Recently I did something stupid, we will talk about it later in the post but it landed me in the hospital.
It was by laying in that hospital bed that I realized that the person I wanted sitting next to me wasn’t a parent, guardian or family member. It was a close friend of mine. As a result, when the nurse said they had to call someone, I requested she call him. Additionally, I also requested she call my brother as she insisted family was best.
I would like to mention that I didn’t think he, my friend, would come. He was working and has a life and plans and all that jazz. So naturally when I looked up to see him coming I was shocked. I was a little embarrassed that I’d pulled him away from work, I was happy because no one can make me feel better the way he can and I was so incredibly grateful that he would come. In fact, I was so grateful to all of my family and friends who came in the few days I was there. People who I know blamed themselves, blamed their actions, blamed their words. The reality was though, that it was no ones fault. No ones but mine.
When the doctors kept asking why I did it, I couldn’t help but flash back to the moments it occurred. To the handfuls I was shoving in my mouth and the giant swigs of orange juice used to wash them down. To the tears that rolled down my face with no end in sight. To the bitter taste that was left in my mouth. I would look at the doctors and say I didn’t know because the truth is, I didn’t.
I’m not stupid and I am not broken, I am however suffering from at least one mental illness, likely two. Sitting on my bedroom floor contemplating my actions, I can’t remember my thought process. I can’t remember taking the first few handfuls. I remember the last handful. I remember my breathing getting really fast and suddenly my brain decided we’d be rational for a minute. SCREAMING IN MY HEAD THINGS LIKE: What are you doing? What the heck? call 911? call a friend? get a ride? It will kill you slowly but you still have to act fast….
These thoughts came to me because I’m not stupid. I have never been stupid. My intelligence was shadowed by my anxiety and my fears and the feeling that the world was getting smaller and darker while I was always getting larger but still never being seen and this endless chain of irrational thoughts that resembled this frantic run on sentence. What had happened wasn’t clear but suddenly what I needed to do was. I called 911.
Going back to my intelligence, one of the first responders asked me about what had happened but she also asked me about my studies and work and life. In the end she said something along the lines of “that sounds like a lot” which to be fair, it was. But I knew that my life and its events wasn’t why I had done it. I wasn’t stressed about my life, in fact recently its all been starting to sort itself out.
Other medical professionals insisted something must have happened. They repeatedly asked what had happened that day. To which I would respond that I’d seen my best friend that day, that I’d done some housework, played cards with roommates and watched Netflix while eating junk food. Not to brag, but it had been an awesome day. This response always left them looking puzzled as to why I had done it. Their expressions mimicking my thought process as I myself tried to understand the situation.
Throughout all these explanations and questions, I had friends and family by my side which was unexpected to put it lightly. Almost everyone who was there for me in those few days was someone I had known less than 3 years time, excluding my brother. In fact, the person who stayed the longest was the close friend I’d asked them to call. He sat next to me and didn’t question me. In fact, the only time he even mentioned the incident was to apologize for heading to bed the night before when I’d asked him to stay up and talk to me. Apart from that he asked if I needed water or food. We watched Netflix as nurses came and poked me with needles. We talked while a security guard paced outside my door. Nothing beyond him mattered though because he made me feel safe. This is a feeling all of my guests brought actually. That feeling of home and security that a hospital tried to strip me of. Somehow while sitting in a gown designed to expose me, I managed to feel like I was wrapped in a blanket of love.
I know this doesn’t make a lot of sense but I felt more love in that hospital room then I’d felt in a few months prior to trying to take my own life. And maybe that was it. Maybe I just felt disconnected. Much like my thoughts disconnected from my actions when I tried to do it, maybe I felt disconnected from the world around me.
Maybe, just maybe, I needed a harsh reminder that I wasn’t alone. Moreover, maybe I needed to answer this question:
If I called, would anyone come?