It is a hell of a thing to have a stomach full of pills.
In quantities that are going to kill you.
And to know that it is your fault those pills are in there.
And then to change your mind.
And you’re gonna have to go wake people up and tell them you need your stomach pumped.
This is NOT as much fun as it sounds like.
Fortunately, my thinking process is so Smithereenized™ at this point and my behavior so chaotic and unpredictable that after saving my life in the middle of my suicide attempt that originally got interrupted by nearly choking and drowning to death and then choosing to continue killing myself after I saved myself that I am now making the flippity-flip-flop– The GriffinTripleCideTwist™– where I am now going to interrupt my suicide attempt AGAIN by attempting to save my life…
The order went like this:
- Accidental Surprise Deathing: Droke/Chown Edition
- Saved Lifeing
- More Thorough Suiciding
- More Thorough Saved Lifeing
And this is how I now find myself waking Religious Parent™ to deliver the news that
GoldenChild™ SilverChild™ Nickel Plated Alloy Child™ has swallowed a bunch of pills and is about to die unless we light up the neighborhood with First Responders™.
Apologies for the rude awakening.
911 is dialed… for the zillionth time this year– wonder if I can fill out my First Responder Punch Card™ and get a free IV bag…
While we wait for the ambulance to arrive, I’d like to take a moment to reiterate a point I made earlier.
I am alive today because my parents didn’t have guns in the house.
Look at my story. Look how chaotic my thinking process was. Look how bad my executive function and thinking process are here.
And look at the commitment to follow through to the end. And how much work it was to get to a point where I am now about to die.
And how easier that would have been if I had access to a gun.
And because there was no gun I could get my Wrongly Medicated™ hands on… I did not make that committed-follow-through action with a weapon whose design purpose is: ease of death.
And because I didn’t use a gun… there is enough time to change my mind and then take actions to try to change course.
I am alive today because my parents did not keep guns in the house.
As a result… I had to do my attempt with a technique that has one of the highest rates of suicide failure.
There are websites with statistics.
Go find them if you doubt me.
So a plea I would ask all readers of this blogject… if you have people in your life who live with you, who struggle with Major Depressive Disorder or other severe mental health conditions…
If you claim to love these people in your life…
Do you love the ill people in your life more than you love your guns?
Be a responsible gun owner and remove those items from your home and their lives.
Because we are clever as fuck and will find a way to use them.
No matter how badass you think that safe is.
Don’t disrespect Mental Illness.
It is just as lethal as any other disease.
Remove the temptation to make a decision that can’t be Undecidified™.
Do it for Dave.
This is the story of:
Good Lord this is exhausting.
The First Responders™ arrives.
And they have arrived so fast– and I woke up Religious Parent™ so fast– that the pile of medication and carpet lint in my stomach has yet to really hit the bloodstream.
And so when the paramedics take my vitals– they’re fine.
And at some point– as one of the paramedics is talking to one of the parents or another– at some point it comes out that they had heard me flush the toilet.
And this is the key moment where my brilliant sonic cover from the CrinklyBag™ is now about to bite me in the ass.
This is the point where the film version of this we flashback to moments earlier where L’il DaveyBoy™ in the bathroom says:
There’s. no. way. this. brilliant. idea. backfires. on. me!!
The First Responders™ believe I’ve flushed all the medication.
And they think I’m faking it.
And they don’t want to take me to the hospital.
This creates a series of tense negotiations for the next 10-15 miinutes where I’m accused of lying by people who don’t know me and are pissed at my fake-attention-getting-attempt and my parents who are themselves confused as to why I had flushed the toilet… for noise?
But… credit to my Religious Parent™ who believed me when I said “I really took them all.”
We all argue so long that now I’m starting to feel the first effects of the pills.
I think they took my vitals again and realized I was, in fact, actually starting to die.
Btw, is this how First Responders™ treat Cancer Patients™?
More Still Faces™ and angry reactions and everybody is pissed. I’ve pretty much ruined everyone’s night.
You’re Welcome, Family.
In order to Undecidify Suicide I have to Angerfy all the people whose help I need to not die. It’s an absurd situation that makes an already suicidal patient… kinda not want to live anymore.
SO I AM SIMULTANEOUSLY AFRAID OF DYING…
WHILE ALSO STILL WANTING TO DIE.
