In January, 2008 after decades of feeling lost and desperately trying to find myself and heal old wounds buried so deep within me, I sat down and finally wrote ... I wrote about the night of my last suicide attempt. I share this very personal piece in hopes that one person who might be at the end of their rope might read this ... and to know that YOU matter ....
I came upon the following website ... beautiful words shared by Jamie Tworkowski:
"Above all else, we choose to stay. We choose to fight the darkness and the sadness, to fight the questions and the lies and the myth of all that’s missing. We choose to stay, because we are stories still going. Because there is still some time for things to turn around, time for surprises and for change. We stay because no one else can play our part.
Life is worth living.
We’ll see you tomorrow."
And here is my story ... this was my bottom. I ended up at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri (probably not a coincidence that it was at Barnes Hospital where my Papa passed away when I was 4 years old) .... when I left the hospital, I went to my first AA meeting and the beginning of a very difficult and painful journey, but a journey I needed to take .. and through that journey I had to learn I am not alone .. none of us are alone ... and I needed to to learn to trust and to let go when all I wanted to do was hang on and control the remnants of a life that was shattering around me ....
I am glad I chose to stay.
thank you Papa for being there for me .. and thank you for bringing Ahnung into my life.
by Marilou Chanrasmi (January, 2008)
I remember the darkness and stillness of the room. I was sitting on the edge of the queen size bed, alone, in a Hampton Inn motel in Hazelwood, Missouri, a small suburb north of St. Louis, right off of highway 270, the outer belt of St. Louis. At 22, I had reached the end of the rope. The slow descent began at 4 with the death of my father .... The gradual descent dropped into a downward spiral the year we left Bangkok. It was 1979. I was 15. My father’s death at age 4 was the first ingredient poured into the old-fashioned pressure cooker. The years passed, and more ingredients were added: sexual abuse by a trusted family friend and Catholic deacon, alcohol, peer pressure, struggles with sexual identity, sudden loss of my “second mother” to a drunk driver. Without a safety valve, an explosion was imminent.
I clasped a bottle of sleeping pills in one hand. In the other hand, a Bud light. I hear the water filling up the bathtub. I have reached the end of the rope. The palms of my hands, once blistered from hanging on, had callused. My exit plan – pop the sleeping pills, fall asleep, drown in the bath tub and never wake up. Let go of the rope. Finally, let go.
Images of my father flash before me. Images of him catching me. The four year old in me smiles, remembering moments in his arms. How fun it was to play with his glasses. How safe it felt in his arms. The 22 year old is tired. There’s no more fight left. The threads holding the rope are coming apart.
And so, that night, I execute on my plan – pop the pills, and fall asleep; my body submerged in the bathtub. Alone, in a hotel room with stale air. The lights go out. I am, finally, letting go.
“Nothing.” I respond to them, as sadness fills my heart remembering the young adult whose palms, scorched from blisters and tired from the fight, decided that letting go was the only exit. “Nothing,” I say, as I remember the protective layer that encased by battered heart. I just wanted the pain to end. I just wanted to rest. I just wanted to emerge from the darkness.
Somehow, someway my submerged body was air lifted out of the bathtub onto the queen size bed. Remnants of all I had ingested the past 24 hours had created a drunken pathway, from the bathtub to the bed. A deathly stench consumed the room. Somehow, someway, I took those steps – I don’t remember. I have imagined angels lifting me out of the water. I have imagined my father, gently carrying me to the bed, whispering to me “not yet baby, not yet.” As I realize I am alive and my plan has failed, the stale air is replaced with a stench of defiance.
I’m in my forties now. What happened that night remains a mystery to me. The unfolding of the “why” has been my life’s journey. Mistakes and questions have become my friends. In the midst of winter, when layering is what’s comfortable, I shed layers to keep warm; I strive for authenticity, warmth and truth found only at my core. I am learning to revel in the mystery, and in the questions. I am learning that there are bright colors in the darkness. I am learning there are millions of threads, that make up strands, which in turn make a rope. I am learning that every thread connects me to something, someone, or some purpose; as we find common threads and re-build strands from worn out threads, we strengthen the rope of life. At 22, my tired, callused hands let go of the one remaining tattered strand, as I danced at the doorsteps of death, only to fall straight into a hammock, handcrafted from a mesh of rope. At 22, I fell straight into the arms of my father, and into the hammock of life.
I encourage you to watching this beautiful video of We Will See you tomorrow: