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Today, I Will Kill Myself! | This Is My Story

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Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

A teen contemplating suicide - Can she be saved?

A 17 Year old college student contemplating suicide, in despair feeling hopeless, goes in with a plan.

Today, I Will Kill Myself! | This Is My Story

Suicide is a major issue in our country. Many look at it as a cowardly act but don’t realize the depths of despair associated with it. When one is in a whirlpool of hopelessness, anxiety, and loneliness, the world feels cold and uncaring even though you may be surrounded by love. You are so blinded in the darkness of no hope that you cannot see the sunshine of caring around you.

When I was 17, I attempted suicide and was saved by a friend. I can only call it divine intervention. Since then, I finished college, became a nurse, and have been privileged to help innumerable people in my private and professional life. I am glad to be alive and be useful to the world!  The suicide I planned was not spur of the moment but was well planned and thought out. All throughout the planning, I never felt that I could reach out for help. Here is my story. I hope it helps anyone contemplating suicide and dissuades them from trying it as their life is precious and irreplaceable.

I was glad to see a close relative.

She reminded me of my mother who had died two years earlier when I was 15. My dad died three years before mom and I was an orphan. I was lucky though, being the youngest of five sisters and five brothers.

Now in the 11th grade, I had taken the option of studying in college than school. College was so much fun and I even won the election to be the 11th-grade representative. Along with the fun came responsibility, and I was holding $500 of college money that the principal (dean) had entrusted me to hold for one month. I kept it safely in my purse at home. After chitchatting with my relative, I went to my friend’s to study for an upcoming exam. When I came back, the money was missing from my purse at home.

I panicked and looked everywhere but could not find it. Finally, on a whim, I peeked into my relative’s purse and there it was! I was horrified but frightened to question her. I didn’t know then, but later on found out that she liked to steal money. By the time I picked up my courage to ask her about the money, she left for her hometown three hours away. I was sick to my stomach and didn’t know what to do.

Being 17 years of age, I felt at that time I could not confide in anyone even though I was very close to my family. I didn’t think they would believe that about this relative. I barely had money to cover my bus fare to and from college. I did not know what to do, and the anxiety and the fear worsened every day. Since it was a local college, the principal knew my family and I did not want my relative’s name to be dragged through the mud. Very few people visited us after my parents died and this relative was one of them. I was out of options, except one! I could kill myself! I absolutely didn’t want to but did not have any other solution to the problem. I never felt so alone in my life. This was what my 17-year-old self came up with.

Façade

I was very good at keeping up a facade. No one guessed my inner turmoil as I had my happy face on. I ate, drank, spoke freely to my family who did not have a clue. All the while, my mind was in a whirlpool of anger, sadness, and despair. I knew my family would be incredibly hurt that I had never shared and would reel from the next death in the family. We were just beginning to piece our lives together after our parents' death. The last thing they needed was shame over missing money! Paying my fees was a struggle and there was no extra money. I did not know what else to do.

Planning

Type of Death

Looking back, I laugh at myself and my immaturity, but then, I was dead serious about finding a way to die.

I went through many different scenarios to die. Initially I thought, I could shoot myself but dad’s air gun that he used to hunt rabbits was rusty and out of bullets! I could barely lift it up and aim, let alone turn it on myself! The next scenario was to slit my throat or stab myself with a kitchen knife, but just thinking of the pain put me off! I thought about jumping from a local bridge over a fast-flowing river but was afraid of heights and drowning. I was not a swimmer! There was a nearby bridge over train tracks but knowing my luck and clumsiness, I would probably miss the train or break my legs! Ah! How about rat poison? Painful death with spasms. How about hanging myself with a rope? I couldn’t tie a decent knot, let alone one to hang myself. Finally, I hit on the perfect solution, painless, and with a good chance that I could pull it off without major mishaps! I would overdose on drugs. Seemed doable to me.

