September 2, 2014, is the day when the rest of my life began. I didn’t expect this. I expected it to be the day on which I died.
At some point that day, in the midst of a drug-induced haze, I sent an email to my parents asking them to make sure my son was taken care of. Typically, any email to my parents would languish for a number of days or weeks before I received a reply. But the email of September 2, 2014, was different. It was read and acted upon immediately. As I slid into the oblivion I sought, my parents dropped everything they were doing and rushed to my apartment. They tried to revive me and ultimately called 911. They saved my life even though I believed it was unworthy of being saved.
The police, EMTs and hospital staff did their jobs with ruthless efficiency. They didn’t care why I’d tried to kill myself. They simply did what they were trained to do and saved me from, well, me. They forced me to walk. They forced tubes down my throat and filled my digestive system with charcoal. Then, when I was moved from the emergency department to a room, they placed a guard at my bedside.
And something unexpected happened. At some point during all of the mayhem and the chaos, I experienced silence. For longer than I can remember, my head had been filled with the noise of the never ending battle with myself. Now, that noise had been quieted and in the quiet I rediscovered two things I’d thought forever lost: hope and a desire to live.
I can’t express how shocking this was. After months of existing in The Black, after months of suicidal thoughts, after acting in desperation to kill myself and still my pain, I saw a small flicker of light in the once suffocating gloom. In opening myself to death, in welcoming it and asking it to bring an end to my suffering, I found Life.
Through their efforts to save me, my parents, and then a team of strangers, revealed to me in a most profound way that I WAS WORTHY. I can’t fully convey just how startling this revelation was. My lack of worth was, to me, a given. To have this fact, this central belief, challenged so categorically was a personal paradigm shift the influence of which continues to this day.
My journey of recovery had begun.