The Night I Tried to Kill Myself

I don’t quite know how to put this experience into words. I haven’t written for some time again, due to feelings of inadequacy, depression, and general brain fog. I can’t seem to form coherent sentences as quickly as I used to, nor can I focus for long periods of time on something that I have a deep love for.

Thursday, 10.25.18 I remember walking into the outpatient center I attend for a therapy session. I remember the feelings of utter hopelessness attending with me, like a sack lunch I was carrying to school. I had made the decision to give up. I was tired of fighting, I was tired of trying to fight, and I was tired of the only option being fighting. I was tired of fighting myself, I was tired of, for the millionth time in my mental health career, coming off of medication, and I was tired of hearing I needed medication to thrive.

I was taking 10 milligrams of Abilify and 10 milligrams of Trintellix and I couldn’t find the energy to finish homework, or get out of bed, and I didn’t have the luxury of feeling any emotion at all: happiness, sadness, inquisitiveness, passion–nothing. And so I did what I always do: stopped the medication.

This usually happens without consequence. For the most part, I’ll stop cold turkey after a couple of months, struggle through a few physical withdrawal symptoms, and get on with my lifestyle. The last time I stopped these two meds, I regained my energy quickly, breezed through four classes, and managed happiness until the opinions of those I care about convinced me to try the medication again.

So I tried again, For maybe two and a half weeks. Then I stopped. I stopped and I noticed my energy did not come back. My mood was stable until it wasn’t. It plummeted. I focused a lot on what was wrong with me, the disappointment of my relationship ending (yes, I’m still stuck on that), and the worries of the future regarding my education, where I’m going to live after December, and the simple fact that I struggle taking care of myself. Those are the surface issues. There are deeper issues I don’t think I’m in touch with yet.

I’ve struggled with depression since I was ten years old. A low mood was nothing new to me, in fact I welcomed it because the darkness was comforting. It was an old friend, a sinister reminder that life is suffering and suffering reminds us that we’re alive. I was thankful for this friend to return because on the medication I didn’t feel alive.

I started planning fun things to do to keep me from falling further: A concert, an overnight trip to San Francisco, Halloween plans and costumes. I got excited: the week of the 21st would be marvelous.

But I started separating from myself.  I don’t remember when, and I don’t remember how, but part of me blacked out. I know I was around and talking to people because I went to work, had laughs, made plans. I don’t remember much of it, but I know I was there.

By Thursday, the 25th, I was moving slowly, not comprehending where I was, no hope or vision for the future, and I’d even lost interest in Halloween, my favorite holiday. I confessed to the therapist that I didn’t have energy to care much about my life, nor could I answer her questions. I didn’t tell her I’d made a plan to (somehow) kill myself after Halloween. It wasn’t fully developed yet, an undercooked chicken in the oven.

I don’t remember much about the session other than the ending: a mindful meditation seeking to locate my inner child. I remember a lot of pain resurfacing, so deep and profound I had never felt it before, and I snapped. I was gone. She asked me how I felt, and I told her dissociated, separated from myself. I remember that. She made me do some grounding activities to bring me back into my body. I don’t think they worked.
That night I went to a concert. It put me in a seemingly better mood.

Friday and Saturday I spent the days in San Francisco at the Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, Six Flags, and around town. Saturday evening, on the drive back, a sinister part of me reminded me of my plan.

I’m not a stranger to hearing voices. I don’t hear them every day, and I haven’t had a bad episode in a while, not since my last hospitalization last year, but this time was different. This time I heard nothing external, and everything internal.

We all have an inner voice that reads to us, thinks for us, and we are in control of that voice, we dictate it. I’m dictating it now as I read back what I wrote, and as I write. But what I listened to that Saturday evening was not of my own doing. A different voice, a male voice, one inside of my head that I had no control of, which directly told me I needed to kill myself. He instructed me to open the door of the car and jump out in traffic–on the highway–and end it. He addressed me as “you” and I addressed me as “I”. That’s the only difference I can pinpoint right now. When I had a thought of my own, I said to myself “I need to calm down”. When I didn’t, he said “you need to do this. There’s no reason for you to live, you don’t deserve life.”

