That phone call was one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. The pain in my mom’s voice was heartbreaking. Even I couldn’t believe what I’d done.
“I’m in the hospital mom. I-I-I kind of overdosed on some pills.” The rest of the conversation was a blur– crying, questions, yelling. Before I knew it I was lying on the hospital bed, drinking an awful mixture of tar, paint, and charcoal, and watching nurses and doctors discuss my situation.
“Did you intentionally overdose?”
“Yes,” I squeaked out in embarrassment.
“Did you want to commit suicide?”
How the hell was I supposed to know? “Umm no, not really, I don’t think so.” Suicide was such a strong word, like murder or torture. Why couldn’t they use something less harsh like ‘overmedicate’ or ‘accidental ingestion?’ But no, they used suicide. They thought I was suicidal! How silly, who doesn’t get a little depressed from time to time and just happen to grab a handful of their roommate’s pills and just happen to swallow a little bit more than the suggested amount? Apparently less people than I thought.
“Could I get a Starbucks to chase this with?” I asked the nurse, glancing with disgust at the thick tar-like solution in my cup. He was not amused. Neither was my family.
My friends, however, took my same approach. We told each other stories to get our minds off the overdose. They took pictures of me grinning from ear to ear, displaying teeth stained black from drinking the paint/tar substance. They held my buttless robe closed while I sauntered to the bathroom after the substance began to do its job.
And thank God these friends were so understanding. Just a few hours before I had texted my best friend, nonchalantly informing her that I had overdosed on some pills and was going to the gym to workout. Needless to say, that didn’t go over well. After an intensely aggressive cursing match (on my part) and a phone call to the police (on her part), I was off to the hospital where I now lay half naked, three quarters sick, and wholly disgusted with myself. This day definitely tied for the worst day of my life.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to believe that this happened a mere four years ago in April 2008. Other times it feels like a lifetime ago or like someone else’s life completely. Sure there were many reasons why I overdosed, too many to go into here that are still too raw if I really let myself think about them. I know what half of you are thinking right now, “What the hell?? This girl’s crazy!” At the same time, the other half of you are thinking, “Wow, I have SO been there!” This is for those of you who have been there. I’m here to say that there is a way out and somehow I found it.
If my life would have ended that fateful day in April I wouldn’t be living in New York City. I wouldn’t have traveled to Vietnam or Morocco. I would have never met my loving boyfriend. I wouldn’t have given my college graduation speech, let alone graduated college. I would have never met my family’s puppy. I would have never met most of you.
If you’ve ever been in this place or know someone who has, stop yourself, stop them, and think of all the things you or they would miss if your life or their life ended today. Chances are there’s a heck of a lot more out there for you to discover and a heck of a lot of people that would never be the same if you weren’t here. So please, be strong, whoever you are, and hold on. Do it for your loved ones, do it for yourself. Trust me, suicide just isn’t worth it. Not that I’ve ever been on the other side of it, thank goodness.
Obviously this message doesn’t really apply to my life in NYC, other than I wouldn’t be here right now if my attempted suicide had worked. Somehow I felt the need to write this for the first time in my life, and I chose to share it with you, to let you know that I got over. This is my reverse suicide note; my letter telling you that I love you and am not going anywhere, my testament to a life saved. I can’t even really put into words how I got over but, somehow, I did. And you will too. The wall is never too high, the pit never too deep for you to get over or climb out of. All it takes is the hand of someone who cares. And here’s mine.