Wednesday, 10 September 2014

World Suicide Prevention Day

I've always tried to ensure that my blog is different to any others but with national days like this, that's a little harder... So, in keeping with the theme, I've decided to tell you all three very personal stories; my three suicide attempts.
I think a lot of people might think that each of my paracetamol overdoses would qualify as an attempt on my life; but they weren't; they were coping mechanisms. Although, at the time I couldn't understand why I would do something if it wasn't to kill myself and I often got into battles with professionals over this. 

Number One
The first time I attempted suicide was in 2009. I felt so hopeless that I assumed a college interview wouldn't go very well and begun swallowing paracetamol before I was even en route to it! I had gained some mis-placed confidence in the mental health system and thought myself untouchable so I willingly (and rather arrogantly) admitted to the overdose and allowed various professionals to be called in to my home. I was so completely submerged in the thought of ending my life that I was oblivious to the fact the relevant professionals required to section somebody under the Mental Health Act, were gathered in our living room. And after refusing to let paramedics escort me from my home, I was restrained by 6 police, handcuffed, put in leg restraints and literally carried to a van. At the medical hospital where I was admitted for an anti-dote, I had psychiatric staff with me 24/7 and at every opportunity I tried to escape. I was continuously restrained and sedated so that every time it wore off, I was trying to run again. In the end I was sedated for 24hrs in order to complete the life-saving treatment.  

Number Two 
My second suicide attempt was in July 2012 and it led me to this hospital. My hallucinations were at an all-time peak and I was so terrified of the thought that they were getting worse, that I overdosed. I used my previous experience to bluff my way through the various attempts at forcing me to have the anti-dote. That included a police search, a section 136 threat, a psychiatric interview with the liaison team, a mental health act assessment and a mental capacity assessment. I fell at the final hurdle and was taken to resuscitation to be put on life support. 

Number Three
The last time I tried to commit suicide was in October 2013 and for those who missed my blog posts at the time, I stored paracetamol and took them all. As in the first time, persistence and determination played a massive part. I was in restraint for about five hours and given far too much Lorazepam and ketamine to sedate me. Nothing worked. I was completely focused on avoiding the anti-dote at all costs that it was as though I were immune to all sedatives. Towards the end, I became so tired and the restraints were extremely strong so I used one foot to get hold of the drip between my toes and pull it out of the vein on the other foot. That was when they gave up and I was put on life support.

So, what was the point in telling you these?
I guess I'm hoping that you'll read this and see how badly I felt at these times, how convinced I was that I had to die. That it was my only option. That it was for the best.
But it wasn't. I'm still alive. And it isn't so bad.