Supplies

I really lucked out on this as my brother was an asthmatic and also suffered from seizures and had tons of meds around with refills. I took around a cocktail of 50 pills and kept it ready for Suicide Day(S-Day).

Place

This one took a lot of thinking. I lived in a house with 6 rooms and my sister was always home. So home was not an option. College classrooms were always full of students and so were the college grounds. I was a pretty straight arrow and did not have any “hangouts” except going to church being raised in a catholic home. An idea crept into my head. Why not end it all in church? I was hoping Mother Mary would put in a good word for me!

There was a church just opposite my college, and I actually did a stakeout for a week!  I discovered that from 2-3 pm, there was rarely anyone there. Since I am a big believer in the blessed Mother Mary, I decided to die in front of her statue. It was behind an enormous pillar and not easily visible as this was a huge cathedral church. The huge college library had a dusty corner with two chairs far inside. I would sit there, take the pills, and then walk across to the church at 2 pm.

Time

 I decided that I would sleep over my decision, pray throughout the weekend for guidance, and if nothing changed, would kill myself on Monday at 2 pm.

Last Weekend On Earth

That passed in the blur. I remember crying a lot in my room, stifling my sobs and washing my eyes with cold water. My sister Tessa noticed that my mood was off and teased me gently about my teenage blues! I mumbled that I was cramping and in pain. She bought the excuse and got me hot chocolate! I remember weeping, my salty tears falling into the hot milk! When the weekend was done, nothing had changed. S-Day was on.

S-Day

I woke up with a pit in my stomach. I barely made it through breakfast without bursting into tears. I grabbed my sister, hugged her hard, and ran out of the house, tears streaming down my face. I took one long last look at my home.  I felt a heavy stone on my chest as I walked to college. I remember sitting in class, my mind numb, in a fog. By the fourth class, I got out and went to the library. The pills lay in a neat packet and I had 1 plastic cup and a bottle of water in my bag. I found the corner table in the far end of the library that nobody ventured into and sat on one of the chairs, staring at the clock on the wall. It was 1:30 pm. The next 20 minutes were agonizing as I imagined the reaction of my family, the agony, hurt, and betrayal they would go through because of me. By 1:50 pm, I pulled out the pills and spread them on a newspaper. Some of the pills I had to tear out of a silver packet. By 1:55 pm, I poured the water into the glass. As I picked up the glass, a hand touched my shoulder and I whirled around to look. It was my friend Sheraine. We were casual friends and walked to and from college daily.

“Annie! I have been looking all over for you! What are you doing here?”

Sheraine suddenly noticed my puffy eyes and red nose and tearstained face.

“What happened? Why are you crying?”

Before I could open my mouth to reply, her eyes fell on the mound of pills on the newspaper and the glass of water.

“What are you doing? Have  you gone crazy? Are you trying to kill yourself?”, she asked horrified.

I mutely nodded my head.

She grabbed the chair next to me and sat down with a thud.

She grabbed the newspaper full of pills, crumpled it, and put it in her bag.

“Did you take any of the pills?”

“No”, I whispered, the tears falling freely.

She pushed the glass of water towards me.

“Drink!”

I drowned the water in one gulp.

“Now, tell me! What’s going on?”

The story tumbled out of my lips between sobs.

Sheraine sat quietly, not interrupting, holding one of my hands.

When I was done, She grabbed a  clean handkerchief out of her bag and gave it to me.

“Blow”, she said kindly.

I wiped my face and blew my nose.

“Feeling better after sharing?”

“A bit!”

“Come with me” she grabbed my hands and stood me up.

“Where are we going?”

“Let’s get out of here!” she said dragging me along.

We got out of the gloomy library and walked down the corridor into the bright sunlight. Halfway down she pulled me into the ladies' restroom.

“Wash your face”.

As I washed my face, she went to the bathroom and flushed down the pills in the toilet. She washed her hands and grabbed my hands again.

"Let’s go. Come with me. I have an idea!”

