I told him it was over for me.
The last year and a half had been an absolute waste. A complete lie.
I didn’t even know how it all occurred, but nothing in my life felt real.
And the best thing that I could do was to run away and escape everything and everyone.
But he insisted that life was worth living. Going so far as to share a glimpse into his personal life with me, a complete stranger, in the hopes that his story would prevent me from following through with my plan.
But the more he talked, the more my mind kept pushing his words away. Stubbornly disregarding his logical reasoning. Unwilling to stop and listen.
I couldn’t help it. This idea had been 25 years in the making.
Ever since I could comprehend that the feelings I had been experiencing throughout my childhood were that of sadness.
I walked out of his car and started to thank him for giving me a ride home. But he interrupted me mid-sentence to tell me to stop and reconsider what I was about to do.
I looked at him and I closed his car door loudly, stumbling my way back to the apartment.
My body was numb from the all the alcohol. So, the next moments were just a blur.
I opened the door.
Walked to the dresser.
Grabbed my bottle of sleeping pills.
Swallowed as much as I could.
I grabbed my Xanax bottle.
Swallowed as much pills as I could.
I did the same with the next 3 prescriptions.
I wrote a short “Goodbye” on a notecard.
I grabbed another bottle of sleeping pills.
And walked out of the door.
The city lights looked lovely.
As I wandered aimlessly down the street at night..
The cold air hit my face. My stomach hurt.
Yet I swallowed more pills and tried hard not to vomit as I hid the now empty bottle behind a bush.
The cops arrived. They arrested me.
I awoke half-naked on the cold floor of a jail cell.
I somehow managed to get a ride back home.
I threw up pieces of pills in the bathroom toilet.
I went to sleep for the next 12 hours.
I woke up during the middle of the night. I looked at my phone. There were no notifications to see.
The next few days came and went. Slowly, some of my bodily functions returned.
When I felt strong enough to get out of my apartment, I went to see my psychiatrist.
I feared his reaction, shaking while I waited for his assistant to call my name.
But soon, I was in his presence. And I found myself comfortingly telling him every detail of what had happened that night. Stopping on occasion to look up and view his reaction.
Seeming concerned, he told me that I needed to go to the ER and that I was to ask them for a mental health evaluation. And then, once I was cleared, I had to return back to his office to discuss a follow-up medication-based plan.
I told him I would do what he thought was best for me and headed towards the door.
But before I could leave, he recounted a joke that he had heard the day before.
Weirdly enough, I let out a genuine laugh.
I arrived at the Emergency Room and told the receptionist that my psychiatrist had advised me to get an evaluation because I had swallowed around 40 to 60 prescription pills just a few days earlier.
Right away, she told me to fill out some forms and to wait for someone to see me.
I can’t recall too much of my trip to the ER. Because, in all honesty, a lot of work has been done into keeping the experience buried deep in the back of my mind. But I do remember the long waits, the seemingly uncomfortable smiles of the staff, and the yells of other patients in the background.
It wasn’t until almost the end that I realized that they were trying to keep me there under suicide watch.
And of course, my heightened fear led me to lie to the therapist giving the evaluation.
I told her about my background in Counseling and stated that I was pursuing a degree in therapy.
I knew what to say. Yet, I felt bad for saying it.
She was convinced that I was not going to act on my suicidal thoughts again. And after 5 hours since my arrival, I signed a few forms and was finally able to go home.
I remember feeling exhausted after returning home and stayed in my bed for the next few days.
Over the years, I started opening up to my family about that night. Receiving different levels of positive reactions each time. But most importantly, these conversations revealed some of my flaws in my thinking. They made me aware of the different people in my life that I didn’t know I had been living for.
For my niece, whose smile reminds me of everything that’s going right in my life.
For my mother, whose hugs let me know that she will love me unconditionally.
For my father and brothers, whose humor brings much needed laughter into my life.
And for myself, a person who continues to struggle with self-love, even if he has a lot of love to show to others.
It’s been an endless cycle of ups-and-downs since my suicide attempt two years ago.
But I learned that these feelings of sadness will never go away. And that’s okay.
All I can try to do is notice when these feelings occur. And find ways to positively cope with them.
Yes, it’s a never-ending cycle, but I have come to an understanding that I can control my response to it.
And I guess that’s how I am going through life right now. And I don’t know if it’s the best approach or the right one, but I do know that it’s keeping me alive.
And I hope, for anyone reading this, that you find your way too.
And together, we will prevail in this endless cycle of depression.