Mental Health

A Patient Gardener. “The more I looked around in the days… | by To Write Love on Her Arms | Dec, 2021

By: Shaun Fitl

This piece discusses a suicide attempt in detail. Please use your discretion.

I had decided to face oblivion with bravery. “This is it,” I thought, “I never have to hurt again.” With surgical precision, I made my incision and dove headfirst into coldness. It was a coldness I struggle to describe.

I lay on the grassy ground eclipsed by moonlight in an open field. I was only a short walk from home but I thought I could embrace death with privacy. I had not said any goodbyes and I had not written a letter. There would be no catharsis for my would-be grieving family and nobody would ever truly know why. My life would become a question that my loved ones would ask of God every day about my departure from the world.

Despite my commitment to my suicide, I survived. The warmth returned to my body and the wound stopped bleeding. I was a bit disappointed, to be honest; disappointed and embarrassed about the confession I would have to make to explain my stained sweatshirt.

It was a miracle that I did not succumb.

Did I not go deep enough?
Did I miss my target?
Did an angel sew me up like a tattered rag doll?
How was I still alive?

The questions kept coming and all I could do was resign my despair and return home to my life that remained and a family that would also be full of questions of their own.

“I need to go to the hospital,” was all I said when I walked through the front door. The car ride to Toronto was a quiet one. My mother and I did not discuss much. I had rolled down the windows and was, strangely enough, feeling a bit elated as the night breeze ran over my face. Just a moment ago I was ready to disappear without a trace but now I felt a sense of peace. I felt purged from my old life. I was given a second chance, a clean slate. I had signed away my demons on the dotted line and now I had a new shot.

Upon reaching the hospital I was interrogated regarding my suicide attempt and the nurse was in disbelief. She asked me if I had received stitches to which I responded a confident, “No.” The events of my hospitalization are a bit blurry but I was back home shortly enough and making the best of my predicament.

This was not the end of my story, it was only a brief interlude. The more I looked around in the days that followed, the more I realized how much I would have lost if my warmth never returned. Like gambling in poker, I could not know what the outcome would be until all the cards were on the table. I was lucky. What a blessing for me to be given a second chance when so many others never get the same opportunity. I needed to live life to the fullest now. I knew that I had a journey, a purpose, a raison d’être.

My soul is clinging desperately to this world. Maybe there is something deep inside me that knows I will find meaning in this life? I reconciled with God and myself and the pain that I would learn to appreciate. Like a rose, life is both thorn and flower; beauty and pain. Without suffering would we ever know happiness?

I want my life to be like a rose. A bittersweet reminder to count your blessings and cry your tears. There is nothing wrong with crying. The heart is a flower and it must be watered. I will tend to my heart like a patient gardener. I will take the highs and the lows and everything in between. I want to feel. I am so happy to still feel and it makes me wonder if there is someone out there watching me and protecting me.

I do not want to die anymore. I want to go home like a shooting star. I promise that with my new life I will always try to shine for myself and for others in the hope that we can lift ourselves out of the shit and into the light. Because we are all flowers and flowers only bloom if you are patient and care for them.

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