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.”

Mental Illness Awareness Week = M.C. Hammer

Apparently I’m a weird eater. I had two pieces of pepperoni pizza with a fruit tart with custard in it. I eat them simultaneously: You know, I tear off a piece of the pizza and cut a piece of tart and put them in my mouth at the same time. I thought everyone ate like that. I thought everyone proportioned their food too: you know, if you’re eating macaroni and broccoli and . . . I don’t know,  burger, you eat a bite of macaroni, a bite of broccoli, and a bite of burger until you finish all three components at the same time. Apparently people don’t do that either.

On a completely unrelated note, I don’t know how I feel about MTV promoting mental health advocacy. Don’t get me wrong, we need the recognition . . . but is it the right kind of recognition? I don’t have cable, so I don’t know if they’ve been doing specials or something, but I read a “personal story” of a girl with “extreme social anxiety disorder”. It was sponsored by MTV or some shit. Something. Dude, I don’t know, I don’t pay attention to anything half the time. Whatever.

Anyway, do we really need some multi-billion dollar industry taking a few minutes out of their day to talk about tolerance and respect and dignity? They don’t give a shit, they’re just doing it because they have to. It makes them look good. What about the rest of the year? Do they ever mention it? Like I said, I don’t have cable, so maybe they do and I just don’t know about it. But I’ve only not had cable for a year; MTV couldn’t have changed that much, could it have?

I miss HeadBangers ball and Celebrity DeathMatch and TRL . . . I could tolerate those shows. I even enjoyed the VMA’s up until about 2006. Shit man, that network just rolls around in its own feces now. There’s no music. And when there is, it’s . . . Drake and Minaj and Taylor Swift.

Mental Illness awareness week . . .

Week?

You mean mental health pay-a-fucking-ttention year.

365 days.

Those of us fighting with our mental health don’t get a week to say “oh, wow, no mental disorder today, fucking awesome man, I’m going to go eat some ice cream and pet some donkeys!”

No, we deal with it every day on a consistent basis and although I love that people are kind of starting to talk more about mental health, I hate that it’s this “one shot” bullshit. There’s nothing wrong with advocating mental health everyday. Doing it for a week (when most people don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about) is like . . . a Vine video. It happens for about seven seconds and then it’s gone and an hour later you don’t remember what just happened.

I went through my Vine addiction phase. When my cable first got cut off I started watching two hour long YouTube videos of just Vines. Talk about some mind numbing shit. By the time I pulled my eyes away from my phone screen I couldn’t tell my foot from my ass. Then I’d pass out, wake up, and watch Vines as I got ready for class. When I had breaks, I went to my car, huddled in my hermit shell, and watched some more Vines. I mean it was bad. They need a Vineadone clinic for Vine addiction because that was one of the hardest things to stop.

The point is, a week is not enough. A day is not enough. We need people to get serious about this topic, we don’t need some annual one-hit-wonder Mc Hammer Vanilla Ice bullshit.

And what about the stories they’re sharing? Are they ones that paint a picture of: 1) Person has problem 2) Person suffers with problem 3) person finally gets diagnosed 4) person takes medication 5) person is better 6) person advocates mental health and that’s it?

Sure, that’s some people’s stories. But it’s not everyone’s story. They need variety, especially if they’re focusing on teens and young adults. They need people who take medication, who don’t take medication, who want medication, who oppose medication, who got good treatment, who got bad treatment . . . they need to have variety or else they’re not showing reality.

Which, I mean . . .it’s MTV . . .birthplace of Jersey Shore . . . you’re not going to get much reality working with these Giraffe necked, bird-brained monkeys.

My story is much different than this girls.

For example, when I entered high school, my worst fears had nothing to do with being a girl who still hadn’t ever had her first kiss or first relationship. Well, I had had my first kiss a year before but I mean, you’re a KID, that shit doesn’t count, not at 13. Having severe social anxiety, my worry had nothing to do with superficial bullshit like that. I couldn’t even speak with people lest they spoke with me, let alone calling my mother to come get me because some boy tried kissing me or whatever she says in her story.

I’m not trying to sound like I’m ragging on her, we all have our own stories, but . . . I just don’t understand people who focus on that kind of stuff. That’s not social anxiety . . . that’s a product of your environment. If you’re that worried about relationships that young–come on, now. Too much MTV.

I self-harm and often get suicidal just like that girl, I have been since I was 12, and I’ve never been hospitalized. Because I don’t tell people. And people don’t ever see it, because I hide everything. I’m a hermit. I’m in my little shell. When I’m depressed I lay in bed and I don’t talk to people. Because if I talk, I might say the wrong thing. I don’t scream in a fit “I’m going to kill myself!”. If I was going to kill myself, I’d just do it. Which is why I often contact chat support. It’s obvious she wanted help since she had the courage . . . or carelessness . .  to let her parents see what she was going through.

No offense to this girl, but I haven’t heard one thing that indicates social anxiety. Perhaps the beginning of her story when she was talking about standing out on the street while her sister went and knocked on the neighbors door to see if they wanted to buy some girl-scout cookies.

But the fact that she had relationships, that she talked to people . . . well, just kind of hard to believe it’s severe social anxiety.

People bullied her. That could contribute to depression and anxiety. The fact that people cyber-bullied her online to the point where she tried to commit suicide . . . also depression. Don’t see how medication helps people stop bullying you.

Bulling is horrible, it ruins people. Cyber bullying is worse. Anxiety is horrible, depression is horrible. And with all the social pressures teenagers go through now with Facebook and mobile phones and blah, blah, blah, I don’t think it’s uncommon for them to react like her. But here’s the thing. There’s a difference between Endogenous depression and depression from environment. Last resort treatment like medication is good for Endogenous depression.

That is no Endogenous depression. I’d be depressed too if people were telling me to kill myself because I was worthless, especially if I was fourteen, already prone to anxiety, and freaking out about the hormone fueled zits popping up on my face.

I mean, when I was in middle school cutting yourself was something you did to be in the “in” crowd. I’m not kidding. I was eleven when I first cut myself because my friends were doing it. Then when I actually started getting really depressed, I started doing it because, well, it took my mind off things for a while. Gave me something to focus on. When I got older I resorted to punching shit, kicking shit, or burning myself.

She says she wants to be a spokesperson for those who are like her. I would love for her to speak out about her issues. However, I would like her not to use “Severe social anxiety” as her diagnosis.

I haven’t yet met one person with social anxiety whose social anxiety is better after medication. What it does do is make you feel a little calmer. Might make you a little numb so that depression doesn’t tug at you as bad. That’s not changing your mindset. And when you’re dealing with anxiety and depression, mindset is key.

I know, I talk a lot of shit about medication, but only because it’s being misused. Save antidepressants for someone whose life is going perfect and still can’t find themselves to get happy. Save anti-anxiety medications for people who can’t lay on their bed at night without worrying the springs in the mattress are going to pierce their heart while sleeping. Leave the Anti-psychotics and Mood Stabilizers for people who suffer from full blown Mania and people who disconnect with reality so often they also don’t know their foot from their ass.

Don’t teach young people that they should get on medication because they have a diagnosis. Teach young people their “mental disorder” (more like, ‘rough patch in their life’ and mild anxiety) is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s nothing they should consider ” a flaw”. It’s something to work on, it’s a part of them they need to accept and they need to put some effort into improving.

Now, if your teenager is staying up all night for a few weeks, making noises like a monkey, and threatening to murder you in your sleep . . . maybe think about some medication. Or . . . padlocks on your door.

Or let MTV hire them. I’m sure they’d fit right in.