Psyche logo

What My Suicide Attempt Really Meant

by Rita Arosemena about a month ago in recovery

The will to live has nothing to do with owning, but with letting go.

What My Suicide Attempt Really Meant
Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

On the night of October 1, 2016, I tried to kill myself.

Suicide is far from being a topic most people consider worthy of public display. Still, right now, all over the world, there’re thousands of people coming out from a self-induced coma or walking again after an accident caused by subtle self-negligence…

The negligence that some of us allow ourselves to give in when life seems more pernicious than death.

Generally, those who fail in the attempt prefer to keep quiet because of the shame (their own and others). There’s an inevitable fear of rejection based on the idea that we must love life regardless of the misery experienced, the broken dreams, or how empty we feel.

So, we come back to life and stay here, boxed in, silenced by a tacit pact to our ‘good family’ or ‘good friends’ who welcomed us despite being a ‘suicide bomber’ (or despite not having died).

I do not share the belief that painful moments should be purged from memory or amputated from personal biography. That’s why I write about this, because it is a frank and real story, and it deserves to be told without guilt or shame.

By Sasha Freemind on Unsplash

So on the night of October 1, 2016, I wanted, could, and tried to kill myself. The number 750 has become vital to me because it represents the exact number of milligrams of amitriptyline hydrochloride that I put into my body.

I had read before that the maximum dose for patients under hospital supervision was 300. I took it for granted that I was going to die, and of course, it felt horrendous, painful as few things in life, but at the same time, liberating.

I never met someone who tried to commit suicide, but at that moment, I met the part of me that wanted to die as much as some things (like flowers in spring, or love) want to be born.

I got to know myself more in one night than I could have in a decade of self-imposed introspection.

Also, I discovered that there are circumstances loaded with so much emotional weight that the body surrenders and conspires in favor of the most unexpected undertakings because the heart is already yielded.

It’s challenging to make those who have never felt such a terrible emptiness to understand those who have felt it for years. That is why people who do not understand others’ pain tend to spit on the wound they later declare themselves unaware of.

I cannot name all the reasons that may lead a person to commit suicide, but I can mention the only thing that could have prevented me from trying: the will to live

It is not about following the wake-up routine, not even having dreams and aspirations, short and long-term goals, a 500 m2 house, or a life-time bank account with high numbers, so you can feel significant and independent. I had that, and it did not work.

The will to live, which I never had before, has nothing to do with owning and keeping, but with letting go.

It’s about recognizing yourself as a tiny drop amid beautiful chaos of colors and sounds, being able to feel the anger and indignation of an adult, and not allow yourself to go to bed without having forgiven with the ease of a child.

The will to live is not bought, it is not built, it is not replaced, it is not negotiated. The will to live is discovered, as one would find the treasure of human existence hidden in the union of two bodies that love each other.

You have not found your will to live, yet never tried to commit suicide? It matters little if you have sold your days to a job you don’t enjoy, if you curse because it is time to get up, or if you go to bed with a full stomach but hungry for the life you’re not having.

You can be dead while being alive.

When I came back to life after being unconscious for almost 48 hours, I heard people said that I was a depressed, selfish and crazy person, and ‘that was the reason why I tried to kill myself’. That’s a respectable and logical deduction, but also superficial.

I am fully aware that I could have died and that it is a miracle (because now I believe in them) that it was not so. I’m not proud of my actions, neither I minimize the anguish of those who had to deal with my decision.

Still, I am far from feeling regret because only the experience of falling asleep slowly without knowing if there would be a tomorrow made me realize my desire to live. It was hidden, but it was there.

That made me realize that another part of me, some part somewhere, did not want to kill itself. Only now, after what happened, that part is a girl and an adult at the same time, and it shakes hands with the other. It constantly forgives her, hugs her, appropriates her.

Now I know that scars worth being exhibited to remind ourselves how life was, how it could have been, and how wonderful it is.

I turned death into my will to live.

Rita Arosemena
Rita Arosemena
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Rita Arosemena

I write to put my pieces together.

If you like my articles, how about buying me a coffee? This way I'll stay awake to keep writing 😀 You can do it here -->

See all posts by Rita Arosemena

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links