What to do after you almost died

Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by Birdy, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    So, about 4 months ago now, I tried to kill myself and came...horrifyingly close. I won't share details unless requested, but I really did almost die.

    I was institutionalized for a bit, then was in outpatient, I'm back living my life now with supportive therapy and things are good. But I still feel really bizarre about the fact that I Almost Died. It's so strange and uncomfortable, and I feel like I need to just talk about it, to make it more real.

    Anyone else out there with similar experiences? Not just suicide necessarily but having your life be in serious danger. What did you do afterwards?
    • Like x 1
  2. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Apparently once or twice, and... I dunno, it just never seemed interesting or important to me, because it didn't happen, so... Not a thing?

    But I'm an outlier adn should not be counted.
    • Like x 1
  3. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    that wasn't very helpful
    • Like x 7
  4. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    thanks man

    ive been trying to do the therapeutic thing and think on stuff that makes me uncomfortable so that's kind of why it's on my mind

    conceiving of it as "normal..." idk
    my instinct is to say I'd have a hard time with that cause ive gotten in the pattern of thinking of myself as abnormal so this is one more abnormal thing

    but yeah, maybe just making it...more a part of myself...just another thing that happened

    idk. I think i need time and distance for that to work, but thank you.

    anyone else can still post if they'd like
    • Like x 2
  5. Jemmy

    Jemmy Don't Do A Hit

    I've come close a couple of times, myself, though not through any suicide attempts so I don't know how helpful my thoughts will be? But a couple of times I've been really close to dying, like, when I was younger and my family got into a car crash and the furniture that was in the car with us was a few inches from hitting my head, or when I nearly fell off a very high cliff.

    i think my actions are kind of in line with raybots suggestion? in that, i just kind of tried to accept at the time that it was a very, very near thing, but that i also had to accept that it didn't happen, and wouldnt happen in that very specific way, because that was in the past. i also didnt really shy away from thinking about it all that much, but since my brushes with death didnt involve suicidal ideation i dont know how helpful/safe that may be for you? but if this is at all a help then im glad
    • Like x 3
  6. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    yeah that does help. I think the main thing is like...distance and time

    humans are pretty resilient, considering. so like after a while it just becomes less a thing. I guess I feel too close to it.

    it was really shitty and painful and terrifying - im not showing post-traumatic symptoms or anything. but it's hard to forget.

    the scariest thing for me at the moment is, one day I'll have to die for real. i'm pretty scared of that.

    thank you though
    • Like x 3
  7. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    way more people are glad at me for mouthing off to seebs than are willing to offer advice, even if it's just to say "witnessed" or something

    i understand but like. the purpose of this thread isn't mouthing off to seebs. thanks for your time, but if you don't feel like you have anything useful to say to me (again even if it's just like "that really sucks I'm sorry), please go elsewhere.
    • Like x 2
  8. Penumbra

    Penumbra hiding under cloth


    hopefully the next hospital visit is for a happier occasion.
    • Like x 2
  9. Alska

    Alska Well-Known Member

    Ay, same hat. I just got out of inpatient after a suicide attempt like, last tuesday i think. I probably dont have much advice bc im already the point of "well that happened, lets forget about it now", but witnessed and sympathy fistbumps, hugs, whatever's wanted. Feel free to vent at me like or ask questions if you want? I'm definitely here to chat if you need.
    • Like x 4
  10. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    thanks man. it's really late for me but I might pop into your messages if I'm ever thinking on it. let me know if you can't talk about stuff at any given time.

