The Aftermath

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I adapted some of this from an apology email I wrote to one of the friends last night. It goes for everyone here who I may have upset.

It really wasn’t my intention to cause upset and sadness, though I undoubtably did, but to leave a least a small mark on the earth before I was about to leave forever (so I thought). I had been planning my suicide for months in advance and researched the most effective and pain free ways, gone to some trouble to obtain the drugs I needed and kept them in a bag beside my bed for a few months. I often felt they gave me comfort in some strange way. I knew I had a way out for when things finally became too much to bear, as it seemed they inevitably would. With each passing day I became more and more behind where I, and general society thinks I should be in life. More distant from normality. Drifting ever further from “happiness”, whatever that was. I had not felt true happiness or excitement, unspoiled by my dysfunctional brain for a long, long time.

On that Friday night, I finally had the opportunity to lie undiscovered and undisturbed for the 36 hours necessary for the lethal cocktail to do it’s job (I was unable to obtain an old ulcer medication which raises the level of the lethal drug in blood plasma and results in a quicker method of action).

I don’t know what triggered it, I have anterograde amnesia for a while after, the first week is just a blank in my mind and it gradually comes back to me in the days after I was discharged from hospital. Anyway, I can’t remember a particular event or person setting me off, in fact I’d just received some good news that I wouldn’t have to pay tuition fees for next year or 2010/11 either. Whatever reason it was, it compelled me to go and fetch my package of pills and I popped open the tic tac box I had earlier filled with 50 amitriptyline tablets and I began swallowing them 4 and 5 at a time. I didn’t think about death, any possibility of an afterlife has long since been extinguished from me. I didn’t even stop to think what I was losing, I just wanted an escape.

I don’t do many selfish things in my life, I go out my way to bend over backwards and accommodate others at the expense of my own happiness, social status, whatever. I’m self sacrificing because I have no other reason to offer people to like me. I had grown tired of this though. Even though I believe in a persons total sovereignty over their own life more than anything else, I still felt an undercurrent of guilt at the hurt I knew I’d cause my family, and possibly the people whom, with trepidation I call friends. At times I’d admonish myself for having such delusions of grandeur; who am *I* to think that anyone’d even notice I’d gone let alone mourn my passing?

On that night, my selfish side, or maybe my apathetic side won through. I shovelled pill after pill down my throat, organ donor card clutched in one hand and suicide note gripped beside it, hoping to offer my family some kind of explanation and assuage their sadness. I suddenly felt like I at least owed an explanation for my absence to the only people I called friends (rightly or wrongly) and in my last minutes before I threw down a blister pack of valium to knock me out, I wrote from the heart to you all. I had planned individual notes but reading them, they seemed inadequate. Maybe with one last action, I could represent a united me, a combined message from the man whose thoughts and actions were often so disparate.

My memory fades after that. I remember waking up, arms full of IV lines, blood being taken from every available surface. I wasn’t lucid enough to think about the fact that I’d failed, let alone how I’d been discovered.

I’m still not sure who it was that did the detective work but someone had the police sent to my house and they obviously found me sprawled about, note in hand and still quantities of illegal sedatives strewn around.

My family seem to have forgiven me, though I haven’t really had the chance to be fully emotionally open about it, I don’t know if I ever can. My mum just cannot see how things are from my point of view. Even after she saw the note, my sister read it first and she asked her “What was the reason he did it?” as if my deep and complex mental state could have become so bad because of just one problem that could be conveyed in a single sentence. It’s not like I can just say “I have terminal cancer”, a (linguistically) simple explanation that would probably at least give even the most ardent anti-right-to-die fanatic food for thought.

I don’t think there has been any long term damage done, but I am finished with antidepressants. They have done far more harm than good for me, and I’d seriously recommend looking into others experiences and the facts behind the medical trials before embarking down that road in a serious way.

I’m still here, I don’t know what to do know. I feel that I’ve had one option taken away from me, if I plan to kill myself again then it’s going to have to be a much more closely guarded secret and I might not be able to get the message out about it. Fundamentally my life has not changed much. I am considered more of a risk by the medical people, it’s been hard to get them  off my back. I’ve blown my shot at ever getting effective drugs prescribed for any condition in the future.

There is still a profound emptiness inside me, I realise it every time I spend time with or around other “normal” people. Sure they have their own problems, but they are at least functional on the level of practically every other human being. They can spend an entire day with someone without breaking down thinking about how unqualified they are to accomplish such a task, overcome by self doubts and realisations of their own uselessness as a human being which I would feel. I know I can never be one of them, forever destined to be an outsider looking in, and what I see makes me ever more depressed.

