I've kept what I'm about to write to myself since it happened. On September 19, 2013, I attempted suicide by acetaminophen overdose. There, I said it. I'd been keeping it a secret for a variety of reasons, mostly involving it not being important enough to share with others.
I chickened out about halfway through and called for help, after having ingested about 15 grams of store-brand Tylenol, to be followed by a fifth of Skyy Blue vodka, which I never got around to opening as I sat dejected in my car at the parking lot of a local community college about ten miles from where I lived at the time. I was being crushed under the weight of trying to buy a house and all the stupid fucking bullshit that comes with it. I'm still traumatized by it and hope I never have to buy another home or sell one. Anyway, on that day, I got home from work and called my real estate broker to find out what was causing the latest delay. By this point, we were about two months into the process of buying our current house. Two months. It's not supposed to take that long. And as every single day of those two months passed, each day was worse than the last. It sapped my will to live and I didn't have all that much to begin with.
And so on that fateful day, I'd had enough. I drove around for an hour or two, trying to think of what to do. Every option lead to suicide, according to my judgment at the time. I went to a big-box retailer and got the Tylenol, the vodka and a couple bottles of water with which to swallow the pills. I also bought a notebook and wrote a suicide note in it, which I burned immediately after. I don't really recall what I wrote there, only that it was very jittery, sad and dark. Perhaps a bit vengeful as well, but suicide as revenge is a lose-lose situation. You die and then whatever opposes you now has you out of the way.
I ended up spending four days in the hospital following hours in the ER and consuming a lot of activated charcoal, which was cherry-flavored and had the consistency of cake batter. Not a mental hospital, but a regular hospital ward. I was put into a room with the loudest, most obnoxious old man in the history of loud, obnoxious old men. I think they put me in there with him because there was no doubt I'd be in a constant state of annoyance. I asked to be moved and was rejected. Anyway, his TV was on 24/7, he made constant calls to the nurse to complain that his scrotum was swollen, and endless repetitions about how when he was admitted, he weighed 300 pounds and now he weighs 360. He also brought his home desktop computer with him and often played Whitney Houston songs at top volume, which none of the staff ever asked him to stop doing. Ugh, it was the worst. In fact the whole experience turned me off of hospitals. I used to enjoy being fussed and fawned over, but not anymore. When you're admitted to a non-psychiatric hospital after attempting suicide, you don't get much sympathy from the staff. I had a guard (actually an off-duty nurse clocking up some overtime) sitting at the foot of my hospital bed the entire time I was there to ensure that I didn't attempt to hurt or kill myself again.
Anyway, I was a model patient and caused no fuss for anyone. I never had to summon a nurse or did I need assistance relieving myself. By the third day, the staff had me walking around the floor I was on, escorted by a nurse, just to get some exercise and movement, as I towed my IV staff behind me. I saw a door marked "SHOWER" and begged to use it (I'd been three days without bathing by this point) but was denied. That was merely a speck of dust in my eye, metaphorically, because the rest of the stay consisted of almost no sleep (thanks, neighbor!), nothing to do or read until the second day when my girlfriend brought me my phone, and even then there's only so much you can do on a phone in a day.
If you attempt suicide and fail, it's most likely that things will keep getting worse for you. Almost two years later and despite steadily maintaining an optimistic attitude even when things are bad, I am, at my core, a fundamentally unhappy person and I'm pretty sure I always have been. I'd contemplated suicide daily since I was about twelve years old. It was only that day that I finally got around to giving it a try. Of course, I failed, but I still think about it every day. I probably always will.
The whole experience was the worst thing I've ever experienced, along with the house-buying shit. It confirmed again and again my belief that people are inherently evil, though that mostly involved the real estate experiences I was forced to endure. The hospital stay was profoundly boring, but I knew not to make my situation worse by acting out (which I never do anyway) or they would send me to the psychiatric ward on the third floor. Luckily, I was able to convince the attending doctor and the psychiatric nurses that my suicide attempt was just a cry for help. It was, in a manner of speaking, but I'm not sure anyone heard that cry. I didn't tell my family and I have no local friends, so I kept it bottled up inside, sinking back into that feeling whenever things go wrong, or when I'm being talked down to (although I'm old hat at that after a lifetime of being bullied), or just when I'm in bed and trying to get to sleep. Chronic suicidal depression is no joke. Nor is it any fun and there's no glamour in it whatsoever, despite what you've read in People.
After all that, nothing really changed. The house was finally purchased about a week after I was discharged from the hospital, which improved things—the previous house had been filled with pets allowed to run amok—I feel safe here and at times I feel the illusion of happiness. But I'm still where I was when I did this, despite the life changes that have happened since then. That being the case, I feel really bad that I have no advice to offer to people in similar situations: people standing at the edge of a cliff or tall building, people standing on chairs with ropes around their necks, and all the rest of the ways one can kill themselves. As I write this I remember my line of thinking while I was in the hospital: I have nothing. I am nothing. I'm a nanoparticle floating around the universe and I know for sure that the universe doesn't give a shit about anyone in particular, so I also expect nothing. Removing expectation from your life can slightly improve it—that way, you'll never be let down.
In closing, I guess I should say something positive, but I've got nothing. You have problems but so does everybody else, and everyone handles them in different ways. I urge you to choose the least self-destructive way to handle them. After doing this for a long time, maybe you'll find yourself a little higher up than the bottom, where I was, sitting in my car and swallowing thirty 500mg Tylenol tablets and crying. Crying because I was at the bottom. Because I had no idea about what to do. Since then, I've had that "just-about-to-cry" feeling in the back of my throat whenever anything emotional comes up. I cried like a baby while being admitted to the hospital, which seemed to take forever but still felt quick.
Have a good day, whoever reads this. Try to have as many good days as possible. Don't follow my example here.
Why doesn't anyone ever believe me when I say that something is wrong with me?
Most people seem to think that I'm making it all up; especially my family.
Some suggested (and relevant) listening for this writeup:
By total coincidence, on June 15, 2013 (exactly two years ago), I quit drinking alcohol. I never had a problem with it other than some extremely embarrassing drunk-dialing incidents, but ultimately I find that the task of drinking is not worth the outcome, whatever the situation. I've seen it destroy people and I've been victimized by it. I want no part of that.