Or Lennie Briscoe saved my life.
In the summer of 2004 I tried to kill myself twice.
I was reeling from the end of my marriage and having a difficult time coping. On the night of July 3rd, my family was trying to convince me not to leave the house for my overnight shift at work but I needed to leave. I had planned on killing myself THAT night and wanted to do so in the privacy of a nearby park which had been my solace.
After the mini intervention was over, I went to get ready for my night. First, I swallowed the pills I had been prescribed from my physician (pills which had, ironically, helped me sleep during a bout of insomnia) had left and then went on as if things were normal. What actually happened, per my sister, I got in the shower and fell asleep, somehow managed to get dressed and into my car where I passed out. The next thing I know is that I woke up in a local hospital where I was in the critical care unit and then the psych unit for total of 11 days. After attending therapy and saying the right things in the right way to the right people, I was discharged to my family. For the next few days I was never alone, constantly accompanied for meals, when I wore and just to make sure I was OK.
That sucked. I had a plan and wanted to get on with it but first I needed supplies. An opportunity presented itself when I had to run errands to a local drugstore. On sale was the biggest box of no frills pills I had ever seen and I was all, yes! Quantity over quality. If the 23 pills hadn’t done it’s job, surely the 48 in the box would? I took my pills home and hid them away waiting for my chance. A week or so later, after saying the right things in the right way to my family, I was trusted enough to be home alone and I knew then was my moment and this time, I was going to get it right.
I took a shower first and then worked on freeing the pills from their silver liner, chasing them with some peach iced tea. As I swallowed I thought that this was it and felt my body getting heavy and shaky. I rinsed my glass and made my way up to my room where I turned the TV on to Law & Order, excited that Dick Wolf’s detectives would lull me away. I set the timer because I felt it rude to waste electricity (although the same thought did not occur when I thought about my family finding a dead relative) and as my body grew heavier and my breathing grew a more labored I realized that I had never seen the episode of Law and Order that was on and I would never know how it ended.
Something startled me awake a bit later and I realized that I had a desperate, almost physical desire to see just how that episode of Law & Order was going to end, that I wanted to see the next one – TNT always had a block of episodes back then, that I did not want to die. I tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the bathroom hoping to purge myself of those pills. After trying to induce vomiting, I tripped my way downstairs to get more of that peach tea to get something into my stomach to get those pills up and moving. Seven cups of peach iced tea later left me unable to drink anything peach flavored for years. I had also vomited until my throat was raw and sore and I dragged myself back upstairs unable to keep my eyes open any longer.
Someone calling my name woke me again. It was my mom asking what I’d like for dinner. I was all groggy, dry mouthed and still a little shaky when I woke up and my first thought was, “How did that episode of law & Order end”?
This was my piece that I was going to perform for the Delco Story Slam. I am hoping that sharing this will be helpful to someone.
Thank you for reading.
This post is a part of Shell Things Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays
- Write a post from the heart.
- Something that has been weighing on you.
- Something you feel passionately about.
- Something you’ve been wanting to talk about.
- A cause, a memory, a belief, a world view.