This post has been very emotional and hard to work on. I just can’t believe what happened and that I did this to myself. Like I said in my previous post, I don’t remember getting home from our vacation or any of the week before the attempt except for trying to help a friend. One of my group therapy friends made a very dark and ominous post on Facebook. It sounded very much like he was going to take his life. I somehow snapped out of it and went into mommy mode, contacting everyone I could think of to get him to call me. He finally called, we talked for a long time and he promised me he would not harm himself. After the call, I apparently reverted back to my “crazy” because I do not remember anything else until I woke up on 10/23/16 and knew who I was. All of the account of what happened comes from Thomas’ and others report. I tried everything I could think of to save a friend, but then I attempted to kill myself. It does not make sense.
I realize it is very difficult for people to believe that I had no idea what I was doing. Before this happened, I would be on that same page with you. It does sound unbelievable that a person could attempt to kill themselves and have no idea about it. While recovering and healing I’ve tried very hard to take what people have told me and remember something or anything, but I just can’t. It’s not there which is frustrating. It seems like I’m talking about someone else.
The week leading up to October 5th… Even if 1 person had all the facts, I’m not sure what could have been done. There was nothing that stuck out as a huge red flag. I did however, spread the “crazy” around to everyone I know. No one person had the whole story. There is probably a lot more that my friends and family can’t remember. This was the beginning of 2 traumatic, heartbreaking, devastating and stressful months for Thomas, my family and friends.
This is what I’ve been told… I called and went to every nurse friend I know to desperately find a job, which I had no business getting. I tried to buy a condo. I tried to cash in my 401k. I made an appointment for the following week to get my hair colored purple, pink and blue (not like me at all). Why would a person who was going to kill themselves do any of these things? After the fact, I’ve been told my behavior was strange and somewhat bizarre. I texted my childish anger with Thomas to all my girlfriends. I was upset with him because he wouldn’t let me drive the truck and RV back home (mind you I have never driven the truck and RV). He said I should go back to the mental health hospital (which I clearly needed). He was right on all counts but just like any irrational, unreasonable, depressed or addicted person I was not interested in solid thought. I told them he may get violent which couldn’t be further from reality, he is not in any way violent. I was unstable and I couldn’t or wouldn’t see it. The mental state I had fallen into made it impossible for me to hear or do anything that made sense. I saw my psychiatrist the day before the attempt and got all our prescriptions filled the day of the attempt.
October 5th, 2016, the day that changed everything. I went to get a haircut (not necessary for someone planning to kill themselves). I called friends multiple times to make sure they knew I loved them. Helped Thomas garden and pull weeds. We came in the house, took showers, then I said “we need to talk”. The talk went like this…“I need to go somewhere, he thought another RV trip. No I wanted to go somewhere, by myself. We sat in the bed and told him, I wanted a divorce (which is ridiculous). He of course was in shock because this made no sense. I love him and he loves me. He broke down and thought this was a bad dream. He pleaded with me to change my mind, I insisted. He asked if we could do counseling, I said no. He said that all I wanted was for him to pay off my credit card and that he could have the dogs (if I had been thinking clearly, there is no way I would ask for a divorce or give up my dogs). He says we talked and argued for several hours and skipped dinner.
I told him I wanted to sleep in the living room. Devastated he went to bed. After about 15 minutes he heard me coughing and an unusual noise. He came to check on me, he asked me if I was ok, I said yes (groggy). He kissed me on the forehead and I was sweaty (which is normal as I have hot flashes). He went back to bed. After another 15 minutes he heard me coughing, gaging and louder noises. Thank God, he checked on me again. He knew right away something was wrong. My eyes were rolled back and I was very altered and had foam in my mouth. He asked what did I do, I said pills on the counter, he went to the bathroom to check, but the bottles were in the kitchen, while he was gone I got up and stumbled into the kitchen. He returned just in time to catch my fall. He grabbed me and we both fell to the floor. “what did you do, what did you do”. I pointed to the bag of empty bottles and the note on the medications. 13 bottles…. I had taken all of his blood pressure medications and all of my medications.
90 Metoprolol + probably a lot more because he could only tolerate ½ the Metoprolol and we cut them in half and had a lot of extra pills.
