Exactly one year ago this week, I attempted suicide for the second time in my life. For the last few days, I’ve been mulling over what I did, why I did it and what lessons I’ve come away with.
What I did:
Well, put simply, I tried to kill myself. It’s easier to write it then say it out loud. I took a lot of medication. A lot of medication. And a variety. That part is easy.
Why I did it:
Well, that’s harder. There are a lot of things in that pile. The thing that screams at me the loudest is the argument that I had with M (stepson’s girlfriend). I was accused of doing something that I didn’t do, which is probably my single largest trigger. I do plenty that people could pick apart and latch onto if they want to challenge me. But, when the accusations are about something I DIDN’T do, I go from calm to incensed in less then a second. To make it worse, my attempts to defend myself seemed to make the situation worse. Her source was unreliable and motivated either by a dislike of me or a drug addled mind remembering things incorrectly. Either way, I was screwed. But, the result of this was that my husband was no longer going to be able to see his son or granddaughter, and the unfairness of that drove me further down a slide of seething anger with no outlet.
Not to be outdone, my bipolar swung to mania. So now, I’m furious with no outlet to express it AND I’m completely unable to settle down from the manic high I’m riding.
The next part is fairly predictable with my downward slide. I latched onto what my husband was losing as a result of this fight. Access to his son. Access to his granddaughter. And my mind made these into barriers for him that could only be overcome by my absence. But, I knew that my absence couldn’t just be simply accomplished by not coming to visit. My addled mind knew that my absence must be permanent. I was completely positive of this. It had gone from opinion to fact nearly immediately. And I “realized” that the only way to make this right for my husband was for me to die. He would get his kid back. He would get his granddaughter back. Life would settle down without my crazy mood swings. And my life insurance would pay out, giving him an easier path in life.
As much as this seems nuts now, this was the why of what I did.
Some of the lessons are repeats of the lessons I’ve learned through other periods of suicidal ideation. My brain lies when under severe bipolar pressure. My husband loves me and under no circumstances wants me dead.
But, in this instance, the lesson I really needed was what to do about M. This lesson took months of Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) group therapy and new meds to help me level off and see things clearly. I can’t control other people and their actions. No matter how unfair they are being to me, or how much I point it out, some people will never see things my way. And that has to be ok. I’m still working on being ok with it, but I have the thought in my head and I’m working on it.
Radical acceptance has to lead the way with these things. I will never wrap my head around how some people can be so hateful. I don’t get it now, and I don’t see that changing. Radical acceptance though will allow me to make peace with the idea, even if I don’t like it or understand it.
But the biggest lesson has to be to reach out for help. I have to believe so deeply in the unconditional love my husband has for me that I reach out to him instead of reaching for the pill bottle. I know he’ll be frustrated and upset, but it doesn’t matter. That part I need to brush aside. I have to trust in the love we have and get the help I need before things go too far. I have to have my coping skills handy and ready to use at a moments notice so I can keep putting one step in front of the other until I can get to hubby for help.
Keep fighting. Keep moving forward. Keep writing. Keep engaged with others. Keep accepting the hard lessons. Keep believing in my husband.
Keep believing in myself.