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Dreadful Act?

by Derek Hall.........................................

Three days of binge drinking behind me and a six hour car journey ahead. I had that feeling in my stomach. The one that became so familiar to me during my months of partying hard on a nightly basis in Australia. The pains would cripple me for days. As we set off on the six hour journey I tried hard to suppress the acidy feeling and succeeded to a degree, but then another feeling returned like an old nemesis. I soon felt like the mains to my brain had been cut. There was no fresh thought going in and I knew there'd be very little if any conversation leaving my mouth that day. It wasn't long after I felt my brain disconnect when the acid broke through the barriers I'd tried to put up and I, to my surprise muttered the words, "stop the car I need to be sick". I repeated this action on more occasions that day before arriving back at our apartment.

When we got back I thought the moment would pass in a day or two, I was just on another bad comedown from a weekend session, something I hadn't done for many years. How wrong I was. Two days passed and the light in my deep, dark forest of depression was still fading. I was alone much of the time as my wife was working nine hour shifts at the hotel. When she was home my attempts at conversation were limited and usually crushed in minutes by the crippling feeling inside me. We went out. I tried to be there mentally as well as physically but the fog clouding my brain refused to lift. This continued for a further three days. Compounded by the intense Thai heat, that gripped my head like a vice; and the constant irritation from the construction work going on in our apartment block. I tried to pull myself out of the well I was slipping further into by exercising hard and forcing myself to go out, but when I went out I'd find it impossible to do the things I'd thought about doing. I wanted to print some cards for the dog centre but my mind couldn't bare the thought of going to a printers and trying to explain in Thai what I wanted. I rode around on my motorbike looking for somewhere to eat but couldn't bring myself to go anywhere with people in. When I did eat, I couldn't taste and struggled to get the food passed my mouth.

Then the sleepless nights started. My brain seemed to reconnect but instead of this being a step onto the road to repair it was the worst thing that could have happened. The reconnection sparked feverish and constant thought in my head; nothing positive. Everything bad about my life was rushing to the front of the queue, as if they had been waiting for the chance to knock me down for a long time. The fact I couldn't hold a job down, my constant complaining, the way I act when I'm drunk, my lack of friends, my fear that I wouldn't be able to do my new job or I wouldn't be able to live up to their standards; all revolving around and around, over and over again in my head like a carousel that couldn't stop. I'd lost control. I feared night time, not that daytimes were much better. And as all of this unfolded it did so to a tune, a horrible song called suicidal, by that American guy with the irritating, high pitched voice. The damn song is massive in Thailand.

On the third sleepless night thoughts of suicide started to occasionally interrupt my minds destruction of itself, and me. I put all my energy into pushing them out and by thinking of my wife and family I managed to break through the fog and carousel, and plant the idea that suicide is not an option.

That Sunday morning May, my wife, left for work and I managed a conversation and some positive thoughts. I was going to go out early and celebrate Thai New Year with the crowds of Thai's now in the streets. I hopped on my motorbike and headed to town. As I got nearer I felt the heat closing in on my head. The vice was closing in and the cloud of depression quickly eliminated the positive thoughts. Once in town I went around the centre twice trying to remember why I'd came. I could still remember but the fault in my system wouldn't let me put that thought back to the front. After the second circuit of the town I decided to stop at the supermarket. Something inside was trying to tap into my brain and make it buy something other than the knife it was focused on but it didn't succeed. I purchased the knife and then like a zombie rode to two different drug stores to buy strong pain killers and sleeping tablets.

The next thirty minutes were spent searching for a quiet spot on the beach. There was a weak tug of war going on in my head. The positive forces were trying to get me to go back and enjoy a day of throwing water at happy people (typical Thai New Year celebrations).

I visited the spot twice before deciding it was quiet enough for me to carry out the dreadful act. Once there I parked my bike, surveyed the derelict house and the littered beach and then found a sheltered spot under a tree. I took the water from my bag, as two curious dogs watched, and started popping the pills that were supposed to make my body lose all feeling. Forty pills and ten minutes later I felt emotionless, so took this a sign that my body wouldn't feel pain. I walked gingerly to the water, knife in pocket, hand covering it in case anybody could see me. Once deep enough I tried to push the blade through the elastic and tough rubber like skin of my neck. It wouldn't give, but I persisted and finally with no feeling or thought sliced into my body. Blood started to fill the water around me. Minutes passed so I tried going under water, hoping to drown but I couldn't stay under. In one last desperate move I slashed my left wrist. Again the water filled with blood. What happened next is a blur in my mind but I think I headed for the beach because I'd woken from this mad state and realised the suffering this act would cause my family. My next memory is of waking up to my wife in hospital. To howls of anguished crying.

There are too many people suffering in this way. More needs to be done to inform the public about these problems and to treat people with mental illness.

There is nothing wrong with suicide if the person has tried very hard to correct the problems in their life and failed to find another way. What is wrong, is condemning people for wanting to die and labeling them of selfish. We need to help people in this state and if need be assist their suicide so they don't end up destroying the lives of others. If families were made aware of their wishes, they could help prevent suicide and/or come to understand the problems and wishes of their loved ones; in the end this would help them come to terms with the suicide of their loved one.

Comments would be appreciated by the author, Derek Hall

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