Trigger warning: This story contains mention of suicide ideation and self-harm tendencies.
It’s been six months, but the feeling of cold handcuffs locked tightly around my wrists does not seem to leave me. The sensation of that long suction pipe shoved down my throat still lingers, and the hilarity of it all displayed by the nurses’ laughter still haunts me every night when darkness seeps into my room, much like it had seeped into my mind the night I decided that it was perhaps time to say my final goodbyes.
The wrinkling of the pill strips woke my mother up as she screamed in horror when she realised what I had done. About 80 sleeping pills, two bottles of wine, a couple of drunk calls to my once lovers – it was the perfect farewell. The ambulance rushed with sirens louder than my thoughts and before I even had a chance to say that no, don’t help me, this is not what I want – everything shut down.
“You’re in the ICU,” someone said. “Don’t try to move, we’re getting the pills out. You’ll hurt your throat.”
“Did someone motivate you to do this to yourself?” the police officer asked, while holding up the note I had left behind for my family. Names and reasons poured into my head, but all I could muster up the courage to say was, “No, officer.”
It must’ve been my father, I think to myself. He must’ve got me back down here, he must’ve saved my life.
Six months pass as I still wonder at times if mine was a life worth saving, and the curses I send my father with screams of obscenities and my hollow cries of grief were perhaps enough to make my mother think that maybe, just maybe, her child is better suited for an asylum.
The bars at the door at the rehab centre – much like a prison – had me screaming in protest, “No, I don’t belong here!”
Do I belong anywhere? I ask myself this question every day while my mind feels like a kite, the string to which sometimes escapes my fingertips.
Do I regret it? Do I feel hopeful and positive for being given another chance? Do I know the stakes of having had an experience where I escaped death by mere inches? The answer to all of that is – no, not at all.
But perhaps, today, six months since I said goodbye to the world, this place seems a little straighter.
If you know someone – friend or family member – at risk of suicide, please reach out to them. The Suicide Prevention India Foundation maintains a list of telephone numbers (www.spif.in/seek-help/) they can call to speak in confidence. You could also refer them to the nearest hospital.
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