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see!”

As we left the college and walked down the hill, a little weight had come off my chest. She took me to her house nearby and to her room.

She was from a rich family and she took out $500 and gave it to me.

“I can’t accept this. I have no way of repaying you back ever Sheraine”.

“You don’t have to. Help someone else in need and consider it repaid!”, she smiled.

“Let’s go back to college and give it back to the dean. Don’t hold on it any longer.”

We walked back to college. The weight on my chest was gone and I felt relieved. We gave the money back to the dean. I gave Sheraine a shy hug and whispered, “Thank you for saving my life!”

"You are welcome”, she smiled and we went home as classes were done for the day.  On the way, I asked her how she knew to find me and why she was looking for me. She told me that all day she kept hearing a voice in her head asking her to find me as it was important. The voice was insistent and she kept searching for me in the college till she remembered that I loved sitting in the library reading books during my lunch hour and free period. She searched the big library for 20 minutes before she found me. My family never knew what had happened. I came home at my usual time. I was so happy when I saw my family. I never confronted my relative.

Later Life

I left after 12th grade and joined a BSN program in Nursing far away from this college. I never looked back and resolved to help any person in need. Today 32 years later, I can confidently say that I repaid Sheraine every time I helped someone in need. I have 3 folders of patient letters thanking me in my house. I feel, I was given a second lease in life and I am not going to blow it.

Why is Suicide Not an Option

When I look back at my life as an adult, I realized that I chose an option where I didn’t have to share or expose myself to shame or ridicule. The reality was that if I had shared with my family, they would have believed me, got me the money, and confronted our relative. If I had reached out to my friends or a teacher, they might have suggested an alternative. In order to not let the insidious thought of suicide creep into your mind, one has to be strong-willed, willing to share, and not be afraid to ask for help and trust. A strong spiritual base will come in handy.

When I look at the lives I have been able to touch, mold, and change in my personal and professional life, I am forever grateful for the divine intervention that sent Sheraine searching for me. She did all the right things and got me back on track.

Looking For Sheraine

Over the years, I have always searched for her every time I came home back to my country but could never find her. Last year, I went to her house but there was no house standing. Instead, there was a new construction, a huge skyscraper. All the old houses had been pulled down. I remain forever grateful in my heart for a second chance in life and pray for Sheraine every day of my life!

Reader

If you who are reading this have or are contemplating suicide, please know that there is help out there if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and fight to live. You will always have stressors in life more unfair than fair. We, nurses, know that for a fact. Suicide is not a solution. You can check out the attached reference list to help yourself, a loved one, or even a stranger reaching out for a helping hand. Many employers have  Employee Assistance Programs. If you are acutely suicidal, call 911 or emergency services and get admitted for inpatient treatment. You can call the National Suicide Prevention hotline which is 24/7 at 800-273-8255. 

Know that YOU are precious, your life irreplaceable, your gifts unique and you are loved by the creator who fashioned you in His own image and likeness!

What YOU can give the world, no one else can as you are uniquely and wonderfully made!


References

Spotangel has 32 years of clinical experience and has worked as an educator and administrator. Education- DNP, RN, APRN, FNP and specializes in ED, Tele, Med-surg, ADN, outpatient, homecare, LTC, Peds. She loves God above all!

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23 Comment(s)

Julie

Specializes in Sm Bus Management, Operations, Planning, HR. Has 38 years experience.

@spotangel GULP, what a brave article and one in which you will touch and help many people. ❤️ Bless your heart and thank goodness you are here to do all the good that you are doing.  The world is definitely a better place because of you!  allnurses is honored to have you as a contributing member! Thank you

Abetterway, BSN

Specializes in CCU,ICU, Neuro. Has 38 years experience.

