Too Many Attempts To Count...
The suicidal thoughts started early. I would say around maybe age nine or ten. I was a full-fledged cutter by age 11. I self injured with hot wax starting at age ten. I scratched at my own arms and pinched myself since a young age that I can't quite remember. In Eighth grade my grandfather (one of two living grandparents and the only one I was close to) was diagnosed with stomach cancer that had metastasized and we were told he only had a few months to live. This changed my entire world. I prayed hard and no comfort came to me. He died nine months after his diagnosis and I know sometime around that time was the first time I really tried to kill myself. I took Tylenol and waited to die. No one ever knew. I woke up feeling horrible, but not dead. I repeated this attempt with other medications a few more times. The first time I was hospitalized was when I was fifteen and my mother had gotten into my email and found one I wrote to my friend about wanting to die and cutting myself. There were seven more hospitalizations to come, some because of attempts and some because of suicidal ideation.
I was in and out patient for most of sophomore year in high school. I was even on bedside for a few months while I did an intensive out patient program. I was incorrectly diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on meds that made me gain 60 pounds in two months. I started out a size 16, I ended up a size 24 after several months on Depakote. There are three or four months that I don't remember at all of that year. I went to college, came out of the closet, became a Buddhist, and had major anxiety over all of it. I was also raped by two different women. I moved to Oregon (which was cross-country for me, I'm an East Coast gal) and almost raped by a man.
It wasn't until I was 20 that something so traumatic happened I finally wanted to get better. I was in Oregon. I cut myself up something horrible and I overdosed on a lethal combo of super-strength Tylenol, Percocet, Klonipin, and whatever antidepressant I was on at that time. I seizured at work (I had hoped I would pass out and they would think I was dehydrated and pump fluids in me and let me die). For three days I was in an intensive care unit and I seizured a few more times. My parents were 3,00 miles away and I found out the hard way that Oregon's mental health facilities are not as good as the ones on the East Coast. Luckily, I came out of it with only a slight loss of balance on one side and a stutter when I get really upset.
I was lucky. I haven't cut since (it's been 4 1/2 years) and I've kept up with therapy and knowing my body. I did an awesome program called DBT while still in Oregon and then I moved back to my home state, back to the therapist who was helping me before I left. She has been my saving grace. Just recently she started doing what is known as EMDR or eye movement desensitization reprocessing, with me to work through the traumas I have experienced.
Even though I am "recovering" I still feel like I need to connect with others who have been through it. There are sites for those who have survived others' sucides, but what about those of us who survived our own?