I wrote earlier that I had never attempted suicide. That’s not quite true. I’ve never shot myself, slit my wrists, or overdosed on drugs. But one day in November 2010, I did make a serious attempt to end my life.
I hadn’t been hospitalized that spring, and it was unusual for me to be depressed in the fall. But I was having trouble in my writing (I wasn’t working on a project—no inspiration) and was getting a lot of rejection from various agents and journals that I was sending queries out to. Plus the upcoming holidays usually stressed me out somewhat trying to get ready and get everything done that the American Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays seem to require. I can tell from my journal at the time that I was feeling overwhelmed, taken for granted at home, and very, very stressed.
On the tenth, I finally just gave up. I woke up that morning with no idea what I was going to do with myself. I had already been accepted for teaching the next spring but was feeling very, very down, so down that I didn’t even write in my journal. At some point after Bob left for work, I decided to see how well the enclosed-garage-with-the-motor-running trick would work. I went and topped off my tank in my van, then came back to the house, closing the garage door behind me.
I went inside, picked out an ocean-waves CD, grabbed my favorite quilt and a pillow, and took an extra Klonopin pill (a sedative I take for anxiety). I went out to the van, turned on the ignition, put in the CD, laid down in the back seat, and covered myself with the quilt. I was used to going to sleep in the mornings after everyone left, and I figured I’d be asleep and then dead in no time at all.