I’ve battled my bipolar disorder for years now but it all came to a head on Wednesday night going into Thursday. I got home from work and the idea of offing myself somehow came up in my brain. I’ve had suicidal thoughts in the past, but this time I totally agreed with that thought.
I was calm. Collected. “Logical”. I decided I was going to do it but I had to get some things done done first. I took a long shower, washed my hair and everything else. I clipped my nails and brushed my teeth and combed my hair. I went into my closet and grabbed a nice pair of Khaki pants and a pink dress shirt and blue bow tie. I put it all on and walked to the medicine cabinet. I opened every single pill bottle in there and dumped them all into a little jar. Took the jar and told my roommate that I was going to bed.
I then sat on my bed and grabbed a notebook and started writing. The note ended up being about three pages long and had drawings and jokes on it. I thought by doing that I would make the situation easier to handle. It also had a list of requests of who gets what stuff and whatnot. I then wrote a special note to my best friend and placed them all very visible next to my bed.
I then sat on my bed and grabbed a handful of stuff from the jar. There’s a lot of things that are fuzzy but I do remember sitting there, with my shower playlist going on, and I contemplated what I was about to do for several minutes. And then I took the first batch. It was around 4 am at this point.
After that it’s gets fuzzy. I know I woke up at some point and started puking a little and then took more pills. And I would slip in and out of being awake. I didn’t have any dreams but I was always very confused when I woke up. The scariest was I woke up and almost immediately my entire body started shaking. My doctor said seizure is pretty common with these type of things, especially with NyQuil, which id had a half bottle of.
This fading in and out continued until 4 In the afternoon when my roommate came to check on me. I’ve slept in real late on weekends and whatnot so he didn’t want to disturb me. I don’t really remember this, but apparently he came in and asked how I was doing. I shot up and my eyes were wide open and I wasn’t talking. I then pointed to the pad and pen. He thought I was trying to ask for the pad and pen to write something down, but he quickly saw what was on the pad and connected that to the small handful of pills still in the jar.
Like I said, this is all pretty fuzzy, but I remember him saying “God damn it you son of a … did you take the pills?!?” Every time I think about that night I keep hearing that sound clip over and over. I heard him calling 911, but I’d already laid down. I still wasn’t blinking and I couldn’t control my hands. They were doing this strange gesticulation where the middle and ring fingers would flex out to was pretty consistent beat.
The EMS arrived, I recall them all saying that they’d never seen something like this, with the hand movements and the eyes not shutting. I also remember one of them saying that might be faking it. I’m really overweight and it took a couple guys to get me on the stretcher. Next thing I remember is in the ambulance and the hands were still going and then I started seizing again. It’s fuzzy again there but the next thing I remember is the guy who said I might be faking it said that if I really was faking it I was the “best actor in the world”.
The next few hours are all a blur of ceiling tiles and hospital lights. I know that at some point in the twelve hours of meds doing their thing, I’d taken off the dress shirt and pants so I was just in boxers and an undershirt. I remember them stripping me down and being vaguely embarrassed about that. I was in and out a lot as they gave me IVs and took scans. Eventually I got out to the waiting area in the ER and my best friend and his dad were there as well as my roommate. They told me my mom and dad were on the way but it’s like an hour and a half drive for them. I’d regained control of my movements and was blinking and able to communicate but not talk.
And then the weirdest part for me. While on the ER table as well as when I got to the waiting room area, my eyes were focused on the ceiling. And I started seeing these shapes. First it was this strange four-way intersection, but like and aerial view. And in each of the corners was a shape. One was this little ball of light, another was a fuzzy rectangle, one was a cross, and one was just squiggly lines. Over the next few hours I had these discussions with these shapes, who were all given names. And I also remember that they told me that the hospital was only one reality and I could switch between universes at will. Suffice to say I was tripping balls.
But I remember at one point the rectangle, Greg, took me away from the intersection to another part of the ceiling that was really dark. He told me I could end this at any point if I went through this doorway in the dark area. I protested and told him I didn’t want to because I was having such a good time with him and the rest. These things on the ceiling happened for a little while longer and they were getting dimmer and dimmer. And when they were really dim I told them I was ready to end it. And my eyes went to the dark spot of the room. They told me it was too late and that that door was closed. And then they all disappeared.
When that all stopped and I was coming to, that’s when I realized I was in the waiting area with friends and family. I tried to get the shapes to come back but they didn’t. Eventually I started talking to the people that were there but I apparently wasn’t making much sense (“My top three Beatles songs are 1: Happiness is a warm gun 2: Bohemian Rhapsody. And 3:………..”).
Eventually I was sent to the ICU and everyone left except my mom. She fell asleep next to me as I watched friends and stared at the ceiling.
After getting poked and prodded a million times, I was taken out of intensive care around noon yesterday to a private room. Well, not totally private, because I have a one on one handler who needs to watch me at all times because they’re afraid of me hurting myself again. Anyway, they’ve done a ton of tests and asked a million questions (I don’t want to hear anyone ask “what did you take” or “so how did you end up here” again). And now I’m sitting in my room, handler to my right, mother to my left. And I come to you all to talk to.
My mom gave me my cell phone once we got out of icu. A bunch of texts from my closest friends, so I knew it hadn’t spread around too much, at least not yet. My favorite was a text from a Former Professor of mine who I’m very close to. He for months now has done this thing where every time I text him or email him he always responds with the answer to my query and “stop texting me”. It’s funnier when you’re there I promise. When I got my phone back there was a message from him that just said, “NEVER stop texting me. Ever again.” I saw that and cried for the first time about all of this.
The thing is sometimes I forget why I’m here. I’m reading something on my computer or having a conversation and get into whatever that thing is and forget. But then I snap back to reality. Like when I go to the bathroom and I have to leave the door open so the handler can keep an eye on me. Or when I got my dinner and on the little service ticket at the top it said “SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: NO FOOD ALLERGIES. NOT ALLOWED AND SILVERWARE OR KNIVES OF ANY KIND. NO CHINA.” Or when the psychiatric people come and ask me about my past.
Tomorrow I’m getting moved to an inpatient psychiatric facility for a while. I’m going willingly which they were apparently surprised by. But what choice do I have otherwise?