January 13, 2007 was my first suicide attempt. Things had begun to go downhill many years earlier as the hard-partying college days turned into lonely nights spent holed up in my apartment with a half-gallon bottle of Southern Comfort. My emotional state got progressively worse despite the cocktail of anti-depressants, anti-anxiety meds, and sleeping pills I took. I became desperate with my personal relationships, clinging to anyone I had snared into being my drinking buddy. How else do you relate to someone?
2006 brought a series of disappointments. My cat died in a tragic accident while in the care of a neighbor, the man I thought I would marry dumped me out of the blue, and by the end of the year I had been stiffed on several jobs (I’m a freelancer) which totaled close to $10,000. I had pushed away the last of my friends by being such a downer and became very promiscuous, trying to force out the loneliness and boost my self-esteem with loveless flings and one night stands. I was drunk most of the time and had made a fool of myself at pretty much all the bars and restaurants in my town. Shamed and alone, I decided to move to Florida for a fresh start.
From the moment I stepped out of the car, it was clear that the black cloud had followed me. The apartment I had secured the month prior through a rental company turned out to be a scam and I was left with no address and $3,000 poorer. By the grace of God an old friend in my new town had an aunt who rented me a small apartment, letting me move in that first night. Whirling from the events of the day, I eased the pain with some booze and fell asleep.
At 9 am the next morning, I was awakened by a phone call from my father. My grandmother had passed away. That day was spent trying to book flights for my parents and me to get back for the funeral, talking with lawyers to try to recoup some of the money I lost with the apartment fiasco and coordinating with the movers about where to put my stuff when it arrived. I could feel something happening inside me, like I was a spinning top that had just lost its momentum and was teetering through its last spins before it toppled over.