Exactly two years ago, I was in this city, also with my husband on a business trip, same street just 2 blocks up. Two years ago I attempted suicide. My husband found me passed out on the bed, I’d taken about 40 tablets, I wanted to take all 90 I had spread out on my bed but I passed out before I could get to all of them. That was God’s grace. I remember the day so vividly. I woke up the morning and checked the internet to see if I had passed my exam (honours). I had failed, although I went in with a 70%, I didn’t get the minimum of 40% needed in the exam. I knew why I failed the exam, I had been so doped up on meds while I was writing.
I couldn’t even drive to campus, much less write an exam, but I did.
I should’ve asked for a sick test rather.
Back to the day of the attempt. After getting my exam results, I had a panic attack and after recovering from that I decided a bath would do me good. I stayed in the bath for about three hours, thinking about the repercussions of failing this subject.
My future seemed gloomy and the challenges ahead insurmountable. Weakness took over and as the day progressed I became smaller and the world with all its monsters bigger.
There was another factor which contributed to my thoughts and emotions spiraling out of control, I had stopped taking my effexor (venlafaxine) that morning. I knew I was supposed to do it gradually while in hospital, but my psychiatrist didn’t want to book me in. (I begged him to book me in) I told the bastard I was suicidal and I listened to his conversation with the nurse who told him that they have space at the moment but he said no it is fine I can wait till next monday (it was tuesday) to come to hospital. He fucked up good by not booking me in. He said I should lower my effexor dose while I wait to be admitted. Problem is the pharmacy didn’t have the lower dose available and I hadn’t been warned about the wicked withdrawal symptoms you have when stopping effexor (another reason why I call him a bastard).
By the afternoon I was losing my mind. I couldn’t string one rational thought together. My emotions were spinning inside and I felt that God had left me. I decided I can’t breathe anymore, I need rest from this life. I didn’t think of it as killing myself, I thought of it as just ending the unbearable pain. I didn’t consider the impact my death would have on my husband and family. I was in a state of mind I had never experienced before. By the time I was sitting on my bed counting my pills and planning which to take first my friend messaged me. I blatantly told her “okay I have to go take all my pills now, bye” Maybe that was my survival instinct clawing its way through the dense fog of batshit crazy but it didn’t work. She didn’t realize what I meant with “all my pills”.
I started with my mood stabilizers, then my benzos (calming meds and sleeping pills) then I moved on to the lithium. Which I believed would seal the deal. I hadn’t taken enough of them before I passed out.
I remember my husband screaming at me to wake up. I remember my husband dragging me down three flights of stairs. I remember being in an ambulance. Next memory came two days later. A government hospital. Cold.
As soon as the nurse believed I was awake for good. I was kicked out of the bed and told to go sit in the waiting room, the psychiatrist would come see me. I sat there for 6 hours, so cold.
My mouth was black from the activated carbon they had given me to stop my system from absorbing all the meds. I was blissfully unaware of this tell-tale sign of why I’m at hospital. The looks I got from the other patients waiting to see a doctor is what got to me the most. Thing is I’m privileged enough to have a medical aid, but I was admitted at a government hospital because the med aid doesn’t cover suicide attempts. They could smell the priviledge on me and didn’t approve of me taking up precious space in the qeue. After asking for a blanket for the 100th time I was told there isn’t even enough blankets for the patients in the wards so I have no chance of getting a blanket.
I was alone, My husband left my side after I had been awake for about 30 minutes. I could hear the anger-fear-anguish in his voice as he told me that he was going home to get some sleep. He will be back later. I was alone with my thoughts for those six hours.
When the psychiatrist (still in training) finally came to see me I had already gathered from what I saw around me that I didn’t want to stay here for longer than what was necessary so I told her I wouldn’t do it again and that I will be under constant supervision till I’m admitted to the private psych hospital on Monday. This was true. My parents had flown down to be with me. So she gave in to my plea and said she will discharge me when my husband comes back. I tried phoning him from borrowed cell phones (a scarce thing in a government hospital) But he didn’t answer till 3 hours later. More time for me to ponder about the meaning of life. When he finally came back I was discharged into his care. We didn’t speak for the rest of the day.
Later that day I got a call from my in-laws telling me that if I ever pulled a stunt like again they would give me a hiding. They were trying to be casual about it. They’ve never been able to talk to me about my bipolar, nevermind my suicide attempt. My parents didn’t phone me. They spoke to my husband to organize their trip to come visit us. little did I know that my father in law had phoned me while I was in hospital shitting them out for having such a daughter that would do this to his son.
I’m tired now, and frankly too upset to tell you the rest of the story. I will tell you the rest in my next post. All I can say is that the following weeks were a living hell. Stay tuned if you’re considering suicide, you need to hear what I have to say. Forgive for ending on this dark note, but my hands are dead, I cant type further.