My Last Planned Suicide Attempt (Ten Years Anniversary)
I originally wrote this back in 2013 but didn’t publish it until 2014 on the same day as today. The story was named The Dark Truth but that post was mainly telling people the dark truth of my life that I have a mental illness. It was also the second time since 2003 telling people I have depression. I talked a lot about the struggles I went through growing up even from the day I was born.
With this post you’re reading, I mainly copied & paste where I talked about my last suicide attempt but I retyped it again and added more things to it so it’s like an extended version of it that most of you guys haven’t read before so this is the first time telling the universe.
As I always do with all my posts depending on the content I write, I’m going to put a trigger warning as this post particular is quite dark and may be triggering for some people. The content I’ll be talking about is suicide, suicidality, past planned suicide attempts and graphic details of self-harm.
If you are easily triggered, please do not read, otherwise, read with caution. If you are feeling suicidal or unsafe at any time, stop reading and please reach out for help as the last thing I want to do is triggering people. Your life is so important!
When I was in Year 12 in 2007, I planned my suicide attempt in more than a year ahead and that date was the 22nd July 2008. I chose that date because it was the same as my first suicide attempt where I felt like I should have died. In that year, I would collect my medication by not taking them and storing them in a secret place in my room so no one could find it. I waited until I collected enough and wait for the date to come.
22nd July 2008 was the day I almost died. I don’t really remember what I did during the day but I think I vaguely remember watching a movie with my best mate on that day as I was still on TAFE holidays at that time. I also think later that day when I was at home, I was finishing writing my suicide note and was watching the Australian medical TV Show All Saints.
The next paragraph contains graphic details of my self-harm which includes cutting and burning. If you are easily triggered and not feeling safe at the moment, PLEASE do not read as I don’t want to trigger you. Just wanted to warn you guys as this may trigger some people so please read with caution.
Later that night, I just felt like hurting myself so I went to my room and grab my pencil sharpener blade and cut myself and started to carve words IHL (I Hate Life) & DIE into my body. I also burnt myself as well with ice and salt to get a chemical burn which is a frostbite and did that several times until I couldn’t stand the pain.
The next lot of paragraphs contain my last suicide attempt and my recovery in hospital. As I mentioned before, If you are easily triggered and not feeling safe at the moment, PLEASE do not read as I don’t want to trigger you. Otherwise, please read with caution.
After hurting myself and this was around 10pm, I remember going upstairs into my room getting my stash of medication that I have been collecting in the last year and taking them one by one. I’m not gonna say how much I took (for obvious reasons) but it was a lot and I could have taken more If I wanted to but that would have lead to a more deadlier result and glad I didn’t do it.
After taking my medications, I was lying down in my bed thinking this was it, this was the end of it. Well, that’s what I thought and then after a little while, I blacked out. I woke up being in and out of consciousness because of the amount of medication I took. I remember my dad cleaning me up because I threw up and he had to help me take out my contact lens as I was very groggy and he even tried to help me put me to bed.
My dad and my sister thought I was sick with something because I kept throwing up everywhere until they realised I took an overdose. I actually don’t know how they knew but I think they knew something was very wrong so they had to call for an ambulance which came to my house. Once it arrived, I had to be carried from upstairs to downstairs to the ambulance and I was still being in and out of consciousness and I blacked out again in the ambulance.
I woke up in hospital being all groggy and had all these monitors and sticky pad attached to my body. Wondering where I was, I had an oxygen mask on which I took off and then this nurse came rushing to me telling me not to take it off and then I blacked out again. I don’t remember what happened after that but I woke up yet again being rolled into ICU and in the middle of me moving, I threw up again so the nurses had to clean me up. I also had an IV line attached to me so they could give me medication when I needed to and they had a heart monitor attached to me so they can monitor what was going on with my body.
After I arrived in the ICU, there were so many hospital staff members looking after me and I can’t even remember who they were. I only remember certain people who I got along with like there was this male nurse, he was very laid-back and friendly to get along with. I vaguely remember one of our conversations on how became a nurse and how he wanted to help people which inspired me. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a lot of our conversations which is a real shame but I’ll never forget his compassion and support.
Though there was also this one time after a few months after getting out of hospital, my dad and I actually bumped into him at one of the Central Coast Mariners & Sydney FC games and he was with his son. It was great to see him again and told me I was looking a lot better when he last saw me and I thanked him for his support because he was there when I needed someone when I was recovering in the ICU.
Anyway, back to the story…one of the ER doctors came to see me and told me that I was very lucky to be alive because I almost had permanent damage to my organs due to the lethal amount of the overdose and if I had not been found, I would have been dead. Hearing that I was close to death was surreal.
As you can see, it wasn’t fun at all. I stayed in the ICU recovering and I had to have a nurse with me 24/7 just in case if I tried to do something to myself again. I spoke to one of the nurses about my suicide attempt and her words had an impacted on me which I won’t say on here as it was about her story but it made me realised that there is help out there. I was very thankful for her support because when she told me about her story, it was very sad and it really hit close to home for me. I was still pretty angry that I didn’t die but at the same time, I’m kinda glad that I survived my suicide attempt.
