The Day I Planned to Die

 

This is the first in a series of five posts about my recent attempt to end my life.  I’m sharing details and insights from my inpatient and outpatient experiences as well as my ongoing care.  Please feel free to comment, but realize I reserve the right to delete anything malicious.  And while Michael and I have chosen to be open about the incident I’d prefer anyone who knows my children “in real life” to respect their privacy and let them process this experience their own way, in their own time.  I’ll be linking up each Wednesday to Pour Your Heart Out at Things I Can’t Say.

Much of what I remember from Wednesday, January 29th is contentment.  It felt good to have made a decision about my life, to have I plan I had the power to carry out.  Suicidal thoughts had lingered in the back of my mind for years.  Anyone who is in their forties, in constant pain, and has been told the pain will only get worse has had at least a fleeting thought.  I never seriously considered it, though, not until that day.  I’d always felt suicide was such a selfish act, and so cruel to those left behind.

That day it felt like the perfect solution – the most rational thing to do.  My pain would end, I would no longer be such a burden on my family’s time and meager finances, and I wouldn’t be around to see everything fall apart.  Because I knew everything would fall apart.  We had no money to pay our most basic living expenses, let alone pricey medications and treatments that were only palliative.  It felt like I would be freeing my family.

I did some research online, gathered supplies, and wrote a rough draft of my note and funeral directions.  I sorted my stockpile of medications, finally selecting an old muscle relaxer I’d filled via mail order and only used a couple of weeks.  The app on my phone indicated I’d probably just fall asleep and not wake up.  I typed up the final draft of my funeral instructions (including the phone number and price of the cheapest crematorium I could find), and piled necessary supplies on the dining room table.  I wrote out the final draft of my letter, stapled it to the front of the funeral directions, and laid it on my bedside table with Michael’s name on it.

I took almost half the bottle of pills – nearly six weeks’ worth.  It took two full glasses of wine to get them all down.  Michael texted that he’d been able to complete an errand that I’d asked him to run early, and that John’s percussion lesson had been cancelled, so they’d be home sooner than expected.  I scrambled to take the rest of the pills in the bottle, and left the empty bottle, with my driver’s license and insurance card, next to the note.  As I got sleepier I packed a tote bag with a couple of pairs of pajamas, a toothbrush, and lotion and stapled a post-it to the handle: IN CASE I FAIL.  I left it in the pantry and grabbed a couple of towels to cover the bed.  I clipped a one-decade rosary around my wrist and fell asleep praying.

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33 thoughts on “The Day I Planned to Die”

  1. Ang,
    I’m sitting here speechless. (That should say quite a bit right there.)

    I hate that you’re in such pain – and will be praying for you. But how incredibly unselfish you are to share such a personal story. A testimony to the kind of person you are. 💗

    1. Thank you, Jennifer. After a long talk with my pastor one of the pieces of advice I took away was “Don’t waste your pain.” So I’m going to write about it, I’m going to go to support group meetings, and I’m going to butt in anywhere I see someone who needs the sort of help I can give. And I’m going to take better care of myself, too. Big to-do list, but I wouldn’t be me without a to-do list, right?!

  2. Angie….
    I don’t really know what to say. You are incredibly brave to share this. People need to understand how chronic illness affects people. Even “normal”, God-fearing people. While I can’t possible imagine your physical pain, I do understand the emotional pain. You are in my prayers.

  3. OMG Angie! I don’t know what to say. What a brave thing to do to share this with us. I hope you know that you are so very loved. Those people know the pain you feel and will always be here for you. Angie, you’ve been a part of my life for a long time. I just can’t imagine a world without you. Call me selfish if you will but it want you here for a long time. Love you, my friend!

  4. Oh, Angie!! Thank you! Thank you that you are still here and thanking you for sharing your story. I am writing this with tears in my eyes for you and me….This hits too close too home. My 14 y/o daughter has tried twice in the past year to take her own life. She has also lost 2 friends in the past month to suicide. After the first, she realized how much of a ripple effect it has on people, not only the person’s family, but also friends, school mates, neighbors, communities, etc. With the second one, she realized how it destroys families; it’s your fault, no it’s your fault, if you had paid attention, if you hadn’t made her move, etc.
    She has realized that she is stronger than the people that bully her, that she wants to be ALIVE, that people that drag her down only do because they themselves are unhappy.
    This is a big part of your healing process, sharing your story. I look forward to reading more.
    Again, thank you! I am so glad you are still here.
    So much love and prayers to you and your family.
    Pam

    1. The rate of teen suicide terrifies me. I would have left a fifteen-year-old behind, and one of my biggest goals now is to make sure he has the tools and support he needs to never be tempted to make the decision I did.

