Trigger Warning: suicide attempt, self-harm
Like a movie cliche, the room faded from pitch black into focus. Everything smelled and tasted like aspirin. It took me a minute to collect my thoughts and wow. Hell seemed to look a lot like my best friend’s basement.
I woke up. Weird. That… that wasn’t the plan. Everything until this moment had been a failure leading up to this, the ultimate choice. Now I’d screwed that up. I wallowed in a sweaty pool of irony until I realized I should probably begin to clean up my mess.
I recycled the bottles of energy drink, vodka, and tequila that had chased those pills so well. I was so very tired. My body kindly gave me enough energy to finish this task and head upstairs to lay on a different couch. My friend had enough energy to feed me rice and veggies. I couldn’t eat it. I couldn’t stomach that. I couldn’t stomach anything.
A TV and a video game console sat silent staring at me and I continued mentally playing the prior night’s events on loop. I reeled, dizzy from dehydration and nausea as vacuuming started out of nowhere. The monstrous vibrations from the rug sucking miniature electric wind tunnel did not agree with my body’s attempts to repair the damage. This became fine, as it stopped suddenly, followed by a yell up the stairs.
I should probably hide, I thought, because it sounds like my friend found my note. I hid it behind the trash can so that someone would think it was trash and then toss it without reading it, but then when they found me minus me, they’d put the dots together and dramatically open that trash can. In retrospect, that was extra rude. I was kind of an a-hole about all of this.
“All I could do was hug him and tell him I was feeling better about everything now.”
I worked with every available muscle fiber and managed to fall off the couch, just in time for my friend to yell-cry at me. Years later, I would find out this was commonplace. A different friend had gotten similarly low and woken up to the facial expression of concerned anger that can only be described as a worse version of the face you give your waiter when they screw up like five things in a row because they’re having a bad day. The “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed” face that cuts to your core. Like Michael Bolton from Office Space when he gets called Michael Bolton.
Since I fell and didn’t want anyone else to injure themselves, I walked one by one, step by step down the staircase that seemed much longer than it did the previous day. And there it was. The concerned anger. My friend was ghost white. Definitely looked closer to death than anyone else in the room that was actively trying to flirt with death the night before.
He cried and I had no idea what to tell him. All I could do was hug him and tell him I was feeling better about everything now. There was a lot of emotion in that embrace. A lot of tears. A lot of change.
The best part is when I didn’t go to the hospital. What should’ve happened is that my liver should’ve started breaking apart and forcing my other organs to shut down in a four hour pain filled frenzy. But thankfully, it didn’t. After years of research and talking with doctors, I can’t begin to describe how I survived, but I did.
It took a lot of time and a lot of love and a lot of healing, but things got so much better. I paid off debts and got married. I work full time as a developer. And I help people fight their demons.
Hang in there. Your best days are coming.
I got back into stand-up. Here I am at the Portico, which serves the homeless and people with special needs
A few words about me
After a series of failures (college, homelessness, debt), I somehow managed to make a life quilt out of all these rough patches.