The emergency psych team came to see me as they wanted to assess how I was going and even asked me questions like why I was in hospital, what was the reason for my suicide attempt and my situation. I said to them that my suicide attempt was a planned one and even told them about my first suicide attempt where I should have died. I also told them I was struggling with TAFE, how my grandma passed away after I finished Year 12 and the hallucinations I was getting. After explaining to them my situation, they suggested I should be transferred to the emergency psych ward once I get better.
My family came to visit me and it was tough and embarrassing because I knew that my suicide attempt had a deep impact on them and I felt bad what put them through but I was actually really happy to see them. They really have been so supportive of me even though they didn’t understand me completely and I realised I am so lucky to have them.
During my stay in hospital, a service provider I was with sent me a Get Well Soon card to me which I wasn’t expecting and it really lifted my mood as they knew I was going through an extremely difficult time. I also received support from my extended family and friends which meant a lot to me and I am very grateful for their support.
Since I was feeling better, the emergency psych team transferred me to the emergency psychiatric ICU. Because this was a locked unit, I had to give the hospital staff my personal belongings as I wasn’t allowed to have anything with me so I gave them my mobile, mp3 players & chargers to them and put them in a bag with my name on it and locked it away.
After a brief stay, they again transferred me to the psychiatric ward and this ward, let’s just say it wasn’t for me because I was with other patients who were more unfortunate than me. Before I got admitted, there was a nurse who was working at the hospital and it actually happened to be one of my classmates who I went to the same high school as me. He was in a few years above me and it was good to see an old friend again.
Anyway, when the moved me, I was a shared room but luckily no one was with me except on the last day. I didn’t eat or sleep during my stay there because I didn’t want to be in there. I didn’t even get out of my room or interact with other people, it was all too much for me. I don’t want to say what happened during my stay mainly for privacy reason but it was one of the worst experiences I had. Even the nurses didn’t really check on you properly and every time my family came to visit me, I was so happy to see them because I was feeling lonely.
One of the psychiatrists saw me again to check up on me and I told her that I wanted to leave this place and thankfully, I didn’t need to stay there for that long because she got in contact with my psychiatrist. Because I didn’t feel suicidal or any need to harm myself, my psychiatrist requested for me to be transferred to another psychiatric hospital where he works at. This hospital had a so much better treatment and was more suitable for me.
On the last day of my admission, when I was getting discharged, my dad and I found out that my personal belongings got lost and had been stolen. This gave me a small panic attack as my legs were trembling and my dad had to calm me down.
My dad got very mad and went to talk to the nurses again and asked them to check again but still, they couldn’t find my stuff. They tried to apologise to us but saying sorry didn’t really help. This really devastated me because I had a lot of valuable stuff on my phone like the messages and photos I had could never be retrieved again. I also lost contacts with friends that I haven’t been able to reach them again since.
My dad made a complaint to the Unit Manager saying apparently, the proper procedure wasn’t followed and she said we had to send them a list of my belongings that got stolen which was again my phone, memory card, mp3 player & chargers and their team would work out the costs and how much money we could get back for the loss of the items. She also apologised again especially to me as she knows this was a very distressing time for me after recovering from my suicide attempt. She also said she’ll make sure to talk to her staff and address the issue as it was unacceptable.
At least the Unit Manager had the compassion to help us but there was nothing else we could do and had to go home as the other hospital was waiting for me so just a warning guys, leave your stuff at home or give it to your family/friends to look after.
We went home to packed my bags and went straight to the psychiatric hospital. When we arrived there, the admission staff had to interview me, go through the pre-admission, had to fill out some forms and even took a face photo of me for security reasons. After that was all done, they took us to the ICU where my room was and it was a small ICU. Five single rooms, two shared bathrooms, a lounge room and an office for the nurse.
The nurse welcomed me and parents and had to go through my belongings as there was some stuff I couldn’t keep with me. She also had to do another interview of me to check how I was going and I had to give her a urine sample (eww! I know) so they can test me if I have anything in my system like any drugs or alcohol and they do this with every patient.
She told me that the hospital I was currently staying in was a better place for me than staying in the public hospital and that made my parents and I felt relieved after going through that unforgettable experience. The nurse left us alone and gave me dinner as it was getting. The food was so much better as well as it was near restaurant quality. I was very hungry because I didn’t eat for two days. My parents left me as it was getting late but I was able to talk to them honestly about what I was going through and I wasn’t able to do that before which was a big change.
The next day, my psychiatrist came to see me and I pretty much told him everything and how I planned my suicide attempt and how I almost died. He was very worried about me but was glad that my plan didn’t work. He also told me the psychiatrist from the public hospital briefed him on my situation. I was glad that he was understanding and was able to finally open up to him more.
