Repeated Tragedies Still Hit Hard
Suicide Was My Answer
I have suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my life, but kept it under control by being busy with my family, career and the occasional visit to my therapist. Things came to a head, however, when my husband of twenty-nine years unexpectedly left me.
I was devastated. In spite of the fact that I had my nineteen-year-old son to take care of, I felt as if I did not want to go on living. I started drinking. One night, after several glasses of wine, I took a whole bottle of anti-depressants with the intent of taking my life. Just moments after I took the pills, I realized I wanted to live, and immediately called 911. That was my first suicide attempt.
I kept sinking lower and lower into depression. My performance at work began to suffer. I lost my job and my house. Then my son turned to drugs. But I was fortunate in that I met a wonderful man named Terry who fell in love with me and accepted my son and his addiction as “part of the package.”
Things began looking up. I was able to find another job, though at a much lower level of salary and responsibility. Then six months into that job, my drinking and depression led to frequent absences from work and I lost the position. I still missed my ex-husband and my house, perhaps more because of the lifestyle I led when I was married than because of a broken heart.
When I lost my new job I sank into a deep depression and my drinking became out of control. One evening, when my son and Terry were out, I drank a bottle of wine and took a full bottle of Clonazepam (Klonopin). Did I want to end my life? I still don’t know to this day what my intentions really were, I just knew that I wanted the pain to end.
I awoke one week later in a psychiatric ward on my way back from an ECT treatment. I had been conscious before that moment, but had no memory of it. And I had no recollection of consenting to ECT. I was told afterward that my doctor held a family meeting with myself included to make the decision to go with ECT, as I was unresponsive to other treatment.
The ECT treatments made all the difference and brought me back to some level of functionality. The important thing was that I was happy my suicide attempt was unsuccessful. I realized how my drinking and taking prescription drugs indiscriminately could have resulted in my death. I was taking chances and fortunately was lucky enough that Terry found me in time to save my life.
My life has not improved much since that incident. Terry was diagnosed with bladder cancer and died a year and a half ago. I was left without money, as we had no savings. I did not know where to turn. Fortunately, my sister helped me financially and I was able to find an affordable apartment. My son, unfortunately, continued his heroin addiction and became an alcoholic.
Realizing it had to do with my depression and anxiety, I should have known better, yet I risked my life again by mixing Clonazepam, Ambien and alcohol. I slipped into unconsciousness that would have led to death if I were not rescued in time by my son.
Upon awakening, I realized how fortunate I was to still be alive, even with the emotional pain of living with my son’s addictions and the grief of Terry’s death. I always felt that there was a possibility of having a normal life, and most important of all, being there for my son.
I am still depressed and dealing with issues of loneliness, my son in jail and financial problems. There are days when I escape into my bedroom and just read. I let everything go, my personal hygiene, taking care of my apartment, going out, talking to family and friends.
No matter how bad things become, I have stopped taking chances with my life. I no longer turn to drugs and alcohol for relief from pain. I want to live. Because where there is life, there is hope. And hope is what I have now.