I recently read about Chris Cornell’s suicide and it struck a pretty hard chord. One, he was a talented singer. I’ve loved Soundgarden since I can remember. His voice was something that can never be matched. When you see these super star people in front of you, you almost forget that they are real humans with real human problems. We are reminded that no matter how much money, or how well off people think you have it, everyone has their demons. It also reminded me of my own suicide attempt that I did early this year.
After my marriage fell apart and my wife told me she was leaving, I had a mental breakdown. It wasn’t just the sudden change of my marriage, but everything together. I’ve been fighting depression and anxiety pretty much my entire life. Suicidal thoughts rode right along with this. We all dance with it sometimes. However, most people brush it off. It’s okay to be curious. There are those of us that push it even further. Some will cry for help and get the attention they need, and others, well they don’t want help, they just want it to end.
I didn’t want help. I sat down and said I was going to kill myself. There was no hesitation because I wanted to die. I hated the feeling that was clenching tightly in my chest. The idea of it being with me forever drove me insane. It wasn’t my wife’s fault, or my kid’s, the people around me, nothing. It was just me. I didn’t want to be me anymore, and the best way out of that was to end it. I assumed it would be better for everyone anyway. I’ve always felt like a burden, and in some ways, I was. So why not?
I still remember grabbing a piece of notebook paper from one of my kid’s little cubbies that they used for their drawings and sitting down to think about what I would write to them. I was a zombie as I wrote what could have been my final thoughts and feelings. Even though I don’t remember word for word what I wrote down it was an apology to my kids. I figured my ex would give them the father they needed and everyone would just be happier. Sure, they would be sad, but in the long run this was all for the best, I was sure of this.
When I was done, I went into my bathroom and grabbed the oxycodone pills I kept in the cabinet. I had two bottles left over from a shoulder surgery. I sat back down at the kitchen table and took out my phone to see how long an overdose would take. It was one to two hours. Thanks Google. I decided once I took all the pills I would wait around thirty minutes before calling 911. I didn’t want my kids to find my lifeless body, and scar them even further. Next, I got up and grabbed a large glass of water and popped open my first bottle.
I grabbed two pills and swallowed them right away. Again, no hesitation. I wanted to take both bottles to be sure if the ambulance got to me I would pretty much be done. I was ready to take two more pills and reminded myself they would again, be better off, and they would get my life insurance money. “Ah, fuck me!” was the first thing that popped into my head. They won’t get the money because I committed suicide. Well, that made things a little difficult. Many would just give up right there, but I was motivated. Google again, was my friend.
I looked up different ways to kill myself on accident, to make it look like there was no way I could have done it on purpose. I’m going to be honest, people have thought up some clever ways to kill themselves, but I had issues with most of these methods. If I failed, I could be paralyzed, and if that happened my wife would have been forced to take care of me. She hated me enough as it was. I didn’t want to be trapped in a body I hated either, so that wouldn’t work.
I finally decided I was going to hire someone to kill me, make it look like a fake mugging and just leave the money in my wallet. Seemed like a good idea until I found out people have tried this and ended up hiring undercover cops as the “assassin.” Or what if they catch the guy and he confesses? Why the fuck is it so hard to kill myself?
Okay, at this point I’m a little drugged up. Remember the two pills I took? Yeah, they were starting to kick in. Now, some of you may think that it was some sort of spiritual guidance that saved me, but I’m going to go with pure laziness, because I finally said, “Fuck it. I’ll just go to therapy.” Yeah, I was hell bent on killing myself that morning. I remember seeing my family leave the house, and I knew what I was going to do. Now, though, I wanted to go to therapy because trying to find a way to accidentally kill myself was pissing me off.
People tend to think you are weak minded or dumb for attempting suicide and failing. As a matter of fact, the first person I told about it said I was stupid. That is the last thing I would tell someone who just tried to kill themself, but hey, everyone is a little different. We aren’t weak people. No one just stops one day and says, “Well, I think I’ll just kill myself.” It is something that is buried deep in us and if it isn’t something that is taken care of soon it can come bursting out.
I think I may have been different from everyone else when I reacted to Chris Cornell’s death. Everyone’s first thought was on the music he made. Right away, I thought about his family. I know he loved them. He didn’t want to hurt them, but when there is something inside of you, something so hateful and dark, it never goes away. It can drive anyone to the point of wanting to end it all. I’m going to do whatever it takes to keep it at bay. My only hope is that I’m strong enough.
“You kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you’re gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. In the end, it does nothing. Nothing changes. The world goes on and you’re gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself.”