People often talk about running away to another, better place to escape their problems. But they are reminded that the problems remain even if they clean up and do things right this time around.
I often have thought of getting a fresh start somehow. I got that opportunity, but in an unfortunate way.
A failed suicide attempt left me completely disabled, unable to work and with a severe hypoxic brain injury that affected many aspects of my life. I had to start from rock bottom and completely rebuild my entire life.
Before the suicide attempt, I had a great job, made great money, bought a new car and had lots of friends that I hung out with often. In retrospect, I had everything and I was proud of myself for working so hard and doing so well.
Behind the scenes, I had a bad drinking problem and was constantly self-medicating my anxiety and depression.
Now I have no job, car, or friends. But I no longer have a drinking problem and do not self-harm or attempt suicide. It is so frustrating having to wait on things that are out of my control and coping with daily life along with a mental illness and a physical disability.
When I asked for a fresh start, I never imagined this would be it. It’s a thousand times harder than it was before, when I had a great life.
I didn’t consider what happened if I survived drinking antifreeze and taking hundreds of anti-anxiety pills. I don’t have a clue where I got the idea or the impulse to do that. I have no recollection of doing it and had no plans to kill myself in the past.
The previous week I was in a great mood, got along great with my family and didn’t feel overly depressed or down. I had just stopped taking a powerful anti-depressant anti-anxiety medication that I had been on for awhile because I switched jobs and lost my health insurance and the medication was outrageously expensive.
Because of that choice I made, I got what I wished for — and a whole lot more that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I went from being extremely independent to being completely dependent on everybody for everything. I went from working 40 to 60 hours a week to sitting in bed all day, bored and broke.
Eventually, I will work again and function like my old self, but the wait is nearly agonizing on a mind that is so used to being busy. Patience has never been a strong asset of mine, but the last year and a half of having no choice but to wait has taught me that patience truly is a valuable virtue.
Some days it’s impossible for me to see past the clouds of depression to the other side of the storm where it is sunny and calm and holds peace of mind. But I know I can make it through this day, too, and nothing lasts forever — especially emotions. Feelings aren’t facts and too often I trick myself into forgetting that and jump to impulsive, extreme conclusions.
I have to remember that this is a journey and it isn’t always pleasant. I can’t lose sight of my dreams or give up on hope, because then I have nothing to work toward or look forward to.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Mar 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Marker, T. (2013). My Long Road to Redemption After a Suicide Attempt. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 18, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/03/13/my-long-road-to-redemption-after-a-suicide-attempt/