It has taken me almost a week to compose myself enough that I know I can safely write about this subject without breaking down into an emotional mess. After six years, I thought I wouldn’t be so sensitive, but this is the first time in a long time that I read my old secret blog.
From December of 2013 to June of 2014, I wrote down what I couldn’t tell anyone else and published the words in a blog under a pseudonym. Most of it was day-to-day angst, but a few things caught my eye as I scrolled through the posts.
On May 28th, 2014, I wrote a (suicide) note I published after midnight the next day, then took three handfuls of pills and waited to die. I would post it here in full, but you might find it a bit dry unless you are one of my family members.
There are a few things I wrote that day that stand out to me now.
I was very hard on myself because I felt I was a quitter. I never finished anything, mostly because of my mental illness, but in my mind, it just proved I was weak, and my life would never amount to anything.
“…I just couldn’t handle the pain anymore, and I am giving up. Yes, after all this time, I prove to everyone that I am a quitter. I live my last hours comfortable with that thought, not at all ashamed, because I have fought this for so long, and I just can’t do it anymore.”
The pain of having lived a life with nothing to show for it was too much for me to handle, even though, at that time, I had four beautiful kids who loved me, and a wife. Despite every obstacle thrown at her, she tried to love the real me, but I hid from her. I felt like a failure and a burden because my toxic mind told me all I had ever been was a sick loser and nothing else.
Even at the end of my life, I worried about what people would think of me. It was bad enough that my family was going to have to live with the stain of suicide in their lives. They would also live with the stigma of having someone close to them feel like they had no one to turn to in their last moments.
“I know you are probably thinking it was incredibly selfish of me to kill myself. I can’t disagree with you on that. I feel guilty right now, as the hour draws near, and I am sorry to all of you. I expect you will at some time be angry with me, but I hope you will get over it with time.”
I was scared, and I was sad to be going, but I felt I had nothing left to fight with, and this was the only thing left to me.
“As time is upon me, I don’t want to say goodbye. I want one more hug and kiss from each and every one of you, but I know I can’t have that. I’m crying as I write these final lines.
I love you. I love you. I love you.
I hope you can forgive me.”
Then, before I sent out the note and took the pills, I took a picture on the webcam and captioned it “Goodbye. I love you all!”
This is the picture that will haunt me forever.
Over the past six years, I have analyzed this night and have written about it at length many times, but until I reread the suicide note, I wasn’t able to put myself back in the frame of mind I was swimming in.
Now I remember it vividly, which you might think to be a bad thing, but it’s not. Now, I remember what it’s like to be at the lowest point in my life. Now, no matter how bad my episodes of psychosis are, or how deep my depression is, or how painful my anxiety and panic attacks are, I know I’ve already touched the bottom of the rabbit hole, and I know I don’t have to go back there again.
I still have suicidal thoughts, but the difference is that now, suicide is not an option or an answer to my problems.
On June 7th, 2014, I was out of the hospital and had been writing. I wanted to put down all the details of what happened before I lost it to the fog of medication and the cruelty of time.
Going back after six years and reliving the days before the suicide attempt through my time on the mental ward left me gutted. I took a week and let my mind mull over and ruminate about it.
Tonight, I sit here at 3:00 am on October 8th, 2020, and am grateful that I didn’t die. I could have died, considering the number of pills I took, but somehow I am here today and alive to tell the story.
My three boys, men, are all happy and living in the U.S., and here in the Philippines, I have my daughter Zoey, and our newest addition, Joey. If I had died, I could not have seen Zoey grow, and would not have been here to bring another life in the world.
I would never have finally started something and stuck with it. My writing career has been going strong for two years, and I have seen incredible growth within myself as a person.
I would never have seen this time in my life where I am starting to manage and control my illness and earn for the first time in decades.
I am a father five times over, and a proud husband for the second and final time. I am fulfilled and happy, and in the version of success I hold dear in my mind, I am one in every sense of the word.
The suicide attempt is terrible, and I wish it didn’t have to be the catalyst that finally lit the spark that changed my life. How something so awful and appalling could mold me like clay and create the different person I am today is a mystery.
I wish it never happened, but I am thankful it did.
I guess I keep writing about this because I hope that one day, someone who is suffering will read my words and change their path before they do something drastic like I did. One day, I hope all the pain and anguish I still feel will help at least one person realize that taking their life is not the answer to the question they are asking.
I’ve battled the voices I know aren’t real and this brain that is so incredibly noisy, the depression that tries to sink my life into a spiral of darkness, and the anxiety that threatens to send me into a panic I will never recover from, so I can get to a point in my life where I can help others.
I lived for my family, and I lived for myself. But I also lived so I could give hope to someone else.
Are you that person who is feeling like they have no choice? Are you at the end of your rope and feel like you have no one to talk to? Is your brain trying to convince you that taking your own life is the only answer?
No matter how wrong everything seems right now, your life is worth living.
If you need to talk, I am only a comment away.
Get help, and prove to yourself that your life means something because it does.
I almost died to prove that to myself. Don’t make the same mistake I did.