This is the Shrodinger’s Suicide.
It is happening and not happening at the same time.
(And yes all my tech nerds just pushed up their glasses to start writing about how I’m misusing the Actual Shrodinger’s Cat paradox here… but remember I am dying and my brain is no longer functioning at this point so gimme a break)
At some point I am placed a stretcher… while the red lights silently flicker and light up my neighbor’s houses and can be seen from space where absolutely nobody is paying any attention in Heaven™ because they’re all smashed on TastyLasers™ and frankincense… and I am loaded into the back of the ambulance for the next leg of my evening’s journey.
The tension in my body is unreal. The arguing and nerves I had that they wouldn’t take me, coming on the heels of the most stressful experience of taking all the pills… like that was an entire exhausting psychological ordeal that one post can not adequately explain.
One of the most frightening and difficult things I’ve ever done.
My stomach is queasy and in knots from the anxiety of everything. Not even counting all the meds swimming around inside it.
The ambulance door closes.
I lay my head back on the pillow.
An emotional carcass.
And it’s a blessed silence.
I have just enough time to exhale and start to psychologically prepare for whatever the hell is going to happen at the hospital which I’m now terrified about.
Maybe I can enjoy a quiet ride to the hospital to settle my nerves before all hell breaks loose.
Nope. I find myself in the back of the ambulance all alone with AlphaMedic™.
He looks like a normal paramedic, but he has Theories about white teenagers in AnchorBabyLand™ committing suicide.
And he starts berating me.
He. Is. Pissed.
And seizes on the opportunity that my parents aren’t in the ambulance with me.
“How you can you be so selfish?!? Answer me! How can you be out here pulling these stunts when we should be out there saving people who actually. need. help.“
There was an economic divide between us. There was a racial divide between us. And an age divide. He was a young man in his mid-20’s. And these are the neighborhoods he’s driven by his whole life thinking that the folks in these neighborhoods have these magical lives of Privilege™ where nothing bad happens like neglect or emotional and spiritual abuse where people are driven to suicide.
It’s a concept he doesn’t understand like most people I will encounter over the next decades. People who can not even imagine suicide or have ever faced that decision but are convinced they have all the answers and understand everything about it enough to judge you for it.
And they never judge you positively for it. It’s always dismissive and belittling and toxic and ignorant.
“Why would you do this?!?”
“WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?”
“WHY. WOULD. YOU. DO. THIS?!?”
“People might die while we waste time and resources to take you to the hospital. You realize that?!?”
I think this is the Scared Straight™ portion of the inflight entertainment.
I’m. literally. dying. while he says these words.
I do not register in his mind as someone worthy of saving.
And as you judge him, ask yourself whether people living in tent cities are people worthy of saving and all the nothing you continue to not do for them.
“Look at how good your life is. Nice neighborhood. Big house.”
He’s pissed. His idea of how he thinks the AnchorBabyLand™ life is compared to the environment that he has grown up in and lives in is palpable.
“Why would you do this?”
How do I placate and soothe an angry paramedic? Nobody has prepared me for this moment. Where I need to perform emotional labor to calm someone down so they can do their job of saving my life.
And it bears repeating… everyone treats you like crap as a teen mental health patient in 1994.
I know there is nothing I can say that will make this young man understand.
There are no words.
I can’t explain the “why” to someone predisposed to not understand it.
“You… wouldn’t… understand.”
I slur the words out and turn and look away from the guy while he continues to lecture me for the rest of the ride…
At some point… I fade out.
My next clear memory is being in the ER with two male doctors- one on each side– each firmly gripping my shoulders so I can’t move for what is coming next.
I am handed a cup of water by one doctor while the other applies some jelly substance to the end of a clear? rubber tube.
I’m woozy AF.
I start to drink the water and the other doctor jams the tube up my nose without warning. This re-traumatizes the sensation of Droke/Chowning I had just experienced 30-45 minutes earlier in my GarageRoom™.
I gag and flinch and am spraying and dribbling water out my mouth while begging them “Wait!! wait!! lemme catch my breath first!!”
They pull the tube out for half a second… I take an inhale and then up it goes…
The doctors seem pissed, too, that they have to deal with some lame dramatic teenager who wants to kill himself… seems to piss everyone off that I encounter.
