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To Die Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure
When did my life change so dramatically?
I ask myself this almost every single day and I never have an answer for my own ridiculous question.
I didn’t become a teen pop singer, or win an award, but my life has changed so much in the past, I guess you could say three years, that sometimes I’m just baffled.
Everything started changing in high school of course, like it does for everyone. First love, first cigarette, first failed class, first taste of poisonous drama. The girl I was in middle school was quickly fading and I was becoming someone else. It’s expected to change and go through phases in high school. The arm warmer phase, the I-want-to-chop-all-of-my-hair-off-this-weekend-sorry-mom phase, the heavy make-up phase. Even trying drugs phase.
So here I am nearly eighteen years old, and I feel almost too old. I look back at being fifteen in disgust. It was a terrible year, but life only got worse. But the one part I can never stop thinking about is when I tried to end it. I remember feeling so empty that year, like someone had taken an ice cream scooper and scooped all of me out until I was a shell. There wasn’t a particular problem with me, except everything felt like it was falling apart and there was nothing I could do. No one, not even me knew what I was going to do the summer after my freshman year. You see, everyone talks about doing it at least once. They’ll mention that they want to die, but they never do it. Maybe they think cutting or taking four pain relievers is attempting, but when you really want to do it, you make yourself suffer. You don’t tell anyone or let on that you’re considering death above all other options.
My mom kept trying to tell me there was no reason for me to be so sad, that some jerk of an ex-boyfriend wasn’t worth the misery and things would get better. Would, or will? I thought. No, they never will. This is how it’s going to end and I can’t change it.
I guess I went a little crazy. So absorbed in my dreams of never waking up and forgetting my problems.
I tried to tell mom I should be on anti-depressants but all that got me was a long debate about how 60% of America thinks there is something wrong with them and I’m not one of those people and that my life wasn’t so bad, but what she didn’t understand was the life I had then was the only one I ever knew, so of course it was going to feel horrible!
Anyways, summer came to an end and I was back at the high school, getting my schedule at Open House. I went to my future classes, jumpy and full of raw edge. The people that had torn me apart were still here of course celebrating their senior year, but not me. I was barely able to breathe without panicking. Even though I couldn’t see him, I could still feel him in the building. My monster lurking in the crowd. And then…his voice floating through the hallways. I cracked. I couldn’t hear my homeroom teacher talking or even see my mother sitting at my side. My world had gone frozen. Memories, so many horrid memories of biting words and sneers that made me shrivel up and cry from sheer exhaustion of it all. Every insult, every backlash, even the time he had hit me came back with a crushing blow.
Driving back from the high school to my house I couldn’t see anything as I silently cried. If mom knew how I upset I was she would just yell at me again. Instead, I wiped the tears away and went on through the night until she was asleep. I put in The Notebook and cried like I never had done before. I wasn’t really crying over Allie and Noah’s story, but more because at fifteen I thought I had had that once but the guy I loved/hated was nothing like Noah. He was a demon. A beast. Any kind of creature that lacked emotion or at least a heart and that was him. I sat up. Went to the kitchen. In the cabinet was an array of pills. My Tylenol PM, Melatonin, Ibuprofen, Midol, gel pills for night time colds. Everything I needed.
So what’s it like trying to die?
I won’t be blunt, but don’t think you’re the only person that researches the who, what, when, where and why’s of when people try to kill themselves. If you’re reading this you could be anyone, maybe even a fifteen year old girl that has been thinking about doing the same exact thing but nothing has pushed you quite over the edge just yet. Well let me tell you, attempted suicide is ugly. The pills were easy to swallow. Telling my mom, not so much. And getting checked into a hospital as your high quickly increases and suddenly your face is swollen like a walrus? Think again when you want to romanticize suicide. There is no beautiful moment when you die. There is no sympathy. Just repulsion.
A thick black sticky-sweet charcoal concoction given to me in a glass. I drink it but nothing happens for a while until I’m vomiting over the side of the gurney in spews of black vile. I’m taking to the ICU, needles are slipped into my arms and I lapse into a coma.
The needles didn’t hurt. But the swollen-eyed glare of my mother and the disgusted glares from doctors and nurses made me feign sleep. I couldn’t look at them after doing what I did. When my doctor said if my liver failed and he felt as if I didn’t deserve a new one, I didn’t know what to say. I had poisoned myself so severely it was a ‘miracle’ I didn’t die. The charcoal barely had anything to absorb because I had waited too long to tell, so all of those pills were running through my system for a pain that existed only in my mind. I lied to nosy shrinks saying yes I’m fine sir, I’ve realized what I’ve done and I regret it a lot. I’ll never do it again. I want to live.
Lie, lie, LIE.
I didn’t want to live. I wanted my liver to fail.
But that never showed.
So let’s skip ahead to being seventeen, alive and close to being an adult. I graduated high school early because I needed to get away from that place, started college and got a part time job. My life is mellow and tiring. I have also written a book and lost my grandmother to lung cancer. I’ve been to a horror convention and met famous celebrities, went to prom and got engaged on the Haunted Mansion at Disneyworld. But not a single day goes by where that infamous day that made me, well..me, leaves my mind. It’s a constant nagging thought with a voice whispered, you almost died. You almost did it.
I never tried again, nor did I deny what I had done when people asked about it at school. They fed on my crappy life and seemed so interested in a person that tried to take their own life. Mom said pretend like you have no idea what they’re talking about to save my own reputation, but that didn’t matter to me. I had never cared what people said mostly because I was never listening. I was too focused on things and if someone wanted to tell my story to their friends for kicks then let them. I won’t even remember them in five years let alone care if they know. I ashamed of doing it, but not talking about it is worse to me. I want people to know that there is a point you can reach where no one can break through to you. Where words that should comfort are tuned out and all you can focus on is the pain. That horrible, agonizing pain that is with you day and night and no matter what you try it just won’t go away. So as you read this I want you to know that if you’re thinking about trying it, or if you already have it planned out, think about the things you will miss out on even if you can’t believe things like falling in love with someone that truly cares for you, will actually happen. It’s up to you to decide if you want to get up off your knees and try to push through it, or give in and be forgotten in a few weeks. Yep. That’s how long it took before people stopped caring. A few weeks and already my attempt was in the past. Water under the bridge. Afterwards I was just the weirdo that tried to kill herself but lived, but otherwise there is nothing interesting about her so don’t even talk to her.
It takes a while to heal, I won’t lie. For instance, I’m still healing. I still cringe when I even hear the words “The” and “Notebook” in the same sentence. I don’t know how long this will haunt me or if I will ever feel completely safe from both myself and other people, but over the last few years there were so many moments I had to live for. I just hope you can see them too and hold on until the storm has cleared.