Let’s talk about suicide
So I can honestly say that I’ve only come to terms with admitting that these events actually took place within the last few days. I’ve mentioned them in passing in certain ways to help others or to make a point. The one thing I’ve never done is tell the entire story of events and I can tell you right now that I’m not going to be forthcoming with all of the details and this is one of the few posts that I will have comments disabled. If you have something you’d like to say, my blog tells you how to email me, but I’m not having this type of discussion in a public forum and I am only going to share the details that I feel need to be shared to show the events that transpired. Aside from myself, no names will be mentioned. No dates, no places. Why do this then you ask? Because in my gut, that place where a lot of my feelings are lately, I need to say these things. Up until this moment that I’m writing this (and the moment you finish reading this). The only person who knows it is my CPT therapist and she only knows about one event. I’ve never told a living soul before. Not even those who were unknowingly involved in the situations.
So. Now that you’ve read all of that, I’ll be your wondering what I’m talking about. Well, September is suicide prevention month. So I’m going to tell you how and why I hit the point two different times in my life that I was ready and willing to take my own life. I’m also going to tell you how one of those times, they only thing that stopped me was an innocent call from a friend who was a long distance away. That statement right there is enough to prove that buddy checks can and do work.
There is one event in my life that both of these events trace back to. The loss of a close friend and what I’m now learning is the perception that it was my fault. That event caused my PTSD and has made every day for the last 8 years very difficult. In the days immediately following that event I hit a low point. I was so determined that things were my fault that I was more scared of the potential consequences of my actions than I was living. I was overwhelmed with emotion, I had no local support system or family and those who I’ve learned since that I could have relied on, well I never made that connection then. I literally argued with myself for several days on the way I would do it when I would do it that I would actually do it.
I had scheduled leave coming and hadn’t really made plans so it would be two weeks before I was really missed. So the day I went on leave was when I intended on taking my life. I had perception painkillers handy and I was going to take the entire bottle and just never wake up. Sounds simple in retrospect, but in my head, at the time I was battling myself every moment. To push through the last hurdles in my head I got a bottle of vodka and started to get drunk and get some liquid courage. As it would turn out, in the actual moments when I determined I would end my life, drunken stupidity actually saved me. Instead of downing the bottle of pills that I knew would have killed me, I downed a nearly empty bottle of vitamin m and passed out on my kitchen floor. I would like to think that I made that mistake intentionally, that it was some part of my brain still fighting to hold on, but I’ll see it for what it was. I was too drunk to take my own life. When I awoke the next day, I punched a hole or seven in my wall and decided that maybe time on leave would change my mind.
For a time, it changed my mind and I went on with my life, I still fought the monsters every day but I just kept going. I threw myself into my work and just kept busy. I managed to keep myself together for about a year before I started to sink back in the hole I barely kept myself out of. This time I lived with a roommate, one who was into guns and had several options. He was extremely safe with his weapons and I’m sure had he been aware of my issues, he would have been even safer with them.
I again had come to the point that I was willing to end my own life. Remembering my alcohol-induced failure from the last time I tried, I determined I would take one of my roommates’ guns when he wasn’t around and shoot myself in the head with it. I fought with myself all day about involving another person, especially a good friends, in my actions and my problems. I found myself turning to alcohol again to push myself over the edge, this time with beer to make sure I didn’t repeat my failure. Just about the time I was ready to end my life a friend called me from a war zone to tell me about his problems. He needed to tell someone about something that had happened to him and felt I was someone he could tell. I am forever grateful that he did call me that day. He unknowingly talked me off the edge and I gave up my goals of not being alive.
I’ve thought about ending my life since then, but as I’ve been told by a professional, they are only passive. I have no intention of ending my life and despite the problems I have, I’ve found that I have more things to live for than to die for. The recent weeks have been especially rough going through a divorce and CPT at the same time. I’ve come close to those two times then I have in a long time, I’ve been towing the line but I have that support system now that I didn’t have them. And I am eternally grateful to those who’ve helped me. Even those that aren’t aware they’ve ever helped.