By Kelly Rentzel
JUNE 5, 2012
For the last two weeks, I haven’t been able to get the thoughts out of my head. Driving to work, I saw overpasses and tall buildings – possibilities of death that I weighed and pondered. When writing in my office, I contemplated suicide between every word choice. At social events, I drifted farther and farther from the people before me. I felt completely isolated even when surrounded – and like people were talking to me through water.
[The night before, after talking to friends], I decided to try to crawl out of the pool one last time—just like I had seen Catie in swim class: stomach, knee, knee, out. But an anchor was holding me down. And though I struggled to pull myself—thought that I had by the late night—I was back in the depths Monday morning.
I WOKE UP AT 5:35 KNOWING THE ONLY POSSIBILITY FOR ME WAS DEATH.
It felt inevitable, like it was “written.” I spent time researching the possibilities on my phone. The night before, I had looked up resources and cures for depression; now, I didn’t care – I was looking for ways to die. The idea crystallized in my head. I took a shower. No, I did not feel like “me.” I felt fevered, I was sweating, I felt overtaken by some power outside myself, truly, like I was haunted.
I COULDN’T REMEMBER ANY HAPPY MOMENTS, AND THOSE I COULD RECALLED WERE OUTWEIGHED BY PAIN— FAR OUTWEIGHED BY PAIN…
[I was staying at my mom’s house because I had felt the depression coming on.] I knew I had to breeze past my mother. I would do it quickly; I didn’t want her to stop me. I knocked on her closet door, quietly at first…She didn’t hear me the first 2 times; I considered leaving. But no, I had to say “goodbye.” She half-turned…[and] made me promise to call my psychologist. I promised, but had no intention to do so; I didn’t want any help. I was a runaway train.
My mind churned. Sometimes I would feel okay for a minute or two; then that sick feeling would return. I couldn’t escape the undertow….
I first drove to the drugstore: Unisom. That, according to my google [sic] searches, had worked…I stumbled into CVS. I wandered through the aisles…[b]ut I couldn’t find it, and I felt my plan was becoming more obvious to passersby with each tick of the clock.
I drove to my condo…I left my phone in the car. It was almost out of power, and there would be no calls for help. This was not going to be a cry for help; it was going to work….
I went into the bathroom and tried to take apart my razor….I was unsuccessful, but now bleeding. A lot. I found another razor and couldn’t disassemble that one, either. My hands were covered with blood….
Did I even look in the mirror? I think I glanced.
MY MOM LATER DESCRIBED ME AS HAVING A “HUNTED” LOOK.
Hunted, haunted—I was red-faced, breathing hard, driven by a compulsion I couldn’t explain that was manifesting itself as physical pain. Bolts shot through my arms.
I realized I hadn’t written a note. Words had always been my “thing;” I was a writer. That was my job, that was how I kept up with friends. I was always the one with a poem on a special occasion. But now I was without words…I found a Thank You Note and wrote three short sentences:
THIS IS NO ONE’S FAULT.
YOU ALL DID EVERYTHING YOU COULD.
I AM SO SORRY, CATIE.
I’ve learned the note had teardrops on it. I know it had blood on it. I was. simply. without. hope.
I had one Trazodone; I took it. I turned to the bottle of Ambien; I threw it back and swallowed it in one sure gulp. [There were 57 pills in the bottle.] Then I filled the tub with water, took off my dress…and climbed in. I first lay face-first. I tried to drown myself by dunking my head in the water, but to no avail….So I lay back. Still bleeding, I filled the tub up a little more. Surely I would slip under and drift away.
BUT I WOKE UP.
JUNE 15, 2012
Please help me get over this illness. Please bring me to a better place in my mind. Please make this treatment work. Please silence the dark thoughts in my head. Please help me forgive and love myself.
JULY 3, 2012
Catie: “I’m so happy to be with you, Mom.”
Me: “I’m so happy to be with you, Catie.”
CATIE: “ME, TOO.”