What ‘s Life Like After A Suicide Attempt

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When you attempt suicide, there’s not supposed to be an afterwards. It’s supposed to be an ending, not the beginning of a whole new horrendous chapter. No one tells you what it’s going to be like to live through the aftermath.

This is what it was like for me.

First, there was the moment my husband and psychotherapist realised I had taken an overdose and the disappointment that I had been found out. I had hoped that it would have worked before we reached her office for my appointment. Then there was the pleading with them not to ring the ambulance which of course the did.

The ambulance arrived. By that stage, I was starting to pass in and out of consciousness but I was aware of them arriving. My breathing was becoming difficult so they intubated me, put me on the stretcher and into the ambulance and then I remember the noise of the ambulance siren as it drove fastly to the hospital. Then there was the immediate trauma of the ER. Blue lights and sirens, rushing me to the hospital. The police, who’d taken me to the ER, standing guard outside my cubicle in case I made a run for it (not that I could even sit up without passing out).

Needles for blood tests, needles for the IV antidote to reverse the effects of the pills, needles to pump fluids into my body.

People, some kind, some hostile, all of them asking question after question after question that I didn’t want to or didn’t know how to answer.

Vomiting over and over again with such violence that I wet myself.

Collapsing on the floor of the bathroom and not knowing if I could even make it to the emergency cord to call for help.

Hearing voices talking over me, talking about potential liver damage, possible surgical interventions and realizing how badly I’d screwed everything up.

Being moved from the ER to the ward on a trolley, watching the ceiling tiles rush past above me, not knowing where on earth I was.

Wondering how the hell it had all gone so horribly wrong.

Although I was lying down, I couldn’t rest, couldn’t sleep. My mind tortured me with flashbacks of what I’d been through. My children came and sat on my bed. I wanted both to hug them forever and scream at them to go away at the same time.

My husband had to take time off work to look after me, look after our kids and look after my medication so I couldn’t do what all my instincts were telling me to do. I berated myself that I couldn’t even manage to kill myself properly. What a total waste of space.

Eventually, I re-entered the world. The first time I went outside, it was as if I’d emerged from underground. My senses felt like they’d been turned up to max. Lights and sounds were almost painfully acute.

Standing in the school playground, I had to fight every instinct to run away. I couldn’t face anyone knowing where I’d been, what I’d been through. Yet, I couldn’t paste the smile on any more and pretend everything was rosy when it was anything but.

Slowly, things change. Today, thanks to a psychiatrist, who was willing to take a risk with my medication, and a psychotherapist, who’s helping me unpick the aftermath of my attempted suicide,  Yet, I still bear the mental scars of my suicide attempts. (Sadly, it is more than just the one I’ve described here.)

Those attempts have changed me in a way I can never undo. I’m a different person than I was before. I crossed a line we’re not supposed to go near. I prepared, when I took those tablets, for one outcome. The one I got was entirely different.

I’ve lived through an experience I wouldn’t wish on anybody else.

It’s been three days now since I attempted suicide and I don’t regret it. Isn’t that a terrible thing to, really terrible. I am sitting up in bed with my nineteen-year-old son on his computer editing a Uni assignment and the dog on the bed. My husband is in the kitchen making rhubarb jam. It’s all so disgusting normal. My alters are already planning another attempt. It’s so cruel for my family. They don’t deserve. I don’t deserve. Dissociative Identity Disorder is a cruel disorder. It robs all those around you of so much. I will go out to lunch with my other three children and they will have a lovely time. Meanwhile, in my head the alters will be cunningly playing their game.

The past abuse has robbed me of so much and is still stealing from me now. DID is always a result of childhood trauma. It is a defensive mechanism the child puts up – to dissociate to protect its self from the abuse or traumatic event. However, as an adult, it is very dangerous and leads to suicide attempts and self-harm including Complex PTSD. I have both. Double whammy.
I am going to see my psychiatrist tomorrow and am hoping he can give me some way forward. I need some direction right now. All I know is I don’t want to be left alone. I want my husband near me at all times or my kids. I get great comfort from my dog. He’s a Therapy Dog so very attuned to my needs.

5 comments

  1. I didnt like what you wrote….because thats all I think about..getting out of life….Wheres the happy? Wheres the life worth living?Joy?

    • Thanks for being so honest with your comment. I am so sorry you feel that way all the time. Believe me I truly understand as I am chronically suicidal and it’s a shocking way to live. I really feel for you. Thinking of you. Erin

  2. Thank you for writing this, it’s terrifying, and so beautifully honest. As a complete stranger, I am so sorry for you and your family. Be safe, and stay strong x

    • Thank you so much for your comment. I truly appreciate it. The kind words of a stranger go a long way. All the best Erin

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin