Trapped

That’s how I feel. I’ve got nowhere where I can feel at peace. At least last year I could come home and not be treated like a nutcase who has to be monitored and can’t be left alone for a few hours. I had my own little space in halls where I could hide out for weeks at a time without needing to emerge to use the bathroom. I hate my new house. In theory I should like it, the people I found most intimidating in my halls apartment are gone but I feel like I’m a prisoner there. Going out of my darkened, creaky bedroom fills me with dread. I can’t stand to be around these enthusuastic life-lovers, there’s only so much excitement and happiness i can fake, and it isn’t much.

It’s difficult to keep up the pretense of enjoying being back at university; I hate the drinking and forced socialising that everyone else loves so much. I want to scream out “I almost died!” but I can’t. Things seem excessively trivial when you’ve spent the past weeks trying to convince various healthcare professionals that you are, in fact, sane and won’t try to kill yourself again even if that is a lie. I know how to dress it up and make them believe me, it’s no use flat out denying the thoughts never occur to you. “They’re at the back of my mind but I won’t act on them now I know what it’s like”, that’s what you have to sell.

It’s a cliche but I hate my life. There’s nothing I derive pleasure from. I’m never ever happy, I hate lying and saying that i am when it is expected of me. Lying here things seem so utterly hopeless, I can’t see a way out that I so desperately crave. There’s no way I’m trying the pills again, I don’t want to end up in a psych ward surrounded by crazies. There’s nowhere high enough to reliably jump from either here or my other city. Fuck, I wish I had a gun. All I can do to keep from breaking down is to hide, under the bedsheets, in my university cell, wherever people aren’t. I know I can’t do it forever and I hear the clock ticking away. If I make any attempt to escape now, it’d better work because I cannot afford to miss any university, financially or otherwise. I am trapped here, destined to either stay in pain or sucumb to being mental on a full time basis. I don’t think I can deal with either.

The Aftermath

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.