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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Darkest Before The Dawn (Re-Post)

One of my good blog Bud's left a comment on my latest post reminding me that it often is darkest just before the dawn...awesome advice and so true.

Ironically that was also the title to one of the most difficult posts I ever wrote here on Shell Shock Serenade. On December 8, 2010 I wrote in detail about the day i tried to take my own life. It still remains one of the most significant and important breakthroughs I've made not only in blogging but in coming to grips with what I had done and who I was then and who I am now.

I share that post with you again today:  

Darkest Before The Dawn...

I wrote this morning about waking up and feeling quite low, then the feeling passes after a while. What I probably should have emphasized is the fact that this is still very different then how I used to feel. Back in the drinking /drugging days, I would wake up and regret that I was still alive. I really would think "I can't believe I'm still here!". I felt so utterly hopeless then too...

Seriously....I was not an alcoholic who was in denial about my addiction, not at all. I knew what I was and would admit it.....I was an alcoholic and a drug addict.  I just had no real desire to change, even if the drinking or using drugs eventually lead to my death...Hey, the sooner the better! Which it most certainly would have done, I think if I didn't kill someone else first while driving a car. So life choices looked like death or prison. 

Just before I got clean I kept wrecking my car: Hit a tree going 55 mph (the saving grace being I drove through part of a corn field before I hit it or I'd probably have died right then and there), I pulled out of a friends driving way  and rolled down a ravine (landed on my wheels, put it in 4WD and drove torn up SUV right up the side of the ravine, out to the road and home) and lastly I slid into a deep ditch on a sunny, Saturday afternoon, towed it out with my pick up and tore part of the front end off in the process. So....I truly believe that it was just a matter of time before I killed someone else or myself in a car, no doubt about it.

(Warning: The following paragraph contains various, specific details about the attempt to take my own life. This isn't a movie, it happened. Some folks might want to skip this part, it's up to you...)

Honestly though, I believe deep down that I was destined to die a hopeless addict/alcoholic. I just could not see any light in life, not even a sliver of hope. Darkness followed by blackness,  a cold forbidding, lonely, eternal anguish, always followed by pain...more and more pain. Why would I NOT desire death? Anything seemed better then the way I was living, the way I felt at that time. So I decided to die and honest to god I was sure that I had enough drugs to do the job. Sleeping pills, anti-depressants, tranquilizers, pain killers, anti-seizure medication, muscle relaxers and more. I was drunk and had been on a drug (read Coke/Morphine) binge for 3 days....I remember looking at several pill bottles full of the stuff. And then one by one I choked 'em down with a Vodka and Cran....I thought I might puke so I put duct tape over my mouth and laid down to sleep forever....I really believed that was IT.

Yet...I did not fucking die! I came to in the hospital and I remember being so very cold, ice cold to my bones. And the light burned like razors in my eyes. My head hurt, hell I hurt every where. But my heart hurt the worst because I knew that now I had no choice but to live....and I had no idea how I was supposed to do that. I cried but couldn't produce tears. It's like a dry heave cry, a wail of sorts, sobs...I think I would have hit myself if I hadn't been restrained.That moment, tied to that bed I felt as low as I ever had in my life. I had no where to go. I was broke....and broken. I was so afraid, I felt so hopeless and lost...completely w/out hope and really all alone. 

I had no idea then that I was at the crossroads of my life, THE turning point. I would never have to feel that way again (and up until now, over 5 years later, I haven't) and I was beginning a brand new life.

 Of course I had no idea that any of this was going on at the's all the benefit of hindsight. I just knew that once again, I had failed. Failed to die, failed to relieve my loved ones of the burden of ME. Sure they'd be sad if I died but they'd get over it. I knew better then they did what was best....I was doing this for THEM!  What a line of bullshit that was. I was giving up, quitting, I was scared and I wanted to run away forever. So typical of me to run! But it didn't happen that way. Nope....

It truly was the darkest, just before the dawn....of a brand new life.


  1. I'm so glad you reposted this!

    You know, I know all too well of your wanting to evaporate. There's a reason you are still here. You know this.

    I used to fantatize about not waking up - pray for it, even.

    How lovely that we are both here to embrace the dawn.


    1. I's wonderful the we both are around to enjoy the dawn...