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9 thoughts on “The Aftermath

  1. I’m glad you’re still with us!
    When your post went up three of bloggers who are particularly close banded together to try to track you down and find out if you were ok, we found all sorts of stuff relating to you but nothing that actually helped us try to contact you or anyone close to you. The best we could do was attempt to contact your university to see if they could perhaps let us know if you were ok – but they were closed for the bank holiday weekend! Many hours of hunting and we were left with only a few weak leads, which eventually dried up too.
    But I’m not saying this to make you feel guilty – I’m saying this to show you: People do notice, and they do care!

    “I know I can never be one of them, forever destined to be an outsider looking in” The future is not written, we write our own. You can be whatever you want to be, but it will always take a fight. Just don’t give up before you’ve started. I know it doesn’t help, but I know of others who suffer similar SA problems to you – people who are constantly overcome by unfair feelings of lack-of-worth and for whom the simplest of tasks, such as going to the shop to buy food, become massive insurmountable problems. You are not alone, you are not fated to the life of an outsider, and you have more people who care about you than you realise.

    ~JIMMY

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  2. Don’t know how to help other than tell you the same thing as Jimmy. There are others out there “even strangers” who don’t want to see you go out like that. Dude, you are a part of God’s creation put on here to have the ultimate experience of living as a human being. This experience is special to each and every one of us. And I know sometimes it’s easy to forget how special we all are.

    Seems to me you have a hell of a talent in writing and I only read this single post of yours. It may not seem like much to you, maybe you just forgot how special that gift is or maybe you just don’t put any kind of value on it. From where I’m standing you have a lot going for you man. Don’t throw in the towel, get tough, get strong and finish your time here naturally.

    You know if there’s reincarnation you’re most likely going to have to repeat this grade!

    Good Luck Brother! And stay off the pills…

    a message of hope from
    http://www.hardlifestyle.com

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  3. @JIMMY

    I’m sorry Jimmy. With the exception of a few people, I’ve tried very hard to keep my real identity hidden from the information on here (for obvious reasons). It’s likely you couldn’t contact anyone close to me because there aren’t many people close to me except my immediate family.

    I know the future isn’t written, but so much of it depends on the past which I have messed up spectacularly, and the undeniable facts about myself which I have written so much about on here. Believe me, I was giving up before I started, I tried for 24 years but I have come to realise certain things. I know that I’m never going to be a different way, it’s just not who I am. There are too many things wrong with me, least of which is being psychologically unhinged. It’s hard to know what to think or do now.

    @bogdan
    Thanks bogdan, I don’t really want to start a philosophical debate but we disagree on a few things.. I appreciate the good will though, thanks for reading and for your kindness.

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  4. Thanks for writing this post. I think it has really helped to explain things, though of course things are still very messy. It’s very brave of you to write it though. I hate to hear you’re still feeling so bad. I can’t imagine how hard it must be with your family. It seems like your mum just doesn’t want to believe what’s going on, and you can’t blame her. I know it must be so annoying to have everyone on your back, but I hope they watch out for you carefully.

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  5. Thanks Penny, I feel rather different now but I haven’t been able to type up a coherent post. I’m just not sure how I’m supposed to be feeling or what I should be doing. Am I making things worse by just picking up where I left off and acting like nothing happened (at least outwardly?) Should I be a crying wreck, hiding myself from the world? I don’t know, and I don’t know who I can possibly discuss such things with who is objective but not emotionally off limits.

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  6. Hey Nick, sorry its taken me a while to respond to your post. I did read it and wanted to write something but life has been a little hectic and then I spent most of last weekend on the couch feeling physically crappy. But I was thinking of you.

    I think the letter you wrote to your friends/family and which you shared here, must have been very difficult to write. So I applaud you for putting it together like that.

    Like Jimmy said though, you are not alone. And right now, its important for you to try to break the pattern of speaking and thinking ill of yourself. That, more than anything you think you’ve “spectacularly” messed up, or any facts you think are “undeniable” about yourself, is keeping you in this holding pattern.

    I once described an analogy to a friend that feels appropriate right now. My friend was obsessing over a relationship – what had been said, done, promised, implied and so on. And it was all she could talk about, endlessly, using the same words over and over again. These thought patterns of hers were like a train on a very well defined track. Over and over she’d run that train through its paces. And all it got her was more of the same.

    However, if she chose (and eventually she did), she could make a brand new train track.

    And so can you. I’m not saying its easy, but it IS possible. There are so many inspiring people out there who have done this work for themselves. People who, have come from horrific circumstances of abuse (look up Dave Pelzer), war crimes (check out Viktor Frankl), and mental illness too. For survivors of mental illness, I can’t think of anyone famous, but look all around you in the blogosphere. They are everywhere and they are surviving.

