Dear Hubby, I'm Sorry I Tried to Kill Myself
Editor’s note: If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.
You saw me, the women you had loved for 14 years with tubes coming out of every orifice not knowing whether I would live or die. You held my hand as I lay unconscious wondering how the hell this had even happened. You took that phone call nobody ever wants to get. You had the awful job of explaining to the children their mother was not visiting their uncle up north like she had said she was, she had in fact been in hospital. And when she was supposed to be safe and getting help, she had instead tried to die by suicide.
That is not a conversation any parent wants to or should have to have with their kids.
I am so sorry I wasn’t as open with you about my feelings as I should have been. I am so sorry I put you in a position of uncertainty.
I am sorry I tried to kill myself.
Memories of the time I spent in hospital are patchy to say the least. I remember my brother and sister visiting from interstate, my best friend crying by my bedside, my sister comforting me when I was delusional and terrified thinking I had been cast in some awful reality TV drama. But I don’t actually remember seeing you until I was moved back onto the unit, funny because you were with me for every single minute I was in intensive care, only parting my side when the helicopter transferred me from the small country mental health unit I was in, to the big city hospital.
The only image I have of you from that time is the flash of anguish and hurt in your eyes, and the sound of your voice straining as you tried so hard to keep loving me. To keep loving this woman who tried to leave you in the most awful and permanent kind of way, this woman who had shared your life, your dreams and bore your children. Now, you may have thought you didn’t really know her after all.
But you honored your marriage vows — in sickness and in health. You blocked out everything except family. You didn’t even go to work so that every single day of the two months I spent on the mental health unit after my attempt you could be there for me — bringing me edible food, talking to me, advocating for me and just loving me. Even on the days when the hurt was too much for you to bear and you could hardly make eye contact, you still came and sat with me, perhaps just making sure it wouldn’t happen again.
When the hospital finally let me come home, you followed me around the house like a puppy for weeks. Sometimes I got angry because I felt like you didn’t trust me even to go to the bathroom by myself. You counted my pills out for me and watched me take them before locking them back up into their box. You refused to go back to work for months, your priorities had changed and now above all you had to keep me safe.
That was two years ago now. We have walked a long road but the trust has slowly grown again as the fear gradually dissipates. In many ways, our relationship is stronger than ever before. We are more open about our feelings, you work hard to understand my anxieties and I work hard to be honest about them. I know without a shadow of a doubt just how much you love me. You are my protector, my lover and my friend.
You ride the roller coaster of my bipolar disorder every day, you smile knowingly and hide the credit card when I start listing off my manic ideas and calmly and rationally talk me down when the black dog tries once more to swallow my soul. Sometimes when hormones flood me and I just break down and cry, you ask me what’s wrong and I can’t give you an answer you because there is no “real reason.” On those occasions I see that same hurt from the hospital flash into your eyes for a moment before you make the decision to trust me and you just hold me in your arms lovingly and try to make me laugh until I feel better.
I don’t think there are words to accurately describe just how much I love you and how much I appreciate everything you do for our family every single day. You are an amazing father, my soul mate and my rock.
If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.
If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.
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Unsplash photo via Mickael Tournier