People remember their first kiss. I remember my first suicide attempt. It was February 16, 2003, when I tried to kill myself in my college dorm room. It might not be considered a ‘serious’ attempt since the amount of sleeping pills I took would’ve never killed me, but I was nothing but serious when I came to a conclusion that I needed to end my life then. I have no recollection of how the ambulance came and took me to the ER, but I do remember waking up in the ER and then being told that I needed to be admitted to the psychiatric hospital. And I remember those few days of my first stay at a psych hospital.
In a way, this event changed everything. For start, it’s certainly changed the way I view February. For the last seven years, I dreaded the coming of the month of February like it was the plague, and when it did get here, I was mostly frozen from the fear that I would do this again. Then, all the suicidal thoughts seem to come up, and I spend the rest of the month just hoping that I can get through it in however many pieces that remains of me. That’s been the routine. In trying to heal the wounds of what my psychiatrist calls February my “personal 9/11,” she referred me to a psychologist trained in EMDR. I had those treatments late February/early March last year, and while it curbed my suicidal thinking at the time, there wasn’t really a way to tell if the EMDR truly benefitted me until another February came.
So, February did come again, and now we’re mere minutes away from the end of February 2011. And I can’t say that there was any dreaded countdown, the crippling fear, or the ruminating thoughts of suicide during the 28 days. All in all, I didn’t just survive through it; I lived through it. Just as this month was ushered in without any fanfare, it will close its doors unceremoniously.
Even though this February hasn’t had the ‘excitement’ of the previous seven Februarys, I do feel a sense of relief coming over me as I write this entry. It’s not that I’ve forgotten the details of the attempt. I’m well aware of what happened, and I still want to give a nod to this day and this month because it is such an important part of my development as a person. But what’s looking more clear to me now is that the past doesn’t have to be the anchor that holds me back. Rather, I think I would be honoring that experience properly if I can live on.
Time “Marches” on. And so will I.