    Actually, I’d like to point you to one of my favourite bloggers (although there are many) – Melinda of Melindaville. Check out her blog, where she’s written so many harrowing stories of her life. She overcame childhood abuse, working in the sex trade, heroin addiction and many suicide attempts. Any mistake you think you could’ve made, she’s probably made them ten times over. And now, she’s a research professor, writer and blogger extraordinaire.

    What I’m saying is – there’s no history that can not be overcome. And it is possible for you to find happiness and fulfillment.

    Horrible things happen in our lives. Whether its things we have done, or think we have done, or those that are done to us by others. Regardless, those things can cause us pain and suffering.

    For those who suffer mental imbalances, it does make life tougher. But even then, its possible. Absolutely.

    However, the key in all of this is how you think of and speak about yourself. I’m not saying you should be fake and pretend to be happy if you’re not. However, like anything you are trying to improve, you need to aim to reduce the flow of negativity about yourself.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever tried meditation and/or yoga? Of course, I know attending groups might be difficult for you, but if you did find the courage to attend a session, I’m sure you’d find some benefit there.

    Whatever you do, please do not give up. Life is not written in stone for anyone, okay?

    Take care, and know there are strangers out there who do in fact, care very much about what happens to you. *hugs*

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  7. Thank you Svasti. I actually only sent that to one person, I think I bothered the others enough already and I’ve lost at least one person as a friend because of what I did 😦 I still haven’t really discussed it with my family, I don’t know how or what to say. I’ve said sorry many times but that doesn’t really cut it…

    It may be a tired point and one that you knew I’d make, but I really am messed up. I can’t tell myself something that isn’t true, I’m a useless, horrible and pathetic person. This blog is a testament to that.

    I’m sure there are a lot of inspiring people who overcame horrific circumstances, things far, far worse than I could even imagine but they must have wanted to survive and be decent people. Sorry, you probably don’t want to hear this but I honestly don’t care any more. The only thing I do care about is ending the fear and pain. I’d rather not hurt anyone in the process but it seems like it’s going to be unavoidable. I realise that I’m selfish, but it’s gone on long enough. For as long as I can remember I’ve always felt that sense of dread about the future and it only gets greater as the problems become more significant.

    It’s hard to make the mistake of screwing up your social and emotional development ten times over.. There are some people who know who I actually am who read these posts so I don’t want to go into more details right now but I’ve done a lot of incredibly regrettable things but probably the most damaging of all is how much I have, and continue to, isolate myself and turned myself into this monster. I’ve only seen a few other examples of people as screwed up as me and there doesn’t seem to be any hope, some of them are many years older than me and still in the same position, I can’t deal with that.

    I apologise for repeating myself over and over but I am a realist and although it’s not a nice thing to think, there are some people who are just hopeless screw-ups and the world would be better off without them and unfortunately I am one of them.

    No, I’ve not tried yoga or meditation I’m afraid. I am ready to give up completely and it seems a waste to do anything else. I’m sorry if you or anyone else cares about me 😦 I don’t know why you would (this is not a plea for attention, I just don’t know how else to express what I mean).

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  8. Its really up to you, Nick.

    If you keep painting everything around you black, and keep telling yourself you are a monster, then you will believe it. Absolutely.

    But what I’m saying, and what others are saying is that its not true. Not a chance. There’s nothing so bad that you can not recover from. If you want to, that is.

    No one can make you want to except yourself. But you know what, I don’t acutally believe you’ve completely given up, not really.

    So why not see if for just one day a week, you try another colour in your life? Do things that might bring you joy. Its possible, if you will only give it a chance.

    Why would anyone care about you? Because you’re a human being. You’re part of this world, and for that, you deserve to be cared about. That’s why.

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  9. @Svasti
    I will believe it because it’s true. I don’t consciously go out of my way to do that, it’s just shoved in my face every time I have to go and do anything or see or hear other people, my inadequacies are constantly reminded to me.

    With the greatest of respect, you or anyone else who reads here doesn’t know me or hasn’t even seen me so cannot know whether it’s true or not. I could (and have) provided many examples of evidence why it is true. I can’t lie to myself, it’s no good.

    Maybe I haven’t given up entirely just yet. I still get out of bed in the morning because I know things would get even worse if I didn’t. I do what I can to prevent things from becoming more disastrous.

    You see this is a major problem, there isn’t anything I can do that brings me joy. Nothing makes me happy, the closest I get to that is being able to hide myself away and feel slight relief from the immediate sickening worry and fear (I’m not sure it is just anxiety).

    I’m a negative influence on the world as a whole. I consume more resources and cause more pain than is outweighed by anything good I offer. Objectively, the world would be better off without me.

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