“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.”
― Ernest Hemingway
Three years ago on this night, I gave up. It just felt like at the time, there was no end to the every day anguish. So I tried to take my own life. Wrapped a chain into a figure eight, put one end around a door knob, put the other around my throat, got on my knees on the other side of the door and lurched forward.
I never told anyone about what happened. When I woke up on the bathroom floor with ugly purple marks around my neck, I cried. I was confused, ashamed, and at the same time, numb. It wasn’t what I would call “rock bottom” for me, just a moment in time when I was under the influence in a summer full of nights that ended in frustration and depression. I don’t know what prompted me to do it either, instead of any other night. They were all awful back then.
Looking back, I would say what happened on that night is a comparison on how I handled things as an alcoholic and then again last summer as a sober person. I was simply overwhelmed by the things that kept happening every day three years ago. It was like they guided my hands that night, demons filtering out of my foggy mind and showing me a way out. For weeks afterwards, I felt a tightness in my throat and would cough randomly. I was asked if I had gotten into a fight and been strangled. The outward marks were bad, but on the inside was where I was reeling.
…the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveals suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, with addicts being six times more likely to take their own lives.
Probably the main thing I see get brought up by people when talking about suicide is the family and loved ones left suffering. I can’t imagine the pain I would have caused my family if that had occurred. Giving up on myself would have meant giving up on my daughter, something that in my sober state of mind I cannot comprehend. There was so much left to accomplish and achieve in my life. Three years is a long time certainly, in terms of working on yourself and taking things one day at a time, but still just a drop in the ocean in the grand scheme of life. I love my life and I love where I’m at and where I am going. I love the people in my life on a daily basis, and the time I have gotten to spend with my child has been a joy that gets more meaningful every time we see one another.
I had a death in my family this week that really just lays out how fragile a life is and how sudden it can be ripped away from you. One of my cousins was hit by a car while bike riding up in New York. Head on, car just came across a lane of traffic and it was over. I could go down the list saying how much she had going for her, but lets just say she was one of the most accomplished young people that I know. You work your entire life being a wonderful example to everyone around you, and then its gone in an instant. You, are gone in an instant. Some get no choice in that.
To anyone going through the lows in life, I understand that it may seem hopeless. I want you to know that there is nothing permanent in it though. You don’t have to know exactly where it is that you’re going, all I ask is that you believe in an existence that is better than what you are currently in. It is there if you examine yourself and work on the spots that are your problematic sources of grief. The person I am today would never get to the point the person three years ago was in because I will never let the things and people near enough to me to cause those kinds of problems in my life again.
Your journey isn’t even close to being finished yet, you’ll be arriving somewhere but not here.