I hope this won’t be triggering for anybody so first of all, let me clarify that I didn’t really want to die. And yet, I took 18 lorazepams at once. I actually thought I took 19 but the 19th was still in the box, although the seal was broken. The box contained 20 and I think, being on my autistic instinct, I assumed that 20 is the full course, that if I take them all, that’s when I die.
I didn’t want to die, I only didn’t know how to remove myself from the situation that I was in. I was living with my parents and brother in Poland while my flat in Swindon was empty and I still had to pay the bills. I was not entitled to any benefits and the key to my flat went missing.
Did I tell you about the key? Hard to say if it’s more or less traumatic than the suicide attempt but let’s try: shortly after I came to Poland at the beginning of my first psychotic episode I asked my mum to take care of my valuables: I took a plastic pouch and put my ID, passport, debit card, employment tribunal papers and my flat key in there. I then placed the pouch in the top cabinet in my mum’s bedroom. It was slightly above my eye level.
A couple of days later I reached out for the pouch and the key was not in there. It looked like someone took it. I never found it and never managed to establish what happened. I think mum removed it as she was worried about me, but she never admitted to anything.
When I left the hospital a few months later, after my first stay, I found it really distressing. I don’t have the key, I can’t go back, I was thinking. I knew I could have arranged for locksmiths but it suddenly all felt too difficult.
I even at some point booked a flight from Gdańsk (which is several hours away from my family home) to Bristol but I never even got on the train.
I was in our local library when I took all that lorazepams and then I suddenly was like, omg, what have I done, I don’t want to die. So I rushed to the librarian to ask for help.
Staff in the ambulance was great, they were very gentle and sensitive. In a&e not so much. I had to have my stomach pumped. It wasn’t nice. I remember I was surprised that after having so many tranquillisers I was not falling asleep at all. I finally did, but only when I was in the hospital bed.
I remember staff woke me up for supper and I couldn’t keep the sandwich in my hand. I found it incredibly funny. I had hospital gown on me and shortly after eating I fell asleep again. I don’t remember now exactly but I think I slept for 36h with those short little breaks for meals.
Next day my mum visited me. She brought me a pj, toothpaste and a toothbrush. ‘Possibly you needed it’ she commented, and that was it. She didn’t say anything else about my suicide attempt and in a way I was grateful but also a little bit confused. I felt like I needed to talk about it with someone and there was no one to listen. I didn’t want to die and yet I did it.
It was during that hospital stay that doctors put me on pregabalin and I started feeling better. The panic attacks were finally gone.