I’m so glad you shared this so honestly. Thank God for your friend Sheraine! I wanted to share a story about a young woman I knew. She was single, in her early 30s and was responsible for taking care of her mother and grandmother, who were ill. She also had to work, and evidently these women were difficult to deal with, very needy. She just told me she was always tired. I didn’t think much about it until one day I was told she committed suicide one night. I was shocked and surprised and upset at myself for not seeing the signs. I was also upset at her for not telling me or anyone else that she knew. I was told that there was no note left. I didn’t know her very well but I remained upset for many months afterward that she didn’t tell any of us , her friends ,or anyone so we could help her. I realize she felt she had no way out but her mother and grandmother lived on, so there was another way they were taken care of ....so I’m my logical mind , she could have found a way to live. There is a solution, always, but you made this clear to me, that the suicidal mind is blind to any solutions except the tragic ones. That happened over 30 ago, and I’ve taken care of many patients who have attempted suicide, and have a family member who attempted suicide and was saved, also by a friend....now she is married, has a beautiful family and is happy and healthy, thank God.  With this pandemic raging , stress levels are high and with nurses on the front lines, we must help each other....God bless you in your life and career

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

20 hours ago, Julie said:

@spotangel GULP, what a brave article and one in which you will touch and help many people. ❤️ Bless your heart and thank goodness you are here to do all the good that you are doing.  The world is definitely a better place because of you!  allnurses is honored to have you as a contributing member! Thank you

Thanks Julia! I had to bring it out in the hope of helping at least one person who reads this! It will be worth it if I can help save one life or give a resource to someone who needs it desperately. We all reel from unexpected deaths and suicide is especially hard to fathom if it happens to someone we know. As close friends, family, acquaintances or coworkers, we tend to feel guilty and blame ourselves for not "catching it ". I just wanted people to know that if a person wants to hide something,the clues will be minimal or like my case, none. So don't beat yourself!

I love writing for allnurses and have had an eventful life that I share with you all. God's peace on all!

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

On 11/3/2020 at 10:48 AM, Abetterway said:

I’m so glad you shared this so honestly. Thank God for your friend Sheraine! I wanted to share a story about a young woman I knew. She was single, in her early 30s and was responsible for taking care of her mother and grandmother, who were ill. She also had to work, and evidently these women were difficult to deal with, very needy. She just told me she was always tired. I didn’t think much about it until one day I was told she committed suicide one night. I was shocked and surprised and upset at myself for not seeing the signs. I was also upset at her for not telling me or anyone else that she knew. I was told that there was no note left. I didn’t know her very well but I remained upset for many months afterward that she didn’t tell any of us , her friends ,or anyone so we could help her. I realize she felt she had no way out but her mother and grandmother lived on, so there was another way they were taken care of ....so I’m my logical mind , she could have found a way to live. There is a solution, always, but you made this clear to me, that the suicidal mind is blind to any solutions except the tragic ones. That happened over 30 ago, and I’ve taken care of many patients who have attempted suicide, and have a family member who attempted suicide and was saved, also by a friend....now she is married, has a beautiful family and is happy and healthy, thank God.  With this pandemic raging , stress levels are high and with nurses on the front lines, we must help each other....God bless you in your life and career

Thank you for sharing your story. The one that "got away" is the one that always sticks in your mind. I am sure your instincts are always on high alert for suicidal people. I am glad your family member is alive,safe and happy.Sometimes I wonder if Sheraine was an angel! She so dropped out of sight after that incident----! Reminds me of the story of Tobias and the angel Raphael who went on a journey with him from the Bible. It was at the end of the journey that he revealed himself as an angel!

Thank you for sharing. I am reading this while on medical leave due to burning out. I have had suicidal ideation due to a crazy work environment and later released there is more to life beyond work. I realized I am in my 30s and have way more life to live and depriving myself of life due to a job was ridiculous. The solution is to seek and focus on what makes a life well-lived. Focusing on happiness and embracing challenges I can handle and run away from toxic environments that break my coping threshold at all costs. Unfortunately, healthcare can be a noncaring space for nurses but we can be resilient enough to endure and move on from a terrible situation and the world will be glad we are still here to serve. 

