Wants to apologize for suicide attempt

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: I had a huge lapse in judgement last week. I know it was wrong and i am so very sorry. i intentionally took too many sleeping pills. i wanted to end the thoughts and intense feelings. and my husband was there to witness everything. he watched them put me in an ambulance, and sat in the ER with me while I came in and out of conciousness. i really don’t have much memory, it’s all very fuzzy. but i hurt him bad. i don’t know how to fix this. it wasn’t directed at him; i only had myself in mind. i don’tknow how to make him understand and i don’t know what to tell him. do you have any suggestions? i am sorry i did this, very, very sorry.
Sorry in the Midwest.

A: Dear Sorry:
I’m sorry too. It’s so sad that you found yourself in such pain that the only thing you could think to do was to suicide. You must have been desparate indeed. But now that the crisis has settled down some, I hope you are realizing that there are other ways to relieve your pain; ways that don’t put someone else in a painful place.
You already know what you need to do and you are starting to do it. It really does help to tell someone you are sorry when it is genuine and heartfelt. But you need to back the apology up with some action. You made a good start by writing to a psychologist on line but I can’t help you do the work you need to do. Now it’s time to find a counselor you can go to regularly. Together you will figure out what is hurting you so much and you will explore ways you can deal with your feelings responsibly. You need to develop stronger coping skills and alternative ways to express yourself when you are in pain.
One of the hardest parts about being married to someone who loves you is that your life isn’t really just your own. What you do matters to his life too. I’m sure he is both sad and angry that you would think about leaving him with the sorrow of losing you and with the guilt of wondering what he should have or could have done. He may also be scared to leave you on your own. It may take awhile to build trust between you again. For that reason, it might be helpful for him to participate in some of the therapy too.
You live in a city where there are many, many good counselors. Ask your family doctor or the hospital for a referral to help you find one.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Jul 2006

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2006). Wants to apologize for suicide attempt. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/07/30/wants-to-apologize-for-suicide-attempt/