Thursday, 18 April 2013

     Wow. That last post was three and a half years ago. Would you like to hear what happened next?

     Tough. I'm about to tell you.

     As images go, it's certainly an uncomfortable one. Retching, shaking uncontrollably, a deep doom-laden fear pulsing through every pore of my body, my vision restricted to a grey, lumpy cardboard bowl that sat frustratingly out of reach. Sliding unctuously round the bowl was a purple/red mass with small pimples of yellow. Conscious enough to take this in, a new wave of nausea roared its way up towards the grey lumpy cardboard bowl and I realised that what I seeing what my own blood, crescendoing out of my mouth and splattering itself onto my bedsheets. My eyelids - too heavy, surely, to belong to me? - flickered and closed.

     I limped on for a few more months. I told A how I felt. I didn't tell my parents, although if you read the email I sent them in January 2010, it was pretty damned clear what was going through my mind.

     And then, alone in my parents house on Sunday 7th February 2010, I took a shitload of prescription drugs, washed down with two bottles of wine, half a bottle of gin. And trust me, it was a shitload of tablets. I can remember shovelling them into my mouth, thinking 'Yes. This is what needs to be done.' Because in my mind, I was so damaged that I could see no way out. I believed that I was doing A Good Thing. That ultimately, my death would release A, W & D from living with the monster I thought I was. Yes, they would sad that I was dead, they would grieve, but in the end their lives would be immeasurably improved by the absence of me. This feeling was crystallised by my brother telling me that I needed 'to sort myself out' and 'think what you're doing to your kids.'

     Up until a certain point, my memories are quite clear. The two bottles of wine, purchased for £4.19 each. The enormous cache of of painkillers, anti-inflammatories and prescription drugs I'd stashed away the night before, in a Mothercare weaning pot. The beginnings of a beautifully poignant suicide note that eventually rambled into an incoherent, illegible scrawl, with every other word being 'sorry' or 'love'. The constant reverberation of the thought 'Today is the day I'm going to die.' Kissing A and the children goodbye at the train station, knowing we would never see each other again. Concentrating very hard during my 3 hour meeting with my accountant.

      I phoned A, told him I had just finished the meeting I'd had with my accountant, and would be on my way home, in between mouthfuls of various tablets and wine.

     I know I started drinking at about quarter to six, and took the first few tablets after that. Then more wine, tablets, wine, tablets, fistfuls of tablets, especially the tiny white ones. Now and again I'd gag on the combination of cheap warm wine, not having had enough time to chill it, and the dry bitter taste of some of the co-codamol. Then after about half seven, my memory starts playing tricks.

     I know I phoned someone - sorry, whoever you were - thinking they were A, then abruptly hung up. I ignored call after call from A, before finally answering. I don't think I spoke to him, but it was around that point that the back cover of my phone fell off and the battery skittered away. After that it's just a tumble of impressions.

      I remember lying on the floor, feeling the scratchiness of the rug under my cheek and wondering why my parents had paid so much money for something that was so uncomfortable. I remember 'Open the door, it's the Police.' and being in the hallway. I don't think I let them on (I'd be amazed if I had been capable of doing so, to be frank), but they were suddenly there.

     I remember not being able to see anything, but suddenly realising my sister was there, and a flashbulb memory of her running up the path, golden hair swinging from side to side, shock, fear and horror on her beautiful face. Then it's a blank, a total blank. One brief memory of vomiting blood in hospital.

     Then waking up, in a hospital bed. Fuck. I'm still alive. Fuck. I could hear A arguing with my brother on the phone, before hanging up and seeing I was awake. And before he could say anything, this sweet, loving, kind man, who had driven 60 miles in 35 minutes with our two confused kids in the back of the car, this man who knew me so well  he knew to call for help after a one minute phone call, this man who had sat up with me in the high dependency unit, who had sat all night, not knowing if I was going to live or die, that man, the man who had saved my life. I looked him straight in the eye and said 'I meant to do it. I wanted to die.'

     God, I can be a bitch at times.

     Anyway, another suicide attempt, two near sectionings, a lot of visits from the mental health crisis team, months and months of counselling with the truly brilliant Zoe at Hellesdon, a battle with the DWP to qualify for ESA (I won. Fuck you DWP. Fuck you up the bum with a corkscrew), two house moves, a shitload more of prescription drugs (taken rather more individually this time), another house move, a new career for A, a hell of a lot of walking, and three years, two months and 11 days later... Here I am. Still on anti-depressants. I have accepted I will most likely be on them for the rest of my life. S'ok. Because I never want to feel like suicide is the only option ever again. I could bang on about that for a while, about how my brain views the world now. But that's probably terminally boring for other people to read about.

     So that's us up to date. And don't worry, no, not all the posts are going to be quite as self-obsessed as this. I'm sitting at the dining room table, looking out at the sunshine in the garden, watching my two blondies slurp soup like they've never met cutlery, A feeling sorry for himself because he's got a cold, the ferret in his cage, being smelly, the house a bloody tip. And yeah. It's turned out ok. It nearly didn't. But it has.


Debbie said...

Thank you for this, thank you
It helps understand what my sister is going through

Lucy Benedict said...

I'm really sorry to hear that your sister is struggling at the moment, Debbie. If you or she want to have a chat with me about it, please do let me know, I 'd be happy to. You might also find another post I wrote called 'Being a Mentalist' useful to understand how depression can make you feel.

I really do hope that your sister can find a way through and come out the other side. It's a hard journey, but it really is worth it, I promise.