The Day My Dog Saved My Life
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
I swore to myself I would never share this with another living soul. Honestly, I still feel like I am right there, right where I was. It is a place that I never want to see again, but the sad reality is that it is just a matter of time before the demons return. I hope that sharing this with all of you somehow sheds a thin ray of light onto an otherwise taboo subject.
As I write, the tears are streaming down my face. I think about this every day. It is maddening. It is heartbreaking. It is true pain. True suffering. Undeniable sadness. Writing this is going to be incredibly difficult. Reading this won’t be easy. Some of you may look at me differently when this story is over. I am OK with that.
My name is Chad and I am Bipolar. This is the story of my suicide.
My life had totally spiraled out of control. I was in the hospital where a doctor recommended electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Medication was no longer effective. I was at rock bottom. Or so I thought. I agreed to the fourteen treatments. The ECT had a profound effect on me. I was no longer able to continue with my medications.
Whether it was real or somewhere hidden deep in my subconscious, the medication began to make my skin crawl. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. I was barely alive. I can honestly look anyone in the eye and tell him or her that I literally have no memory of the months of May through October. I went places, did things, had conversations, lived life, but I wasn’t actually inside me. I was gone and nobody knew it. Not my family, not my coworkers, not my closest friends. I was a ghost who was slowly dying an incredibly painful death.
As the pain and suffering consumed my brain, I slept less and less. I quit eating. I lost weight. I was empty and after years of suffering I decided that I had been through enough. My brain was telling me how much I despised myself, my very being, my soul was gone. I looked in the mirror and hated who was looking back at me. I still do. “You are a disappointment to everyone.” “You are ugly.” “You are a failure.” “You are nothing.” “You are worthless.” “You are all alone.” These are the words that bombard my brain when I look at myself in the mirror. Every day I go through this. Sadly, I know there are others out there who say the same thing each morning and night, just like I do. It is living in hell inside your own mind. It is devastating. It is never ending pain.
I had decided that I couldn’t do it anymore.
One day I woke up, watched some television, then music, then silence.I brought the kids to the park one last time. We played like we had never played before. I played like I was never going to play again. When we were all worn out we walked home.
The moments that I feared the most were here, right now. It was time to say goodbye to the kids. This was real. This was happening. Right now. I went to Slinky first. He was lying peacefully on the bed. I scratched his head and kissed his nose. He purred and stretched out a leg to let me know he was enjoying it. Tigger was next. After a kiss and a quick scratch I moved on to Shiloh. My baby girl. I was sobbing uncontrollably at this point.
She was smiling at me, wagging her tail. I placed her on her side and rubbed her tummy. I kissed her nose and said goodbye. The pain was unbearable but I had one more. Sampson was sitting in his chair watching me. I walked over and knelt down in front of him and put my hands behind his ears and scratched. I kissed his nose and he licked my face one last time.
My kids were all looking at me. I wiped the tears from my eyes and then took a deep breath. I tensed up when I suddenly felt something touch my leg.
I quickly opened my eyes and looked down and it was Sampson, sitting at my feet, looking up at me, his left paw resting on my leg.
You may not believe this but he had a look in his eyes that I had never seen. I would have never imagined, I would have never thought possible, I will never forget it as long as I live.
I instantly burst into tears and collapsed to the ground. As I hugged him and sobbed the others joined him. After that I couldn’t do it. I was exhausted. Done. Every ounce of energy was drained from me. I just layed there for the rest of the day, in and out of consciousness. They never left my side.
I would like to introduce you all to Sampson. He is my pit bull. He is my baby boy. I love to tell the story about the day I saved Sampson’s life. Today I am telling you the story about the day he saved my life. Who really saved whom?
Thank you for reading this. Share this. People are struggling.We all can do better. Help someone in need. It will change your life.
My name is Chad and I am Bipolar.
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.
We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.
Image via contributor