You’d have thought that, after my first attempt, way back when I was 19 years old (I’m in my 50s now), I may have learned a thing or three. Twice I attempted suicide – wholeheartedly, I might add – and twice some unplanned outside “influence” got in the way. The first time, I was just so alone, very few friends (I didn’t know how to make them), no job, no girlfriend, nothing to live for. I was into drugs at the time – I’d taken LSD (and had a couple of pretty nasty, as well as good, trips), and I was pretty much dependent on dope (grass). I was also on valium and sleepers. I was pretty depressed most of the time, even without the drugs. Anyway, I decided to end it. I’d heard of people who had “attempted suicide” before, and I was familiar with the phraze “A cry for help”, but I didn’t see myself as one of those. I mean, who could I cry for help to? I hardly knew anyone! No, this was to be planned, and it was to be as meticulous as possible.
It was the week between Christmas and New Year. I lived with my mum, but she was away for the Christmas period visiting family so I was in the flat alone. My friend (my only friend) and his girlfriend dropped by to wish me christmas cheer and they brought a box containing various bottles of spirits with them. I skinned up a couple of joints and we three chatted, listened to music and got stoned and drunk. They left in the early hours – I think I must’ve passed out. Woke up with one hell of a hangover the next day.
They’d left their box of spirits, but I was unaware of this. It’s important to mention, though, as you’ll see later.
My plan was to “do it” that night. I already had my pills (half a bottle of sleepers and about 30 valium 10s) and my own booze (a mixture of whisky, vodka, gin, dark rum and ribena in a pint bottle). That should SURELY be enough to put me to sleep for all time……SURELY!!
I woke up 2 days later in the local hospital. I was devastated. I’d heard how people felt when a REAL suicide attempt went wrong and they woke up in hospital. Now I was experiencing it. It’s an indescribable pain. Then, as you begin to fully wake up and your thoughts start to “tick”, it gets worse. Nothing can help you feel better. Nothing. You just have to come to terms with it. I could’ve punched the doctor when he said to me: “Well, somebody ‘up there’ must like you, eh?” And, later, the psychiatrist who came to check out the state of my head said: “You should be gone after taking all that. They must have caught you just in time. You’ve obviously got friends in High Places!”
Well, I’ll tell you what happened.
During my preparations – having a shower, a last cigarette, opening the window of my room a little (my body wouldn’t be discovered, I thought, until my mum got back in about a week, so I thought it best to have ventilation as the smell would probably be bad by then), opening my bedroom door, getting in between the headphones to “go out” to my favourite music tracks, and carefully ingesting my concoctions – slowly, now – don’t want to throw up – I failed to notice my friend’s box of booze in the corner.
I think it was just after midnight when I started to “float away”. I found out later that it was about 7pm the next day when my friend started knocking on the door – of course, he wanted his booze box! Getting no answer, and thinking I was probably stoned as usual, he went round the corner to my bedroom window (we had a ground floor flat) and, lo and behold, there I was, naked on top of my bed, totally out of it, with my headphones on. The music had stopped by then, of course.
He knew what was going on. He could just “tell”. He jumped through the window (I’d left it slightly open, remember) and tried to wake me up. When he couldn’t bring me round, he dialled 999 and…..well, the rest is history, as they say.
From then on (well, up to about a year or so ago) I really believed that some “Higher Power” intervened, that it was simply not my time yet, and that I had “things to do” with my life that would be valuable. Well, I guess I HAVE had a pretty diverse and “colourful” life, and I have been blessed with a wonderful wife and wonderful children…….but……..then something HAPPENED, and what happened RUINED my life, as it was, and nearly destroyed my family. I certainly won’t recover – but they MIGHT. So……I decided that ending my life was the only way out, and that it would also be best for my family, in the long run. I planned it carefully, but obviously not carefully enough, or I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this.
But that story is for next time.