Edited by joselyne

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

“I had a life, but my job ate it”. This was a saying on a bumper sticker that lived on my neighbor’s car. It was the truth of my life too, and within four months after being hired for a government job, I flamed out in a rather spectacular fashion (I almost killed myself). I just couldn’t deal with the rat race one. more. day. I ended up filing for disability based on my bipolar 1 and anxiety disorders, and I won benefits within six months. 
 

This is an incredibly brave, heartfelt piece of writing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’m glad you’re doing better!

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

3 hours ago, joselyne said:

Thank you for sharing. I am reading this while on medical leave due to burning out. I have had suicidal ideation due to a crazy work environment and later released there is more to life beyond work. I realized I am in my 30s and have way more life to live and depriving myself of life due to a job was ridiculous. The solution is to seek and focus on what makes a life well-lived. Focusing on happiness and embracing challenges I can handle and run away from toxic environments that break my coping threshold at all costs. Unfortunately, healthcare can be a noncaring space for nurses but we can be resilient enough to endure and move on from a terrible situation and the world will be glad we are still here to serve. 

Thank you Joselyne for being brave and honest. I agree that most people are so involved in work and family, that it is hard to check in on each other and many signs and symptoms of burnout and stress in others escape us. We don't take care of each other due to time constraints and lack of awareness or sheer burnout.

 What I realized over the years is that making money is not the be all and end all. I put God first, family second, work/school third and then the rest after that. When I have an imbalance I look at my priority list and fix what I need to. I quit a job once when I saw it affected my family but I gave them one month notice. In that one month, three jobs came out of nowhere and I am in one of them which had better hours, pay and closer to home. I can be home  after work and be there for my family. So the universe also pitches in to help. I also tend to discuss my issues with God and ask him for a "hit me over the head sign" as I don't see things till they are in my face! The solution like you said is to balance and don't take yourself so seriously!! Learn to laugh like little kids. It is SO good for your soul! Peace!

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

31 minutes ago, VivaLasViejas said:

“I had a life, but my job ate it”. This was a saying on a bumper sticker that lived on my neighbor’s car. It was the truth of my life too, and within four months after being hired for a government job, I flamed out in a rather spectacular fashion (I almost killed myself). I just couldn’t deal with the rat race one. more. day. I ended up filing for disability based on my bipolar 1 and anxiety disorders, and I won benefits within six months. 
 

This is an incredibly brave, heartfelt piece of writing. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I’m glad you’re doing better!

Thank you!

I feel that @allnurses gives us a forum to be honest and I thank them for publishing this article.

Sometimes you can just do one day at a time. I am glad you are alive and getting the benefits you deserve. You can only give from what you have and we need to monitor ourselves for burnout/toxic environments and unsafe situations to protect ourselves. In this stress filled times between Covid,Flu, elections, job insecurity, job safety issues, grief from unexpected deaths, online schooling and upcoming holidays, suicide rates tend to rise. We have to be mindful and watchful for ourselves and others be it family, friends or coworkers.

I hope that there is something you can do that does not stress you but makes you feel fulfilled. God's hand rest on you and protect you. Stay well and happy! Life comes only once! Semper Fi!

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 20 years experience.

Thank you for your kind words. As it happens, I’m active in several mental health groups and write articles for their publications. I find helping others who live with my conditions is very fulfilling. 😊

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

2 hours ago, VivaLasViejas said:

Thank you for your kind words. As it happens, I’m active in several mental health groups and write articles for their publications. I find helping others who live with my conditions is very fulfilling. 😊

Perfect! No one can understand the journey than the seasoned traveller. The satisfaction of helping another who is struggling cannot be measured! Peace!

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Specializes in Psych, Addictions, SOL (Student of Life). Has 18 years experience.

