This time last year, I woke up in hospital not knowing what had happened, but keenly feeling disappointed to be alive. The night before, I disassociated--for those of you who don't know, it means I lost myself in my head, and my body moved on its own accord. I was no longer in control, and that's a scary feeling--and packed a bag with as many sleeping pills as I could get my hands on, a water bottle, and my kindle. I told my parents that I was going for a walk. They must have known that something was up. Everyone who's seen me disassociate has told me that it's like I'm a completely different person.
It was late evening, on a gorgeous summer day. It must have been 7pm, or so, because I remember that it was still warm and bright, so when I walked off the track in the reserve behind my house, I could easily navigate through the brush and fallen logs, and out through the other side. I don't quite know what was on the other side of the small forest. It felt like I had walked through a portal. On one side were houses backing up onto the walking track, and then on the other side, there was this strange and peaceful field, kept in immaculate order. There were lakes with ducks that angrily chased me, and footpaths that stretched on.
As I walked, I started downing my pills. I found a spot, a dip in the field, surrounded by reeds that towered over me. I pulled out my kindle and read while I waited for the pills to hit me. It was starting to get cold and windy. The reeds protected me from the worst of the wind, and I felt safe among them.
By then I knew that my parents would have been worried. I knew that my boyfriend and my girlfriend would be worried. No one knew where I was. I didn't even know where I was. Months later, when I would try to find my way back to this place to come to terms with what I did, I would fail. It disappeared.
I don't know what time it was when I first saw the helicopters searching for me. I'd been slipping in and out of consciousness. I had laid my head on my bag and it felt as if time was moving faster than it should. But I wasn't dead yet. I wasn't even asleep. I turned off my kindle so that they wouldn't see the light in the middle of this field, and waited some more.
It must have been hours later when I decided that I was a failure--that I'd failed at killing myself--that I got up and decided to go back home with my tail between my legs. But I was lost. I followed the pathway I'd taken, but it led me to unfamiliar places. It was so cold for a summer night. When I came across a hole in a fence, I decided to take my chance and go through it, thinking that maybe it would be another portal that would lead me to safety.
It sort of was.
I came out in a small alleyway surrounded by houses and I had no fucking idea where I was. But I walked. I picked a direction, and walked. I couldn't even use my phone for a map because I purposely made sure the batteries were dead. Stupid stupid me. At this point I was delirious, but regretting it so much. If I'd have waited in that field another hour, I'd have passed out.
I made myself vomit. It tasted awful. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I would walk past each house and vomit on its nature strip. This close to Christmas, some of them still had lights up. It was beautiful and torturous. I worried I would never have another Christmas again. My birthday was in 7 days. Would I make it to turn 24?
At one point I lay in the bushes on some person's lawn, and a cat came up to me. It reminded me of my babies, my two cats, Luna and Selina, and my giant dope of a puppy, Layla. How would they react to my being dead? Would it hurt when they missed me? Would they understand that I was gone forever? Or would they sit on my bed every day, inhaling my scent, waiting for me to walk through the door and shower them with love?
And what about my boyfriend? He was not just my lover, but also my best friend. He had called the ambulance on me so many times during my many suicide attempts. How could I hurt him like that? How could I leave him like that, after all the moments we had together? Forcing each other to write; driving me an hour to get my two beautiful cats; being the perfect father for my pets. Even if he weren't my boyfriend, we'd still be best friends. We had a connection, that was kind of like soul mates, but that's too much of a cliche. We were soul-buds. Friends that were made to be together.
And what about my girlfriend? I'd known her for only a couple of months, but we had a connection. She was gorgeous and tasted sweet, and I loved our tea dates in the city. (About a month after this event, she broke up with me because she couldn't handle the stress and the pain of being with a mentally ill person. I don't blame her. She's since blocked me on all forms of social media, but I don't hate her for it. I just wish I was a better person for her, and that I didn't have to put her through all this pain and uncertainty.)
Finally, I saw a car, and I got up on unsteady legs and waved at them to stop. Please don't be a serial killer, I thought to myself. It would have been so ironic for me to have been murdered just when I decided I wanted to live again.
But it was a woman, and she was so nice. I asked her for directions to my street, and instead of pointing the way, she offered me a ride. It turned out I was walking in the opposite direction. She took me to my street, where there were cop cars and an ambulance. When I got out and surrendered myself to them, I finally lost all memory. I lay on the uncomfortable gurney, and started losing consciousness as they asked me questions. I think I fell asleep. I don't remember anything after that. All I can remember is waking up in a hospital gown, with wires taped onto my naked body underneath--I'd been hospitalised too many times to feel embarrassed about a nurse undressing me and preparing me like that.
I could have cried when I woke up and saw I was still alive, but I was so dehydrated from all that vomiting, and the IV drip was working far too slowly for my liking.
In that moment, I made myself a promise: that I wouldn't attempt suicide again for the rest of the year. And I fulfilled that promise, I'm proud to say.
Now, I have another promise to make: that I won't attempt suicide in 2017.
I have so many friends that love me, and it gives me strength.
So, here's hoping I can write a post a year from now about how I survived 2017.
TL;DR: I tried to kill myself, but didn't succeed, and I'm happy to be alive.