Success and Suicide

Twelve years ago today, I tried to kill myself. I failed.

But, I also succeeded. I succeeded in saving my own life, and in the process, I saved myself from becoming a ghost.

I still feel an eerie connection to the spirit world. I still believe that your soul lives on even when you die. I believe I did die, physiologically speaking, and I’m convinced that had I not come back, my soul would’ve been trapped in that hospital- forever.

But it wasn’t my time to go yet, and I got the message, loud and clear.

I had a near death experience. A vivid one. One that, to this day, is etched in my mind. I can still describe it with exquisite precision. I can still feel the pull of that bright light as it drew me nearer and called me to cross over to the other side. I can still hear the bang. I can still feel myself being sucked back to consciousness.

But, I can’t pretend to understand how I survived. All I know is, somehow, I did.

For as gruesome a scene as it was when I came back to, the whole thing has left me with more than just anoxic and traumatic brain injuries. It left me with a sense of purpose in the world: to share my life story so that others don’t make the same mistakes I did.

It might sound cliché, but it’s true. Drugs don’t fix anything, and suicide is never the answer. It only causes more pain.

Some might call me a failure for having screwed up my life so badly that I tried to hang myself in a psych ward, high on crack. Others might call me a failure for having not succeeded in my effort to end my life.

But, all these years later, I won’t call myself that.

I’ve just had to rethink what it means to be a success.

Still Breathing

Stop.Be very quiet. Stay very still. Just listen. Can you hear it?

It’s the sound of your body breathing. Can you hear your heartbeat there in the silence? See the rise and fall of your chest as it translates air into life? Do you feel the blood pushing and pulling as it rushes through your veins?

Stop. Just listen. It’s there. It’s your life, in your breathing.

We take it for granted, the air we breathe. The natural processes happen subconsciously, but even when we become aware of them, we can’t will them to stop. No matter how still you are, your heart will keep pumping. You can try to hold your breath, but you’ll eventually respire. Whether or not you are aware of it, you just keep breathing. We all keep breathing.

I am still breathing, but I shouldn’t be. I killed myself and I died.

I took my last breath. I saw the other side. Yet, here I am, alive as a soul in this body. I am Still Breathing.

From Merriam-Webster’s Thesaurus:

Entry Word: breathe Function: verb Text: 1 to inhale and exhale air, breathe Synonyms: respire Related Words: expire, inspire; gasp, huff, pant, puff, wheeze; sniff, snore, snort, snuffle; yawn Near Antonyms: asphyxiate, choke, gag, smother, suffocate; garrotte (or garotte), stifle, strangle, throttle