120 Clonazepam + lots more because they were prescribed 4 times a day as needed and I usually only took 1-2 daily.
90 Restoril/ Temazepam,
90 Thyroid meds
Different dose of Thyroid meds (old prescription, unknown count)
Trazodone (old prescription, unknown count)
Ativan/ Lorazepam (old prescription, unknown count)
Belsomra (old prescription, unknown count)
I took 810 pills for sure + an unknown amount more.
Thomas called 911 in shock. They instructed him to keep me awake. While he was getting the dogs contained I tried to get up and walk, he returned to see me falling in the living room, limp. He held me crying, this had turned into a nightmare for him. He kept me awake as best he could. It took 30+ minutes for the ambulance to arrive (we live far out in the country). When they got here I was in and out of consciousness. Thomas told them what happened, the police were also there. I suppose it’s natural to reduce urgency when you are given the fact that someone attempted suicide. I’m thinking they assumed that if I had wanted to kill myself, there was no rush to save me. Unfortunately, they were wrong, I had no intention to commit suicide and I needed to be saved. It took 45 minutes to prepare me, load in ambulance and leave. It took another 30+ minutes to get to the ER, no emergency lights and they didn’t even drive as fast as the speed limit.
I am in no way talking bad about the EMS crew, it is absolutely human nature to go on the facts presented. From ingestion of pills to arrival at ER took 2 hours and 45 minutes. It was too late to pump my stomach. This is the 1st of the 7 times God saved me during this ordeal. After 2 hours 45 minutes and 800+ pills taken there is no chance someone would still be alive. To put it in perspective it is widely reported that Jimi Hendrix died from drinking quite a bit of red wine and taking 9 sleeping pills.
The picture attached to this post is the suicide note I wrote. I only took a picture of the top because the rest of that legal sized page and another page are a list of everyone I wanted Thomas to call and their phone numbers. It was family, friends, my doctors, a low-cost cremation provider and body donation. I signed the bottom. I must have written it after taking the pills because it gets more messy and hard to read as it goes.
I’d like to try and help loved ones if possible. I am a member of several Facebook groups for suicide and have talked to many people that are or have been depressed, suicidal or in an unstable frame of mind. There are 2 things that really stand out for me and are quite common.
#1…There are many people that have been adversely influenced, intoxicated or completely changed by the combinations of psychiatric medications they are on. A lot of them have no idea this is happening. We all see the commercials on TV that say with every medication that effects the mind in any way, “May Cause Suicidal Thoughts or Actions”. I believe in a lot of cases these thoughts or actions may not be obvious or even known to the person. Like I’ve said before what may be lifesaving for some may be catastrophic for others. Everyone is chemically different. I was clearly displaying the behavior of an addict. There was no telling or suggesting to me that my medications were possibly dangerous or needed to be changed. A doctor had prescribed them and in my mind, they were safe. I was argumentative, made countless excuses and even thought my psychiatrist was a genius for giving them to me. I was not going to be told something was wrong and refused to consider any kind of change. I thought I had it all together, this was not the case.
#2…So many people express concern that they will invade their loved one’s privacy, step on their toes or anger them by taking significant steps to get help when things are getting out of control. Most likely because past attempts to help have ended badly. Will this anger or embarrass them? What if I’m wrong? As you can see by my story, we (those who attempt or commit suicide) are 100% not making sound decisions and may not even be aware they are going to attempt. If they are aware, they are absolutely hiding it from you. Arguments happen because any attempt to point out a problem hurts or angers them. YES, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to convince an irrational person they need help. And YES, most of the time it really makes them mad that you would even suggest such a thing. Please remember this severely depressed, suicidal or addicted person you love is not thinking clearly. Step on their toes and invade their privacy, it could save their life and they will be so thankful later.
Mental health issues can be and often are deadly. So many people including teens and returning war veterans are killing themselves every day. There must be a way to reduce this. I don’t want to repeat myself, but I feel like it’s really important. People who think clearly or who are “normal”, and are not impaired by medication, depression, drugs or alcohol can’t imagine that a person they love could possibly attempt suicide. Suicide is not a normal thought. I am certain that no one that I talked to or encountered before my attempt thought that I would go home and swallow 800+ pills. Suicide is an irrational act, a permanent end to a temporary problem.
The next post will be about the hospitalization and how God saved me multiple times when no one, NO ONE, thought there was any chance that I would live…. This was hard to write.