So the next few days in the ICU, I mainly stayed in my room and rested. This gave me time to reflect on how I was so close to dying because I was still traumatised from my suicide attempt. It also gave me a chance to open up to the nurses who were looking after me and they were very supportive especially this nurse as she was touched by my story.
After staying in the ICU and once I was in a better place, they transferred me to the main unit and put me in a shared room. The nurse gave me a tour of the unit where the small kitchen is, the two lounges and the bathrooms are and also told me about the in-patient day groups and timetable. It was a very relaxing and safe place to be. They even showed me the tour of the hospital where the cafeteria is, the gym, cafe and the courtyard.
Because I was new, one of the nurses had to interview me and they just asked questions like why I’m here, my goals, how long I’ll be staying, my medications and mainly my history. They also asked about my self-harm and my suicide attempts because they have a duty of care for my safety and others and also you can’t do anything to yourself while you’re in here. A GP doctor also had to see me and he mainly asked about my medical records and again why I’m in here.
With meals, they actually bring your meal and deliver to your room but after a first few days, you have to go down to have your meals as they encouraged people not to eat in their rooms and isolated themselves. They also had certain meal times and a lot of the times were quite early than usual because of the catering staff had to leave work early especially after dinner. Like dinner would be at 5:15pm and finishes at 6:15pm but for me I have dinner around 7pm so you can get hungry in the evening
They also had a nurses station where you had to take your medication at a certain time during the day and you also have to go to bed by a certain time which was at 11pm. It was a bit hard sleeping early as I’m more of a night person and being in a shared room is hard because you’re sharing with three other patients.
Having a routine and waking up in the mornings was a real struggle for me because I wasn’t a morning person but I eventually got used to it. Also going to the therapy groups was a bit difficult because I haven’t gone to groups since high school and it made me very anxious. I stayed in my room most of the time because I was new but in time, I was able to meet the other patients and get to know them. Even with the nurses, it took me a while to open up but luckily some of them I was able to get along with easily.
Settling into hospital took time and my mood was starting to get better. Towards the middle of my stay, I was granted day leave and was able to get out of hospital during the day but had to be accompanied by someone like one of my parents. I was also able to get in contact with some of family and friends after getting a new Nokia phone and the support I got from them was what I needed as I was feeling very confused after my suicide attempt. It was great to have moral support as they know me the best.
There was this one time my expensive sunnies and I think another one of my things got stolen and unfortunately, the staff couldn’t do anything about it which devastated me again. Because I was in a shared room, it was easy for things to get taken out of them and this was the second time my stuff got stolen after the first time as you guys already know. So ever since my stuff got stolen, I have been careful with my personal belongings and locked them up in the cupboard.
I started going to groups more and find my place in here. One of my favourite therapy groups was music as I play the guitar. A lot of the songs we did were inspirational songs that had a meaningful message and it can be any type of genre of music as well. There were other talented musicians in the group which was great fun to play along with them.
In my spare time when I don’t have any therapy, I usually watch TV in the lounge room or hang out with the other patients. Weekends were worse than weekdays because there wasn’t a lot you can do during the day. They just only had card makings but that’s pretty much it and if you don’t get any day leave, you’ll get bored easily. I did have family and friends who came to visit me especially my parents who try to visit me every day so I won’t feel lonely especially on the weekends.
In my final few days, I had to planned my discharge with my support network and I was a bit anxious going home because after you get used to staying in hospital, it’s like your second home and you feel like you’re one big family with the other patients. Also because it was my first time leaving hospital, I didn’t know what to expect to get back into the real world. With the discharge planning, they had to organise support for me after leaving hospital and I had to go to a day therapy group they run during the week for two days.
On my last day,. I had to move out of my room by 10am so another patient can move in and I think I saw my psychiatrist just for a final check-up, I don’t really remember since it’s been ten years. It was sad saying goodbye to my second family as we got along well and even the hospital staff they have been really great to me especially the ones who I got along. My parents finally came to pick me up and after nearly a month of staying at the hospital, I finally was able to go home.
As you can see, it was extremely tough and it was even tougher than any of my other suicide attempts including my first suicide attempt. Being close to death made realise how I’m grateful I am that I’m still here because if my family didn’t found me, I wouldn’t be here blogging for you guys. This year is also probably more significant than any of my other anniversaries because it has been a decade since that near fateful night and that is a huge milestone for coming a long way.
Thank you guys for reading. I hope my story gave you guys an insight because I don’t think anyone should go through that experience like I went through because it was scary as hell. In the last ten years, I haven’t attempted suicide which is incredible (as it’s the longest) but at the same time, I still get dark thoughts from time to time especially this time of the year and I can’t say I’ll never do it again which I know it’s sad to hear that but it doesn’t mean I’m actually gonna do it.
Thinking about where I was ten years ago at the lowest of the lowest point in my life but here a decade later, I’m still here and coincidentally enough, I’m now at the highest of the highest point in my life and never felt this happy before. One thing I know for sure is I’m having the best time of my life and I hope it continues that way because, for the very first time, I can now say I am finally happy and free.
Be random but stay safe! ^_^