Five years and ten days ago I almost died.
I was in a new environment – new job, new city half way across the country from home, new apartment, new roommate. And it was stressful. You can imagine. Not all stress is bad, but stress, nonetheless, wears on you.
For some reason, a reason I will never be able to remember or understand, I decided that October 2nd was the day to die. I didn’t know it when I woke up. I didn’t know it as I sipped a beer with co-workers at the end of the workday. I didn’t know it while I watched the 2008 vice presidential debate with my roommate on her laptop. I didn’t know it as I sat talking to my cousin quite happily with my feet dangling in the apartments’ pool on a warm California night.
But I do remember downing fistfuls of pills. And asking myself if this was the right thing to do, and then agreeing that it was. I lay down that night with the comfort that all was right with the world and that I was ready to die.
My roommate found me on the kitchen linoleum a few hours later. Out cold. An ambulance came. I was taken to the Emergency Room and then to intensive care. A breathing tube was snaked through my mouth and into my lung.
There are bits of it I remember, like the fact that it was my little sister’s birthday as she sat next to my hospital bed. I remember asking her to take a picture of me, as if I wouldn’t remember being in ICU – much of it I don’t. I remember them telling me to cough as they pulled the breathing tube out. Like I said, there is little there.
More than enough.
It’s cliche but nearly dying allows you to live more vibrantly. It makes you appreciate little things like sunlight and the stars, like laughter and a good song. And when I think of all the things I would have missed – SO MANY THINGS – I am thankful for this little life of mine. I am thankful that God was watching over me as I made my mistake. I hope other suicidal people get such a gift.