Let me be clear, my suicide attempt of September 2, 2014, was not a cry for help. It was a surrender, a complete abdication of my will to live. It was succumbing to the final symptom of my illness, and there was nothing tentative about it. I wanted to die and took steps to achieve that goal. Fortunately, I survived.
My cry for help came later. It came on September 3.
I knew that my life was being saved on September 2; however, my brain, addled by the effects of the drugs I’d taken, denied me the ability to fully comprehend what this meant. I just went with the flow. Not that I had any choice.
One element of this flow was entirely unexpected. At some point during the struggle to save my life, I experienced a wonderfully serendipitous mental silence. The incessant negativity of my inner voice quieted. It gave my battered psyche the opportunity to rest that had been denied it for so long.
For what seemed like hours, but was probably a mere instant, I drifted in and out of consciousness, steeped in the stimulus, the life, of the emergency room, gifted with this stillness of mind. The seeds of hope and of the will to live took root.
Just as depression and death had worked together to silence me, now two other forces joined together to awaken me. The first was oxygen, pure and clean being provided through a cannula. The second was the wearing off of the effect of the drugs I’d taken. Together they gave me clarity of thought, a clarity that grew the seeds of hope and the will to live. It gave them strength, the strength that The Black had so nearly suffocated.
Nonetheless, this brought its own terror: after trying so determinedly to kill myself, how do I now face life? What do I do now?
That’s when I cried out for help.
If you believe that you’re in need of help regarding your mental health, or if you’re experiencing thoughts of suicide, I urge you to speak to your family doctor immediately or call your local Canadian Mental Health Association branch. They can direct you to resources in your community. Crisis Services Canada can be reached by calling 1-833-456-4566 or by texting 45645. You can also get immediate help by dialing 911 or visiting your local emergency room.
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