Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Angel of Darkness

Thirteen years ago today, at 11 pm, I tried (nearly successfully) to end my life.  My life had become so dark and I was so lost that death seemed like the only cure to the intense pain I was feeling.  I took several different medications (including beta blockers I had stolen from my grandmother to overdose on), and laid on my living room floor, surrounded by photo albums, listening to "Angel" by Sarah McLachlan over and over, and sobbing.

My angel came to my rescue, in the form of my daughter.  I heard her shuffle in her crib and realized what a horrible mistake it would be to leave her motherless.  Unable to face my ex-husband as I knew he would be angry, I called a friend.  She hung up and called 911, then called back and woke my ex.  He found me lying on the floor, nearly passed out by this point.  Although we lived far, far out in the country, the ambulance arrived in record time, and the EMTs worked heroically to reverse the effects of the drugs I took.  I don't remember much beyond that point, aside from seeing my infant daughter crying while the doors of the ambulance closed.  I woke several hours later in the ICU, restrained and feeling like someone had ripped my throat open.  I found later the hospital staff had pumped my stomach....believe me, you don't want to know how much that hurts afterward.  I was kept sedated until the hospital psych came to evaluate me.  I spent 3 tortuous days in the psych ward.  There are truly frightening people in residence there....I knew I didn't belong.  I was only released after signing an agreement to enter treatment.

After an intense year of combined medication and counseling, I overcame the depression that nearly killed me.  I should have died that night - the staff at the hospital told me I nearly died twice.  The spirit inside me, combined with the love of my daughter, saved my life.

I've struggled with depression and anxiety since, but I've never sunk back into the darkness again.  There is goodness in the world, and even if I spend the rest of my life alone, I will continue to seek it.  Thankfully, fate has smiled on me and given me the love of my life.  With him by my side, I know the darkness will never return.

I still have a hard time listening to this song, but it reminds me that my angel saved me.  So, today, as every year on this date, I listen to it, cry, and realize that I belong here on earth....if only to watch over the angel whose love kept me alive.

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