    I'm glad you lived. I'm glad we both lived.
    • Like x 1
  11. Alska

    Alska Well-Known Member

    Yeah np, feel free to message me at any time!
    Glad youre still around too <3
    • Like x 1
  12. Fucker

    Fucker Well-Known Member

    ive had a few "dodged by a second" scenarios, such as a truck driving towards you in the wrong lane and speeding cars missing you with short of a foot, when i was young i fell out of a boat and ive probably been close a few other times

    ive even more watched quite a bit of accidents and almost accidents, that narrowly avoided people i know dying. and one incident where it actually was fatal (that was a stranger though)

    its a really weird feeling. im not exactly traumatized by it. i think, i was a very paranoid kid. i always felt like death was just around the corner but now im just kinda shaken back like
    what? that actually happened?? like i should feel something but i dont really yknow. it kinda feels unreal. like if i had walked a bit faster the car would have got me, how if the train stopped a few feet closer my friend probably would be dead, how if i had missed the ferray that one time i wouldnt know what someones death screams sounded like

    sorry if i went off topic its just REALLY WEIRD and i can relate to you feeling uncomfortable and i feel a lot here too, im glad you survived but sorry you had to go through that, witnessed <3 its ok to feel "strange" about it because its a pretty existential thing, and it can maybe be useful to talk about it or try to dissect it and kinda analyze the feelings you feel? i dont know but you may feel good really reflecting on it and aknowledging that it was close but that youre still here, and that because of that its ok to have a lot of complicated feelings and emotions about it

    not sure if its helpful but i have a lot of weird feelings about these things and i think i get what you mean, if you ever need to talk im here
    • Like x 4
  13. Mercury

    Mercury Well-Known Member

    Witnessed. I'm glad you made it through.

    I think the most life threatening situation I've been in is when I was very, very sick with a nasty kidney infection that had gone from an annoying reoccurring UTI to septicemia in two days. It felt unreal, kind of in the way that disassociation feels like, especially since I'd very nearly talked myself out of going to the doctor even though I'd woken up with a nasty fever in the middle of the night. For a while, whenever I thought too hard about it I had this moment of... you know when you slip and almost take a nasty fall but catch yourself, that 'ohshit' moment? It was that. I had some bad brain stuff going on at the same time as well, so my feelings were pretty complicated on top of the existential weirdness. I mostly tried not to go out of my way to think about it, but let emotions about it happen when they happened, and that helped. I do wish I'd talked about it more to other people, though; I don't think trying to process it all on my own was very good for me.

    It's been some years since that happened, and at this point it's faded into the background as more of an interesting but unfortunate thing that happened than anything. It doesn't feel weird for me to think about, like it did when it was still fresh.
    • Like x 2
  14. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    Witnessed. I'm glad you're still here.

    I have kind of been in a similar situation, though it's hard to explain. Mostly for me it's frustrating to know that I did almost die and that nobody actually knew. I've only told a couple people about it in those exact terms - that I nearly died, as opposed to just, like, other details of the events. People know stuff happened, but they don't know that it nearly killed me.

    Now, whenever I worry about death and the fact that I will die someday, I console myself by reminding myself that I won't have to worry about it when it happens because I won't exist. This only helps because I don't believe in any kind of life after death, but it is a comfort to me. The idea of nonexistence is scary but I remind myself that when it happens I won't be afraid because in order to be afraid I would have to exist. Not sure I'm phrasing this very well.

    It feels weird for people to not know, even though it's not something I want to go around telling everybody. There are just these moments sometimes where you're looking at the people around you and thinking, they have no idea. Not like "they don't understand" - maybe they do, maybe they've also had a near-death experience they didn't tell people about! - but just... they don't know. And you want to be able to mention it when it's relevant, you want to be able to talk about it without conversation screeching to a halt because of the taboo.

    Because of my epilepsy, I could drop dead at any time for no apparent reason; this is called SUDEP. This was scary until I considered the fact that this is technically true for everyone. Anyone could die at any time for any reason. The chances of it happening to me through SUDEP may put me statistically at a higher risk, but on a moment-to-moment basis, what does that percentage actually mean? Not much. Or rather, it doesn't have to. I decided that there was no point worrying about it, because worrying wouldn't change anything. That doesn't mean it doesn't still scare me, but it's comforting/fortifying to remind myself.
    • Like x 2
  15. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    @Kami i am going to ping you to my boyfriend's thread cause you and he have similar experiences re: the deaths of strangers

    Mercury, I feel like the same way: that sudden jerk of feeling where you're like oh shit I almost died. (It's actually kind of funny that that was your experience; it wasn't what put me in danger but once I was out of the hospital I got a massive kidney infection cause I'd been on a catheter)

    Again, I guess it heals in time: one of those things you have to sit with and let it be in you. It sounds like that's a couple of people's experiences

    Elph, hard fucking same on everything. Like, when I first came back to school, I realized none of my dormmates or classmates knew how much danger I was really in, like they knew that I'd been on med leave but not the circumstances. Like, there were times where I wanted to scream "I ALMOST DIED I ALMOST FUCKING DIED" because it felt so wrong and terrible to have people not know when it was all I could think about.

