bipolar suicide attempt hope recovery love



(Journal excerpt)

By Kelly Rentzel


June 5, 2012


Brain Fever

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 left.


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


Dear God,

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.”

bipolar suicide hope recovery