@spotangel

Your story really resonated with me as I am a suvivor of a suicide attempt. My action was less calcuclated but the end result would assuredly end my life. I belive some kind of devine intervention as my husband came home from work (Which he never does ) and found me unconscious and barely breathing. Took me to the hosital and I survived . That was 18 years ago and I have since brought myself to a place of emotional stabilty and strength. So hugs to you!

Hppy

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

I am happy and grateful to hear that! Thanks for being brave and for speaking up. I am sure your life has touched many ! Peace!

ps -keeping the heavens busy! LOL! Thank God!

Daisy4RN

Specializes in Travel, Home Health, Med-Surg. Has 20 years experience.

On 11/3/2020 at 12:01 PM, spotangel said:

Thanks Julia! I had to bring it out in the hope of helping at least one person who reads this! It will be worth it if I can help save one life or give a resource to someone who needs it desperately. We all reel from unexpected deaths and suicide is especially hard to fathom if it happens to someone we know. As close friends, family, acquaintances or coworkers, we tend to feel guilty and blame ourselves for not "catching it ". I just wanted people to know that if a person wants to hide something,the clues will be minimal or like my case, none. So don't beat yourself!

I love writing for allnurses and have had an eventful life that I share with you all. God's peace on all!

Thank you for sharing your story, I am so sorry you had to experience such trauma at that early age. I am positive it will help not only those contemplating suicide but also those who have had a friend or family commit suicide. We had a circle of friends in HS and one of our friends committed suicide (shot herself in the head), we were all 16-17yo. We were all devastated and thought exactly like you stated; why didn't we "catch it", we were her friends, we should have known. We never found out what she was experiencing that she was not able to cope with. It has been over 40 years but it still is on my mind at times!

 

On 11/3/2020 at 12:13 PM, spotangel said:

Reminds me of the story of Tobias and the angel Raphael who went on a journey with him from the Bible. It was at the end of the journey that he revealed himself as an angel!

We can indeed entertain angels unaware!

 

21 hours ago, spotangel said:

 I also tend to discuss my issues with God and ask him for a "hit me over the head sign" as I don't see things till they are in my face! The solution like you said is to balance and don't take yourself so seriously!!

 

21 hours ago, spotangel said:

 

Like you, I put God first and yes it is hard at times to see things. I remember asking something similar, asking God to drop a big sign in the yard that I can read. It is good advice not to take yourself so seriously as this life is only temporary. 

Thank you again for sharing your story, I know it will help. Godspeed!

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

Thanks! I am glad that we have this forum to speak freely. Painful memories always bury deep inside and need to be plucked out like weeds for healing to take place!If your friend wanted to reach out, she would have. It’s like looking around for a swimmer when you are being sucked down a whirlpool. Please forgive yourself for not knowing and pray for peace for her and all of  you!

God always listen and responds. You have to train yourself to listen to his soft voice that sometimes feels like a passing thought! 
 I once asked for a sign to leave a toxic environment.

I asked, “ lord! Is it time to leave? “

My watch suddenly slipped off my wrist and fell on the floor.

” I picked it up, smiling and said

”It is TIME!!”

I put in for a transfer and left in a month!

God has a great sense of humor!!

Latha

Specializes in Canadian Nephrology nurse. Has 31 years experience.

Beautiful story! Every teenager must read this. The crazy time of everyone's life where one doesn't know how to ask for help. This is a very helpful article for parents who has teenage kids. Thank you for such a beautiful one😊

spotangel, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, APRN, NP

Specializes in ED,Tele,Med surg, ADN,outpatient,homecare,LTC,Peds. Has 31 years experience.

Thanks Latha!

Imagine the kids who have no one to turn to. It could be you or someone else that might reach out to help. Being others centered and less centered on self goes a long way to make another person’s life easier and less painful! We have to be there for each other, no matter how different we are in looks, race, attitudes or countries! Thanks for reaching out from Canada, Neighbour!!

Thank you for sharing. There ARE no coincidences.