Was this a demonic entity interfering with my thoughts? I didn’t know. I sat paralyzed in the rental car my Ex drove, crying consistently for an hour and a half. The torment wouldn’t stop. “You don’t deserve to live. There’s nothing good about you. Jump out of the car. End it. When you get home, kill yourself. Hang yourself in the closet, no one will even find you.”

I had plans that evening with another friend, so I did not act on those commands. I did, however, drink quite a bit of whiskey and wander around the downtown city. When I got home, I drank more whiskey and fell asleep.

In the morning I awoke instantly crying. The day was Sunday, 10.28.18. I turned on Breaking Bad: I’ve never seen it before. I don’t remember much of the episodes because my head was so loud: “hang yourself in the closet. Take a knife, slit your wrists. You will never amount to anything. You don’t deserve to be on this earth, you don’t contribute to anything.” I joined in: “I can’t write anymore. I can’t enjoy things anymore. I don’t see this getting any better”.

It was 6pm that night when I finally stood up and searched my apartment for something, anything to hang myself with. I didn’t feel in control of my body, I was just going along with the motions.

“Fill up the tub, get in the water, slit your wrists.”

I grabbed a kitchen knife from the drawer and filled up the tub. I remember this part more clearly than other parts because my heart was beating out of my chest, my hands were clammy, and I couldn’t get a grip on myself, I felt like I was losing myself to someone else.

I got in the water with my clothes on and fought the noise in my head. I tried to give myself reasons to live–family, my cat, work–but it was always overpowered by that other voice. I spent a half an hour sawing at my wrists with a dull blade that could barely cut a tomato. I pressed as hard as I could and my skin barely broke. Eventually, I threw the knife. I remember a lot of crying and banging my head on the wall and hitting myself. The noise wouldn’t stop. I ripped out the string from my leggings I had on and wrapped it around my neck and pulled and pulled and pulled. Thinking back on it, I would probably pass out before I die, given my hands are the one pulling the strings, but in the moment I just needed to cause some sort of harm to myself. I kept trying the knife in between strangling myself and I sent one text message that I don’t remember.

It was a couple hours before I stopped. My neck was sore and I had stopped crying, but I wasn’t back in my body yet. The water was cold and I heard the front door open and footsteps running in.

We spent a couple hours talking, and I was gone completely. I don’t remember an ounce of the conversation. I remember seeing through my eyes my body stand up and go for the knife, go for the string, and my ex preventing me from doing so. I remember telling him I didn’t want to traumatize him.

There’s a block on my memory of the conversation, what I said, what he said. I remember being on the couch wrapped in blankets, soaking wet, distraught, eating pizza. I didn’t remember the last time I had food. It couldn’t have been too long. I took a Seroquel. I only had three or four left. It’s a shame I didn’t have a full bottle, or I would have just swallowed them all and called it a night.

The next day I didn’t awake until 1pm. I could barely move, my mind was paralyzingly loud, and I turned on more Breaking Bad. The urge to die was so strong. People took turns watching after me, texting me, calling me. I refused to let anyone call 911. The hospital is not a place to be when you’re in a crisis.

Today is Halloween. My head isn’t loud. I came back into my body and have trouble remembering what the depression felt like because I feel I wasn’t the one to feel it–this entity within me, whether it’s paranormal or just a fractured part of my self, is hell bent on destroying me.  I haven’t experienced a dissociative experience so destructive since high school.

Am I still depressed? I think. Mildly. Or it’s so severe that I’m incapable of comprehending the severity of it.

I didn’t learn to love life from this attempt. I didn’t learn to appreciate the little things or find new meaning or purpose. I still feel lost and confused. A hospital visit isn’t going to change that. What I did learn is that I’m more committed than ever to never taking psychiatric medication again in my life. After 7 years of being a guinea pig, I’m done.

