-by Bill Watkins 10/9/2017
I was suicidal off and on from 1998 to 2002.
The first glitch I felt toward unhinged depression was around my 25th birthday in 1997. Mom got me my first laptop, I liked hanging out with her, the computer was cool, but…
I was writing a very creative piece, attending many Al-Anon 12-step meetings, and more and more: I felt weird, a manic-depression settled into my life.
High in the throes of my creative projects, low afterward, with NO SCHEDULE FOR MY DAY, nor contentment at a day well-lived toward Sleep.
I was and am alcoholic. I did not fully know that back then.
The suicidal bug, which came from the manic-depression bug, stemmed from my first drink of flammable alcohol on Dad’s lap when five years old.
I started drinking it with friends at age twelve, started blacking out off the substance at age thirteen. Yes, Maradona was down in Mexico becoming a legend while I was awoken by my sister’s friends PEEING ON THEIR COUCH. I was in a sleep-walking blackout after many beers consumed into my sub-five foot, sub-100 pound frame.
My drinking peaked at age sixteen, the false god alcohol fully worshipped in place of God, life, and being honest with the girl I loved.
None of that story went away when I started to curb back drinking Senior year of high school and into college.
I was a periodic partier, who drank and smoked pot on occasion, overdosed in the form of blackouts and pass-outs before officially overdosing on prescribed medicine in 1999 and 2000.
The OD’s came on the heels of a trip to the Bay Area from my native Southern California. Up there I flagged down old friends, and considered jumping off the Golden State Bridge.
I stared down that jump all of one afternoon, for hours. I finally “chickened out,” which made me more depressed, then saw an old school friend and his beautiful wife before hitting an AA meeting in town.
Within a week, I finally jumped—into the bathroom cabinet and its pills instead of into that San Francisco Bay water.
It seemed less illegal, but it hurt just the same. My body stopped working during one of those first overdose cycles, and I called 911.
My stomach and diaphragm still don’t always work, eighteen years later, because of what I did. I am now fifteen-plus years sober and off all medication, drugs, caffeine, soda—even sex.
I found parenting and help in God, the bible, Alcoholics Anonymous and wise friends who had recovered from insanity as well.
Being suicidal is scary, confusing, and groundless.
Some do mass murder before they commit suicide, some dream about it while suicidal—I myself had visions of glory’s blaze, stepping out into traffic, jumping off bridges, turning a fast-moving car into a center freeway divider.
Those are potentially homicidal acts, and so the reader should note that being suicidal has a homicidal quality—a lack of care for All life.
What kept me from a lot of those acts was a growing concept of Higher Power, a symbol of the quiet, peaceful Jesus within me. I’d call on it when tempted, and here I am still alive, just for today!