And at this point I have given up on the idea of living again… again… again.
What’s the point of fighting to not die if everyone is pissed at you?
IF YOU ALL AREN’T GIVING ME A REASON OR A SENSE WHERE I FEEL LOVED AND CARED FOR…
How is someone ever supposed to heal in these circumstances?
Mental health patients are the punching bag of the Health Care Industry.
I am lain on my right* side.
Somewhere out of sight the other end of the tube is hooked up to some machine.
A switch is flipped.
And a humming starts….
In the cold of the room… the sensation of my stomach filling begins.
It’s a slow force.
It’s achingly slow. And at some point… it becomes uncomfortable. Like after you’ve overeaten a holiday meal and are in a state of distress.
And then it continues.
And it hurts more
My stomach is so full I’m certain it’s going to burst.
And I feel like I have to vomit.
But I don’t know if I’m supposed to do that or not or if that will make me choke.
And there’s no nurse in the room to ask– I’ve been left here by myself– and so I’m just…
And then… mercy!
A *click* and then the machine stops humming.
And then another *click* and it starts humming again.
And ohmyholygawd this feels so much better. The machine starts draining my stomach. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
It’s the exact same orgasmic sensation of having a too full bladder and then finally relieving it. Where you realize yu waited so long to pee that your bladdr had become so full that the pain of the muscles around the bladder can now finally stop straining and relax. The kind of Piss Take™ that is transcendent enough to end your lower back pain you were moaning about all day.
This is bliss. It’s such a refreshing feeling where it’s easier to breathe without my filled stomach fighting for room with my lungs in my ribcage.
And then.. after some time… the machine *clicks* again.
And it starts humming again.
And the stomach starts filling again.
And each fill cycle feels like it takes forever.
And each empty cycle feels like it passes too fast.
At some point…
I fade out again…
Lying on my right* side.
It will be a disagreement that lasts to this day between my BreadWinningParent™ and my ReligiousParent™.
BreadWinningParent™ will later tell me that my heart. stopped.
Religious Parent™ insists my heart almost stopped.
There is a memory in my brain that is unlike any other.
It is impossible to describe.
This memory has a different texture than any other memory in my life.
So regardless of whatever the differing perspectives of my parents are…
But my next memory after fading to black lying on my right* side is…
I am staring down at a 17 year old kid lying on his left* side.
I am Hovering™ above this person.
I feel no emotional attachment to the person lying on the gurney.
I feel pity for him.
He looks so sad
And I’m just staring down at this poor kid. And my heart is breaking for this person. And I don’t know why. The feeling in this memory is one of a strange birthing experience… or arrival is a better word.
There’s a murkiness to the start of the memory… like it’s a bokeh shot that’s blurry and comes into focus.
I describe the texture of this memory as though you were watching a photograph develop in a pan of a chemical bath in a dark room…. if you ever took photography before the digital revolution.
The way the photopaper slowly changes and hazes and clarifies but is always still slightly obscured by the wavy action of the liquid bath and the red light reflecting and dancing and refracting on the surface.
That is the texture of this memory.
It is a pleasant feeling. Or rather it is not unpleasant.
And I am transfixed on this poor kid….
And as I Hover™ over this kid and stare at him through the water bath texture of this memory…. at some point in the memory it becomes clear to me that the person lying below me… IS. ME.
And the knowledge of this information hits me in an entirely cerebral and completely unemotional way. Even though I know the information that that is my body… I don’t feel sad for myself or wish I could be back in that body… In fact, I feel glad I’m not in that poor kid’s body.
And the memory is just that.
I’m Hovering™ over a kid who looks like he’s sleeping and I become aware that it’s me and then…
I briefly awaken in a state I can only describe as paralyzedcomatosewakening™.
I can barely open my eyes…
but I am absolutely certain I am on my left* side now on the gurney…
and it feels like it’s later… that some time has passed.
Somebody moved me from my right* side to my left* side.
Without waking me.
Which is not possible if you understand how Dave sleeps.
Even with a stomach full of pills.
One parent will insist I almost died.
And one parent will insist I did.
And if you ask me…
the guy who was there…
All I know is…
that was my body I was looking down on.
In a memory that feels like no other.
No other memory comes within the same universe of this memory.
I survived suicide.
And I also didn’t.