Trigger Warning: This post is about attempted suicide.
“My journey starts back around late December of 2018 when my alcoholic father moved into my room. He and his girlfriend broke up so he had nowhere else to live and I happened to have a bunk bed in my room. I saw this as a bigger issue than my mother did. He was allowed to drink everywhere in the house except for my room. We thought it would be okay if he stayed for 3-4 months while he got his life together. After 8 months of binge drinking, trashing my room, leaving bottles and disappearing for sometimes a week at a time, we finally kicked him out. He and his ex-girlfriend got back together.
By that time I had already attempted suicide. I tried to overdose on Benadryl. I took 90 pills, almost a full bottle. At that time I was in a toxic relationship that wasn’t going anywhere and I was also being bullied. All I had left was my best friend. She stayed on the phone with me that night until I went to bed, trying to keep me alive. Her mom works in the medical field so later we found out if I went to sleep before my body metabolized all the Benadryl, I was at risk of having a heart attack or could simply stop breathing. I don’t know why I never went to the hospital. But I know I got really lucky.
That was a very stressful time in my life and my dad’s drinking was and still is a big issue. My father and I got into an argument about a week after he moved out. He tried to lie to me and manipulate me into feeling bad for him by telling me things like, ‘You guys said to keep the drinking out of the house (untrue) so I left everything in the car (untrue) and if I got pulled over I could have gotten arrested.’ He’d say, ‘If you have an issue come to me and not your mom or stepdad.’ He didn’t understand I didn’t feel comfortable telling my father what to do.
Fast forward to Thursday, September 12th, 2019. I felt like I was going to explode. I reached out to my friends for help but got nothing. I felt like they were ignoring me and talking with them always ended up with them seemingly getting mad and irritable with me. There was one night I went home and cut my leg with a knife. It was only a few layers of skin and I had never self-harmed before, but with me feeling like I was at my limit it seemed to help.
Then I had a rough Friday morning and decided that’s it, I’m going to write a suicide note and be dead by Monday. I gave my note to my best friend, the one person who’s been there for me for the past 3 years no matter what, but for some reason felt distant at that time.
She turned the note in to the counselor, who I saw during the spring for the previous suicide attempt, to find help before I got home. They knew I would’ve followed through with my wishes and been dead by the 16th no matter how many times I failed previously.
My mom came up to the school and I went willingly with her. We were given the option of either case management (what we chose last time) or the Behavioral Center. Obviously case management wasn’t working so we chose to go to the center. After making the decision I was taken to the ER first. I arrived around 12 pm and stayed there for 5 hours. When I arrived at the hospital they took all my stuff and my clothes and put me in scrubs. I arrived at intake for the Behavioral Center at 5:30, we finished all my paperwork and my skin assessment around 7-8 pm and went straight into the day room. I showered and went to sleep.
The ‘Behavioral Center’ lost all of my belongings from the ER, so my phone, shoes, wallet, belt, and the clothes I was wearing Friday were lost. Your parents or guardians were allowed to bring you clothes so most people weren’t in scrubs. Everyone had a roommate except this one guy who was in there for homicidal ideations.
There was a schedule we had; 8:30 was breakfast, then you came back, brushed your teeth, stayed in the day room for a bit, and went to an educational group therapy session. Next you went to the gym for about an hour. After the gym you went back to the day room to get ready for lunch, then back to the day room for a bit, then from 3:15-4 there was the 2nd group therapy session. Next was the 2nd gym session, then dinner.
You had visitation during dinner (5:30-6 pm) and then you went back to the day room where you showered. After showers you took your meds, commonly Melatonin or Trazedone. You had to be in bed by 9:30 and if you weren’t sleepy they still sent you to your room. They also checked on you every 15 minutes to catalog how much you sleep and you also had to show the medical techs your tray whenever you go to throw away your food to make sure you weren’t hoarding silverware for self-harm. They also did a daily checkup for depression and anxiety levels, blood pressure, temperature, etc. It was all very methodic. At first I wanted out, and thought it was horrible, however over time I realized a lot of it was helping and it was a good thing I was there. I did miss school and my friends though.
One of the group therapists stood out majorly from the others. His name was Mikael. He took his job seriously and really cared about the patients. He’s the reason I finally opened up to my dad about everything I’ve been feeling about our relationship and my previous suicide attempt. He helped me so much and I will forever be thankful for meeting him. My last day, maybe an hour or 2 before my discharge, he was the group therapist for my last session. It got very emotional for everybody, including myself. My body doesn’t usually produce enough tears for me to actually cry more than welling up a little but I cried like a baby during that session.
After everyone had cheered up and were doing their own thing Mikael had left because the session was over. I was just standing around because there was nothing to do and I looked over at a newer girl who caught my eye and she’s sitting there just looking down, rubbing a marker cap against her arm, back and forth, back and forth, quickly, like she was trying to hurt herself. Well not ‘like’ she was trying to, that’s exactly what she was doing. It still messes with me. It crushes my heart. I have this gut feeling she’s going to severely injure herself, kill herself, or simply something bad is going to happen. If I was able to go back up there for visitation to see her and talk to her I would, but one of the rules is I’m not allowed to have contact with any of the patients after their or my own discharge. I gave her my contact info for when she gets out.
I was disappointed in myself afterwards because after I got home I checked an Instagram group chat I was involved in and saw everyone thought I was actually dead for 4 days. It made me sad because at the time I didn’t think anyone cared and I felt everyone would be better off without me. But there they are, a meme sharing group chat gone serious, and all for me. Luckily my family has been really supportive and I always knew I had them in my corner.
My depression coping skills now are to constantly talk to someone about any issues. It doesn’t matter who, as long as they listen and give feedback. It releases all of the mental stress which builds up inside me and that’s what led to my suicide attempts. I still do the case management and I’m starting to go to counseling.
An important message to anyone reading the story; mental health awareness is so important. If anyone you know is depressed or even is having a rough day, show them you are there for them. If they have anxiety, depression, PTSD or anything similar, help them learn good coping skills, like drawing, songwriting, poetry, and even listening to music. It doesn’t take much out of your day to notice someone is down in the dumps and smile and say ‘What’s wrong?’ or ‘You can talk to me if you ever feel down or if you’re having a bad day.’ Be the support and the backbone they need in their life.
My advice to anyone considering suicide is to go get help. Reach out to someone. Hell, don’t be scared to even go straight to a psych ward if you feel like you need it. You are loved and cared for and people will miss you. Trust me, you’ll regret it later. Reaching out for help is okay.”
[If you’re thinking about hurting yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit suicidepreventionhotline.org to live chat with someone. Help is out there. You are not alone.]
Read more powerful stories about suicide here:
‘I bought a rope and began to hang myself.’ I was living a fantasy of mine. I didn’t see myself living past 30.’: Young woman survives addiction, multiple suicide attempts, says suffering has been her ‘greatest teacher’
Provide hope for someone struggling. SHARE this story on Facebook and Instagram to let them know a community of support is available.