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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Waking Up Alive....by Kate M.

Here's a guest post from Kate, a writer out of United Kingdom, and we agreed that we would only share her first name and initial to her last name due to the nature of this story. This is her true story, and I know that she probably still has nightmares about this incident in her life which I'm sure she is thankful that she had a second chance. 
Kate reached out to me through a social media site, and she wanted to share this story with me. I was impacted by this, and I hope that you will share this with your friends and family or anyone who may feel like there is no hope to keep on living. 
Three words stuck with me after reading this: "I was nothing." Just read my friends and share. This story may change someone's life or save it.
Kate, thank you for sharing a very powerful read with me, so I can share it with my readers. 

Waking Up Alive.

I half-opened my eyes, groggy, still a little drunk. Strange noises; feet being scraped over linoleum, machines chirping at regular intervals. Low, hushed, serious conversations being had in the corner of the room; people I didn't know talking about me. Where was I? And then, slowly, like an unwelcome gift being torturously unwrapped, the memory of last night came bubbling to the surface. Immediately a tear rolled from the corner of each eye as I looked down at the drip that had been carefully inserted into my hand.
When you wake up with a hangover after a heavy night of drinking, the drip-feed of memory gradually lets you into the events of the previous night. We've all had it- that crushing depression on a Saturday morning and the 'oh no' thought as each recollection flashes through your mind like a slideshow. Embarrassment. Shame. Emptiness. I felt them all. But I hadn't been out drinking with friends. No, I had sat alone at home drinking, having reached the apex of what I came to understand later was a complete nervous breakdown. The previous few days I had visited a number of supermarkets and pharmacies, calmly buying a packet of paracetamol at each shop. Stockpiling. It was time to do what nature had so far refused to do for me- it had robbed me of the opportunity to go as I was being born, when the umbilical chord was wrapped around my neck and I turned blue, robbed of oxygen. The doctors snatched me from the jaws of death and I was 'the lucky one' or 'the special one' because I wasn't meant to be here. Well, that idea had permeated my whole life and I'd finally come to the conclusion that no, I wasn't meant to be here; I wasn't special at all. I was nothing.
So I sat at home getting rapidly soaked; I took the packets of pills and laid them all out on the bed, then carefully popped each and every pill from the blister packs. It takes ninety six pills to kill a man of average weight. I had two hundred. I had a job to do and I was serious about the result so, over the next hour I sat and swallowed every single one, washed down with hard liquor. I cried as I wrote apologetic letters to loved ones. Days later, when I returned home I found them and they were barely legible- if you're going to sign off one should at least have the courtesy to make sure your final thoughts are legible. Sheesh, how rude.
Then....I blacked out. Job done. Adios. Sianara. I felt the pain flow away from my body, my mind. It was blissful.
I was meant to meet a friend that night and when I didn't show she became concerned. She called the police, who broke down my door and the paramedics who attended soon after took me to the emergency room. I was unaware of it all- I thought I was dead.

Slowly, over hours and days, medical professionals, family and friends tried to understand why. They had no idea. I had hidden it from them all. I felt a huge weight of shame, remorse and also disappointment that I hadn't succeeded. Going from feeling dead inside to feeling that everyone is judging you doesn't do much for your confidence or sense of self-worth. I wanted the ground to swallow me.

Why did I do it? I can't say. I had crashed and burned; I was an alcoholic, my business had failed, I was intensely lonely. I had always possessed a keen sense of melancholia- it had permeated every aspect of my life. Somewhere inside me there was a deep sadness. It's still there, but I have learned to balance it with love and joy instead of wallowing in fear and isolation. The conditions were just right to nurture the ill-feeling toward myself and anybody who has ever suffered from long-term depression will tell you that it comes from nowhere and takes you suddenly, like a wave against a sea wall. It is utterly, utterly crushing. You may feel it rising but when it comes, boy you'd better be ready.

It has taken me eight years to be able to write about that night and the following days. Gradually, with love and support I was able to rebuild my life- during that period I had destroyed everything; my creativity, my financial stability, my mental health, my relationships. It was a very slow process to get back to where I am today. The result of that decision, made when I wasn't myself, was that every day that I wake up is a special bonus because I shouldn't be here. I should have died that night and I am grateful that I didn't, that I failed, because I'd never see cherry blossom bloom again, my loved ones laugh, feel the rush of wind in my hair driving at speed. Life is exhilarating, difficult, joyful, frustrating, blissful. If I have learned anything from my experience it is that no matter how difficult things get, no matter how steep the hill one has to climb, the summit is always in sight and getting there is possible, even if you are forced to start at the very bottom again.

If you're ever in the position that I was that dark September eight years ago, hold on.

Kate. M

About Maria Rochelle

Maria is a writer of multiple genres, and author of the popular children's picture story book series Jasmine Dreams.
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