The day I chose to die

I’m on Facebook. One of the suggested posts is by Samaritans, and it’s about a young woman who shares her suicide attempt story to railway passengers. She says that trusting your instinct, talking to someone, even about the weather, or telling the staff, could save someone’s life.

It wouldn’t have saved mine.

I was proper sneaky, and took off the train station after seeing there were too many passengers knocking about. Someone would’ve done something.

At the end of the platforms there were those Samaritan signs where they ask you to talk to them. As if. It’s hardly likely they would’ve just said ‘all right then, cheerio.’

My friends kept asking me why didn’t I call them, as if this was somehow difficult to understand. They would’ve tried talking me out of it, and that wasn’t the point of the exercise at the time.

Antidepressants weren’t working. Or weren’t helping quickly enough. I was absolutely exhausted from weeks of not sleeping more than 90 minutes on one go. Everything was hurting, from inside and out, and this was a certain way to make it stop. A main train line, zero chance of survival.

The only reason why I didn’t die that day was that a fence was too high for me to climb. It gave me just enough time to snap out of the impulse and start reflecting on what the fuck was I doing exactly.

I went back home, read the suicide note, tore it and unpacked my belongings. Later I was embarrassed of the note. It’s a surprisingly difficult task for someone who has preferred written medium from very young age to find adequate words as her last on this planet. The one piece of written work it’s pretty difficult to ask feedback about before publishing it. Had I died that day, I would’ve been embarrassed in the afterlife. It was such nonsense.

If someone dares to call me selfish for trying to end my life, I would like to point out that I thought about other people.

I wrote a note to spare my nearest and dearest from asking why, packed most of my belongings as to save my family’s efforts, took my passport and parents’ contact details with me as there wouldn’t be much left of me to recognise after an embrace with a moving train to identify, chose a method where I would be found very quickly, and save my loved ones from possibly days of worrying, at best in another country, and have some poor sod finally find my decomposing body from my flat in the summer heat.

What about the poor, innocent train driver, someone asked.

When you’re at that point, you don’t think like that. At least we didn’t know each other personally. I would’ve been just a faint thud. Upsetting sure, but not on a personal level. At least there wouldn’t had been a question whether or not there was something they could’ve done.

The answer would’ve been no. I would’ve clambered and walked for so long to get to the tracks that there wouldn’t had been a shadow of a doubt whether or not I wanted to end my life that day.

It’s weird because I can still trace back my trail of thought, my own personality traits, in planning my death. I was quite meticulous, even though I acted on an impulse rather with a long-standing plan that took weeks to formulate. I basically sorted myself out and off I went.

I can see my own personality in that. I’ve never wanted my fear stop me from doing something. I was scared to move abroad, but I did it anyway. I was scared of my driving test, I did it anyway. At some point the decision to kill myself had stopped being the final choice and it just became a choice. I had made my choice, and I wasn’t going to let my fear stop me this time either.

I wasn’t scared to die. I was scared of the train a bit, as it’s big and loud, but I wasn’t scared to die. I was way more terrified of living. The walk to the train station seemed really long and really short at the same time and everything seemed to happen really far away as if I was walking in water.

I watched a video of a young man, who was one of the few to have survived after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. He said that every survivor he has spoken to has reported the same thing about four seconds into the fall; instant regret.

I can somewhat relate, as sinking my nails into a wall so hard that my fingertips bled there must have been just enough time for the impulse to lift. Or maybe my guardian angel finally caught up with me and hit me over the head for being such an idiot.

Whatever the case, I didn’t die. I had a cry, went back home, read the note, tore the note, had another cry, unpacked all my belongings, had another cry and curled up into bed. The next morning, I went to work as if nothing had happened. I was too ashamed to tell anyone.

It’s bizarre to be alive on the day you thought that you’d be dead. The next day felt almost like a dream. I tried not to think about what happened yesterday as that would’ve been too horrible and shameful. My hands would shake as I got dressed and tried to force myself to swallow a smoothie. The sunlight felt too harsh against my eyes and I couldn’t help but look at the ordinariness of it all in wonder as I made my way to work through the waking town.

All of this would be still happening had I died. The shops would still be opening, the river would still be flowing down its stream, all these people would go and get their take-away coffees before heading to their offices and those still in their cars would still swear at the morning traffic. The world would still keep doing its thing. Only I would be missing from this picture.

I looked at it all like an observer, almost like I wasn’t there because it was really close that I wasn’t and I didn’t want to start thinking of the enormity of what I had almost done because that would’ve been too much to handle.

It’s been almost a year since that day. Now that I no longer want to die, I feel sorry for that girl who was so desperate for her pain to stop that she did something like that.

Also, it would’ve been a shame if I had died that day, without ever knowing that there would be a medication that would help me.


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