  5. I came here via Things I Can’t Say. It’s hard to know how to comment on a post like this. My mother’s best friend committed suicide; she had MS and just couldn’t take it any longer.
    I have suffered from depression and severe anxiety myself for years. So I am not coming from a place of judgment! I’m glad to see that you were not successful and I hope that you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel now….

    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve recently discovered that there are a WHOLE lot more people out there suffering and hiding behind “happy masks” than I would ever have expected. And the light IS there – talking about it all really does help.

  6. I wanted to puke.
    Stunned is too mild a word for this. I can NOT imagine a world without you in it. Can. Not.
    I know it is a bitch to deal with the physical and financial difficulties you’ve faced for so many years and I think you know the MULTITUDE of people who are there to listen, to hug, to help, to cry with you. To pray with you. To rail at the circumstances then find a different route back to the road. We’re in this together…all of us….and you are at the very heart of it.

    I love you.

    1. Thank you, Joan. It was SO wonderful to see you Saturday – I wish I could have been more up-front about everything, but with half our group being newbies I didn’t want to frighten them off 😉 Love you, too!

  7. Like so many others, I think you are incredibly brave to write this. You and I never got a chance to know each other, work side by side, but I know from talking to you and reading your blogs, you are an incredible person. I pray daily that your pain would go away. I do not know what its like, but my husband does. I do know what its like to lose someone to suicide. My oldest sister died in July of 1967. She was 20 and I was 15 months old. She is missed so much. Much love to you and your family. I think of you often.

    1. Thank you, Tina. My friends and family (furry and non-furry) have been through a lot lately dealing with the fallout, but I know now it would have been much worse if I had been successful.

  8. OMG, I had no idea until I read this. I also deal with major anxiety and depression issues so I can relate. I just wanted to let you know the world is a much better place with you and your beautiful smile in it. 🙂 {hugs}

    1. Thank you so much, Tina. With your shining face and quick smile you’d have been the last person I’d ever have guessed to be dealing with anxiety and depression. I appreciate you sharing that. I’m finding out that there are an awful lot more of us out there than I’d ever imagined. And just so you know, I find your books immensely theraputic – it’s impossible not to read them with a smile. Unfortunately I haven’t read Nefarious yet, so I’ll have to get back to you after that one 😉

  9. You are so incredibly brave to write about this and I’m so glad that you made it through. I’ve been there, but mine didn’t feel so calm and organized. I didn’t have a family to think about so I was just waiting for mine to take hold and take me away.

    1. Without my family and friends I wouldn’t be here – I know that for a fact. And I can’t believe they released you in the middle of the night. Sometimes hospitals, and especially health insurance companies, seem to have absolutely NO compassion.

  10. OMG Angie, I came over here through “Things I Can’t Say.” My heart is hurting for your turmoil. I am so happy you are here to tell this story. Praying for you.

  11. Hi Angie,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is powerful, and I pray that speaking out can help you to heal emotionally. I am sure that your family loves you and wants you to hang around in spite of your suffering.

    Sincerely,
    Xiomara

  12. Your posts are on my RSS feed. I hadn’t read anything in a month or so. Until today. My heart sank and I felt like vomiting. I haven’t read anything further, and I’m not sure I want to. I had no idea. Please remember… people you haven’t seen in ages are hurting with you, and for you. I’m sorry, and I know you will get the help and inspiration you need. Please take care….

  13. I have no words- only my heart. Aching for you and knowing that your future seems to be that you are still here on the earth for a reason- gives me hope. And that you have a purpose in your pain…

    God bless your heart. SO glad you are still among the living…

  14. oh how well I know this. thank you again for sharing your story. there are so many of us out there that have gone through this or are going through this and your writing is connecting them to someone they never knew was out there.

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