked her to let me finish taking my bath. She reasoned that I would not have stay home from work for a simple bath. I ended up at the ER and then at a psychiatric ward.
Only a few people I knew were aware of my depression. I never had it treated because I promised my mom that I would try to live life without a dependance on medication. Friends and family were shocked for I have the gift/ curse of masking my pain with a contagious smile, as I have been told.
Apparently I took medication that eased pain, and other things that just made my stomache feel sick. I took the kind that don't kill you. I felt stupid at first because I couldn't even kill myself right. I was embarassed, but it was to real for me.
I haven't shared my story to many. I haven't really figured it all out yet, but after reading your comments, I feel its time to let it out and start to heal. it's true though, things have gotten better for me. I'm happy to be alive.
Thank you so much for sharing your story. It can be really therapeutic to share your experiences and to "let it out". I understand, too, when you mention having the gift/curse of masking your pain with your smile. I have had a tendency to do that throughout my life, especially in my younger years. I also use laughter and jokes to lighten things up and therefore often times my doctor cannot tell if I am really in much emotional pain. I have learned to recognize this about myself and being aware of that helps me.
It is wonderful to hear that you are glad to be alive! That is really an awesome thing when I know at one point you did not feel that way.
When I was 15 I put the barrel of a shotgun into my mouth and pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. I looked at the shell and the primer was dented but the firing pin of the gun had broken. Incredible. I should have been dead.
Never been back there since.
That's amazing. Equally wonderful that you have never been back to that point since!
I know exactly how you feel Amy. I've had a few times in my life where I've attempted suicide. I overdosed on prescription medication, pretty much like you I woke up in the hospital being forced charcoal. I will never forget having to drink that stuff. After a few days in the hospital I was sent off to another hospital for 5 days. I have yet to experience anything as terrible as that.
The times I have attempted since are few and far between, I'm more afraid of failing at suicide and ending up in the hospital and a mental health hospital then I am of anything else. Having to go through what I did, being treated like I was nothing, ignored, yelled at etc. It scares me, I'll do what I can to never go back. I guess the only thing scarier then that is the 2 choices i have in life, live my life... or end it for good.
I vote for life! Thank you so much for sharing your struggles. It can be a really tough experience to be inpatient, but it can also be a life saver. I have experienced it twice and one experience was much better than the other.
I hope that taking your own life becomes a "non-option" for you as life is certainly full of hardship but there are lots of good things to be enjoyed as well! I know it is SO painfully difficult to see that/feel that when we are in the midst of a severe depression or something similar. Thanks again for sharing Bryan.
I tried it with sleeping pills in '86;Ionly work up the next morning,feeling pissed off.
Amy, Thank you for sharing this post. It was courageous of you to do so. It will give others that hope they may desperately need to read that there is more to life. I am blessed to know you. And I know exactly how deep depression can hit you hard. I struggled with a very deep depression about 4 years ago. It was awful. But the Lord saw me through it. God Bless you, Amy.