My outpatient group counselor asked me why I despised medication so much. I told her it’s poison. She asked in what way. I told everyone in that room that long term treatment results in heart issues, liver issues, physical ailments that permanently scar your internal body and shorten your life span.

She said okay,  well, then would you rather kill yourself now and not have a life to live, or have some little problems a little later?

I said that was a dumb question, and that heart arrhythmia’s aren’t little problems. I said I’d rather kill myself than subject my body to synthetic chemicals.

And through this experience, if it’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that the only two ways I will die is by my own hand or nature’s hand. I will not slowly die at the hands of greedy monsters making a profit off my death. If anyone is going to shorten my life span, it’s going to be me.

Should 911 have been called on me? Probably. I’m worried what I will do after Halloween–my original plan–and where my mindset will go. I’m worried I won’t be able to receive the support people are offering because I don’t know how. I’m convinced there is nothing left for me and that the only thing keeping me alive right now is fear of the unknown and a low threshold for pain. I’m worried this depression will slide past, unnoticed, and sky rocket into something more. I’m worried I’m not going to find a purpose again, that I’m not going to find a reason to live. I’m worried I’ll never feel passionate about anything again, or optimistic. I’m worried I’m shutting down, like the last stages of liver cancer. I’m worried I’ll pass as functional and be in misery for the rest of my life, however short or long that is. I’m worried someone will convince me to go back on medication. I’m worried that the only thought in my head right now is that I give up.

I’m worried that, recently, every time someone offers their help, my response now is “I don’t want it.”

An Anxious Day

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Today is an anxiety day.

I’m not sure if I’ve had one of these since I’ve started this blog, so if you’re just now reading my masterpieces, welcome to hell.

There are many things I love about keeping this blog. I can connect with people on a personal level otherwise unobtainable through verbal communication (for me), and we can exchange woes in a healthy fashion, examine each other’s behavior and learn from it. We can feel included in the world. I spew personal rants, which can go in odd direction (hence, 10 questions for Cannibals) or I can be informative and quite possibly helpful, as I’ve made attempts in the past with Be a Teacher, Not a Scapegoat.

I provide a mix on this site to show the truth behind struggling day to day with mental health and to provide a safe space to learn and perhaps think about mental health in a different way. I first started it as a way to communicate information but soon realized that didn’t do much good if people didn’t see I was a real person with similar struggles.

Therefore, I will be truthful with you all: Today is an anxiety day.

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All the textbooks and published articles in the world could never give you enough factual information to help you deal with these kinds of days. You learn through experience and by listening to yourself.

I practice the art of repression.

abstract-art-hd-background-wallpaper-55Yes, it’s an art, and it takes years to master. That being said, I’m not proud of my maladaptive coping strategies, in fact they are the reason I sit before you at this computer tonight with my leg jiggling and my mind racing. When presented with stress I internalize it to it’s fullest and it hides in the dusty corner by the caged beast, seeping into the gooey fibers of my brain, waiting to wreck havoc on my physical self.

All of my panic attacks and lesser anxiety attacks have stemmed from a reason, I’ve come to learn this. For example, they happen around the same time every four months: when a new semester is starting.

They’ve been with me since I got off Lexapro and they’ve developed a pattern of hitting me the week before a new semester. Just the other day I was wondering when I was going to get hit with heart fluttering panic.

You all know how I am about my health. If you’re just tuning in and haven’t yet experienced the beauty of my health anxiety rants, just know I’m terrified of developing a disease or a sickness that could permanently scar or kill me.

72b894e855438a3b406efc18becaaabeThe thing about panic is it makes your heart race. The thing about my heart racing is that I immediately assume something is wrong. Did the heart racing start before the anxiety or did the anxiety cause the increase in heart rate? The line gets blurry even though I’m 95% sure the anxiety came first. It’s been building up and building up and I’ve been shoving it down and shoving it down.

