**Warning: This blog is about suicide. If you are suicidal or prone to suicidal ideation I suggest you not read this.**
Suicide is a topic I never give attention to. For years I’ve written about my experiences with bipolar. I’ve painted word pictures of my manias and its darkening depressions. I’m not ashamed to admit I sought and received electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) when my mental illness was taking control of my mind. I’ll even tell you about my psychosis. I’ve opened up about my progressing Parkinson’s with its dementia. I’ve poured out my emotions during the years I went to battle for what is rightfully mine, my children. I’ve been honest about my almost losing battle against alcohol and benzos. I’ve even spoken out as a male who struggled with an eating disorder for years. And I’ve never been silent about my faith after Christ turned things around for me. But my suicide attempt is one thing I haven’t spoken about. Until now.
I’m no stranger to the subject of suicide. I’ve been around it for years. I’ve lost friends and co-workers to suicide. My mind is no stranger to suicidal ideation. It’s just a part of my bipolar brain when the depression comes creeping in. It’s part of The Nothing Feeling, when all emotions have departed and I’m left empty all that’s left is the desire to not exist. I can’t explain where these thoughts come from. They just come. They are not a result of a disaster or situation that makes me sad. Suicidal ideation from bipolar is a symptom. However, suicidal ideation can be triggered by an event.
Suicidal thoughts will always be a part of my life. I’ve come to learn how to deal with them. I’ve come to learn to live with them. For the most part they are not always around, but sometimes it’s almost impossible to have a normal day with the plaguing thoughts.
I will never go into great detail about the night I attempted suicide. Only three people know them and it’s three too many. And no one knows the plans. But by the time that night came I was in a deep suicidal depression. It had been going on for months and I had already been inpatient weeks earlier.
The inpatient stay obviously didn’t help. Depression is like that sometimes. Resistant. Stubborn. Deadly. The suicidal thoughts wouldn’t go away. They were relentless. So on January 6, 2006 I made the choice to end my life. I made the choice how to end my life. I made the preparations.
In the night of January 6, 2006 I attempted to end my life. By God’s grace I did not succeed. I woke in and out of consciousness throughout the middle of night. At some point I vaguely remember getting my mother’s attention who dialed 911 and I was then transported to the ER where I was treated and then once again admitted to another psychiatric facility.
Today I wear multiple scars on each wrists that remind me how close I came to leaving this world and those that I hold dear to me. They also remind me how fragile I am. They remind me how serious I need to take my illness and my suicidal ideations. They remind me there are others who suffer. They remind me that as close as I came to death that night, I came to life.
Since my suicide attempt on January 6, 2006 I have fought with everything I have to stay alive with my Bipolar. I have pushed through every suicidal ideation. Most of it with my wife by my side. But I’ve chosen not to give up.
Yesterday I got a new tattoo. A semi-colon on my left wrist over the scars. A semi-colon represents a sentence the author could have ended but chose not to. The sentence is your life and the author is you. Nine years I ago attempted suicide but survived. Rather than covering up my scars I chose to get the semi-colon to tell my story of survival. I am a survivor of a suicide attempt.