I was there, I was no longer scared. I was sure. It wasn’t want I had planned, but it was the only option I had. I sat for what felt like a life time, but was a matter of seconds- I heard my mum come. It was now or never. I jumped.
Flash: a tube been inserted down my air way.
Flash: screaming for my mum as the ceiling moved past me.
Flash: ‘it’s going to get a bit noisy’ as head phones were placed on my head.
Flash: ‘I don’t know who he is, but I like him’ a statement I was told I kept making every time the nurse did anything.
It wasn’t until 2 days later that my memories become more constant. Until my vision returned and I could finally process what happened.
My back, broken, now held together by metal rods. My ankle in a heavy cast. My chin help together by glue that I desperately wanted gone.
I still don’t know all that happened. Most of my memories are still flashes. Flashes of sound, before fading out again. And I don’t regret it, it was a vital part of my journey. But I survived and I have never managed to make peace with that.
Survive is always a risk when it comes to a suicide attempt. For every successful suicide, there are 40 failed attempts: the odds really aren’t in a suicidal persons favour. But when suicide becomes an option, life is so unbearable, that the risk is worth taking. That doesn’t mean survival is easy though.
For those close to a person who attempts suicide, a successful suicide creates a painful grief. However when a person attempts suicide and survives to tell the tale, the situation isn’t only about emotionally distressing and worrying for family and friends, it also brings a heavy disappointment for the individual. A disappointment which lingers and increases the negative and driving thoughts behind the attempt.
I have never felt relief after surviving a suicide attempt. I often am left feeling angry and disrespected. I made a decision to die. A careful and weighed up decision and that was ignored and overrode by another. I will argue at that time that if someone cared for me they would respect my decision and let me die. Unfortunently, it doesn’t work like that.
Human nature is to save people. Although it feels others are acting out of selfish intentions, the reality is, is that they are doing it out of, not only instinct, but also care. People in your life want you to be alive and are willing to make you temporarily angry, in order to give you a chance at life.
Surviving a suicide attempt, for whatever reason, it’s distressing in its self. The consequence of surviving can be life changing: chronic pain, disfigurement, paralysis, liver failure, brain damage….but emotionally the consequences are equally as difficult. The worry and distress around causes guilt. The judgments and stigma cause shame. No only because you are ill, but because you acted in such a way can cause you to loosing out on a job or a dream.
But sieving isn’t all bad. Yes initially it is hell. You are instantly dumbed back into the hell you wanted to leave. But this is your second chance, theirs chance, *insert number* chance and it’s up to you what happens. You can mop and continue to let your mind steal your life, or you can fight back harder than ever. Change is possible, but it has to come from you, not anyone else. It will take time. It will take steps backwards as well as forwards. It will involve meltdowns and moments of elation. But it’s possible for you to recover, move forwards and life you life, whilst achieving all you ever wanted.
Death is permanent. We can’t bring you back to life. Death ends everything, not only the bad, but also the good. Death cuts your life short, but causes drastic and emotional changes to all those in your life.
Yes, sometimes suicide feels the only option, but it never is. Stop, slow it down and problem solve… Seek support. Express yourself in a safe way. Give yourself patience and kindness. And it gets better, one day at a time. Getting through the day might not feel great, but it feels better than the feeling of a failed suicide attempt.