sem;colon

This personal blog entry will go over one of my suicide attempts in detail. This attempt, I’d say more than the others, was the closest I’ve come to death. I’ve left a note with every attempt, except the one described below. I’ll also be sharing a peek at my newest tattoo, its meaning, and why I got it where I did. Depression still effects my daily life today, but I am in a much better place. I’ve been sober from my drugs of choice for over eight years now and am extremely proud of that. If you’re having problems with addiction and/or depression I recommend reaching out to someone you care and trust to help you seek professional help.

The Attempt: August 14th, 2010

The moon shines brightly through my shatterproof window as the crickets chirp their songs under the stars on this cool summer evening. Awaiting space at a drug rehab facility, my withdrawal symptoms in this behavioral health center become less and less bearable by the hour. Awaking again from a night terror, my sheets are covered in urine and sweat. In attempts to clean myself up, I begin to sit up immediately vomiting to the side of my bed. Baffled at my roommates heavy slumbering, my feet finally reach the smooth, cold concrete floor. Weak, I shuffle sluggishly, a disgusting mess, towards the restroom. With a quick glance in the mirror I’m reminded of the disappointment my mother consistently reminded me to be as a boy. “Why can’t you be more like your brother?” I can hear her ask in the back of my mind as I dry heave over the sink. Nothing’s coming up at this point, I just wish it would end. It’s in these moments we reach out to deities we may not even believe in just in the hopes someone will help come save us from ourselves. Splashing a bit of cold water upon my pale lifeless face, I can’t help but shiver. My body is oversensitive to any touch, but my mind still feels empty like my depression has become such a constant that this gloominess seems typical. Heading back to my bed I pull my blankets back aggressively stripping my sheets from the drenched mattress. Rolling them tightly, I march intently towards the restroom tying a makeshift noose. Securing a knot on the other end I throw it over the door, then close the massive slab of a door quietly knowing the overnight staff don’t have rounds for at least another half hour. Taking a step onto the toilet I place the improvised noose around my neck. Upon this porcelain throne my emotions take over and I know if I don’t jump soon, I’ll back out. I jump. The sheet holds tight within the door frame as my body twitches against the door violently. My consciousness begins to fade as my drained body becomes less animated by the moment. My eyes close with my leg giving the door behind me a few more kicks. A seemingly endless field is presented in front of my unconscious mind that feels more comfortable than any place I’ve ever been. The sun is bright upon the wheat that flows gently with the warm breeze. As I begin to walk into the field I’m pulled away quickly awaking on the floor in the restroom with a few mental health workers gathered around me.

My Tattoo: Semicolon Rhythm Strip

The semicolon tattoo is quite common within the community of suicide survivors. I’ve seen them done in a variety of different ways, especially around the wrists. I wanted something unique to my attempt and story. In equal importance, the location of my ink took a great deal of thought. I wanted it to be visible, but also not if need be. Afterall, it’s my story, the tattoo is on my body. After years of knowing I wanted the tattoo, and months of planning its design, I decided directly above my heart was the perfect place. Every morning I wanted to be reminded of the pain I’ve overcome and that the sadness I may be experiencing is only temporary. If you’ve ever seen the lines going up and down representing a patient’s heartbeat that’s called a cardiopulmonary monitor, and some refer to it as the rhythm strip. My tattoo has a small piece from a rhythm strip with a semicolon directly succeeding representing a temporary pause in my life (suicide attempt), followed by a rhythm strip more than double in size representing that there’s so much more life to live.

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I’ve been able to come to grips with everything after this attempt and am working to become the best version of myself. Whatever that may be. As for what I saw as my brain began to shut down…that’s still a mystery. I’ve never been able to find a field that’s quite like that, but I do believe it means something. I do not believe in an afterlife. I believe being open and honest in discussions like suicide and depression, that it will help others that may be suffering feel less alone. You’re not alone.

 

© John Marrows All Rights Reserved

If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

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3 thoughts on “sem;colon

  1. Appreciate that Preston! It’s weird because I’ve written this a thousand times over in my head, but definitely a better feeling being able to read through it. Hope you’re doing well!

    Like

  2. John I’m glad and honored you let me see your story. You are a true friend. This brought tears to my eyes and chills in my heart. Very well written. I appreciate you even more. Thanks for your courage and your ability to help many people.

    Liked by 1 person

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