I do have a slightly faster heart rate than others (just natural, I assume, plus I need to exercise more) and it picks up the pace at the slightest hint of anxiety, and if I take a shower when I’m anxious and steam up the room it beats faster. Then when I sit down, I feel like it skips a beat and that makes me even more nervous: your heart skipping a beat because you change positions is not exactly a good sign. Fluctuations in blood pressure and heart valve functioning should go relatively smooth, smoother than that at at least. Maybe it’s normal, I don’t know. I’d like to talk to a physician about it. Just on the off chance: anyone else experience that?

I never have chest pains or shortness of breath. Even if I am hit with a hard panic attack, I’m never in any kind of pain. It only happens once or twice every three or four months, and because I’m prone to high anxiety that can sometimes hit out of nowhere, because I’ve never had a problem with my heart growing up, because it didn’t ever show inconsistency when it was racing at 164 beats per minute in the hospital, I’m really inclined to believe my anxiety has a lot to do with this.

stress-level-smallerRegardless of the fact, those little incidents increase my anxiety. Ever since it happened today, my anxiety level has been through the roof. I have to keep moving, keep thinking, or else I focus on my heart beat.

The funny thing is, it only ever seems to go fast or skip a beat when I pay attention to it. How much of what I experience is reality and how much of it is induced? That’s a constant question that ravages my mind.

I’ve also developed a cold. This is not a good night. 

So I breathe. I practice the breathing techniques and I divert my mind away from my physical self. I grab my mental magnifying glass and fly over my cortex searching for clues. What brought out the anxiety? Is that why my mind was attacked by a conglomeration of dreams last night?

One thing came to mind:

School.

Like I said, it happens ever four months. I’m worried they’re not going to give me my money because of how much I fucked up last semester. I’m worried about keeping up with my work this time. I found out I’d only signed up for 11 units when I thought I had 12 (that’s a full-time student), so I had to sign up for another class, which is a Health Services class about street and prescription drugs and their effects on the body, the organs, mental health and emotional health. It sounded interesting so I signed up. I hate doing things quickly. I hate not being able to research the professor and the class and having to do things last minute. That’s stressful.

It’s in HW2000, room 2214.

specificsI have no idea where that is. There is HW1 and HW2. I’m assuming by “2” they mean “2000” building. They’re not very specific. That stresses me out.

I don’t have a job or money to pay for my books if they don’t give me my financial aid. That stresses me out.

I didn’t accomplish what I wanted to over the break. That stresses me out.

How do I calculate where my anxiety comes from? The level of leg shake I get in relation to thinking about certain topics. My body and I have a system. It’s a master at it and I’m still learning. Judging by the shake of my leg, school is the culprit at the moment.

On top of that, I hate how useless I’ve been feeling and how tired of dealing with all this shit I am. I hate that I can’t sleep at night or wake up in time to go outside in the sun. I hate that I keep clenching my teeth (another sign of my repressed anxieties).

manque-sommeil-effetsAs much as I love being abnormal, I hate how much stress that puts on life. I hate that I can’t get through the day like the average person and I hate how I feel sick and fatigued even though I’m a generally healthy (I fucking hope) 20 year old.

All these things I tell myself not to think about will, inevitably, be thought about, either in a form of a mental thought or the form of physical repercussions. Where can you shove a thought? It has nowhere to go. It doesn’t spill out of your ear as much as you’d like it to. It seeps into your muscles and your brain and your fingers and it travels through your Central Nervous System until you burn it’s energy in some manner.

Plus my sinuses feel like someone’s stuffed super glue in them.

So I give thanks to the opportunity to write this out and put it in front of my eyes and make me feel what I try so desperately not to feel.

Except the sinuses. That could kindly go away.

90% of the time there’s a reason for anxiety. It’s there so your body can speak to you. It doesn’t speak English, it speaks cells and physical sensations. You have to learn to be bilingual.

Right now it’s telling me I still haven’t developed the proper techniques to handle my stress. I respect what it tells me and I listen to what it tells me.

It’s one of the reasons I quit medication. With me, it put up a blockade between myself and my body. How am I supposed to know what I need to work on if my body is prevented from telling me?

I’ll tell you right now: it’s amazing how much better I feel just reading these words to myself.