    I do really wish I could talk about it more with my friends and stuff, but like it's so heavy I don't want to do that to them.

    Oblivion comforts me too. Nothing above, nothing below, yeah? It's more the *process* of dying that scares me, cause...it's painful and terrifying, at least with what happened to me. I guess next time I could go in my sleep.

    I think what I'm most worried about is that it'll happen again. The best predictor of a suicide attempt is...a previous suicide attempt, so.

    On the other hand, 80% of people who attempt once don't do so again. I hope it was scary and painful enough for me that I don't try again.
    • Like x 3
  16. hyperfuck

    hyperfuck they/them

    i'm very glad you're still here, and proud of you for being

    i kinda know what you mean. it took me weeks to even properly wrap my mind around what happened/what i did, i was so continuously out of it

    this is highly relatable, i felt the same way about it, it was like, an all-consuming sort of terror, "oh my god, what did i do, i can't believe how close i got" and then not being able to stop thinking about it or stop feeling the need to share with people around me that Something Happened.

    it felt so important and significant and paralyzing but i *couldn't* and didnt tell any of them about it for fear of being hospitalized, and because-- what would they even do or say, after the incident had already passed? i didn't want to have deal with the awkward platitudes, especially since most of those people can't even handle an entry-level conversation about mental illness without saying something stupid.

    not that you being scared or in pain is a good thing, but i hope you dont try again, too. i like seeing you around

    here is an offer you dont have to take or respond to: if you ever feel like you Do want to try again, i'm Officially Extending my invitation to come talk to me instead, if you like. doesnt matter where or when or why. also extending an invitation for more casual conversation instead of the loaded shit, pf, if you want.

    have comfort birds. (attach)

    take care of yourself today, alright? do something nice that makes you happy: reward for surviving all the things you have. you've kicked the ass of Every Single Day of your life, to date and that is a mighty accomplishment that deserves recognition and praise

    Attached Files:

    • Like x 4
  17. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    thanks for the birds, and for the offer. I'll pm you if these kind of things are on my mind.

    I'm glad you're around too
    • Like x 2
  18. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    I never felt like this in school, because my entire life was based around making sure no one knew anything about my mental health but yearning for a confidante - since I was a kid I dreamed of having a friend who I could actually talk to about everything. The "wanting to scream I ALMOST FUCKING DIED", for me, happened when I was no longer a student but all my friends were. tl;dr my entire social life offline was constant reminders of what happened, and listening to people talking about it so casually I just wanted to be able to say "hey, glad to hear how that's going for you, I hope it doesn't NEARLY FUCKING KILL YOU the way it did to me!"
    I was at risk for months afterwards, albeit much lower risk. My friends knew something very bad had happened but they didn't know that had been life-threatening. I didn't want to tell them that, partly because one of my housemates spent her entire adolescence nearly dying from anorexia (seriously, it's a miracle she's alive and not physically disabled), so it felt petty by comparison.

    I wish I had a good piece of advice on this bit. I will say that what I'm starting to do with my brother, who previously was on the (very long) list of People Who Must Not Know About My Depression, is telling him some updates casually during small talk - so instead of doing the "How are you?" "Fine thanks, and you?" script, I'm occasionally saying "I feel really bad right now, not for any reason but it's been a difficult day because of that." He's responding well to it, in that he's letting it be a casual subject rather than Deep Heart To Heart material.

    I worry about this too, that I won't have a final moment of peace, but I try to remember that it's not like I'll be around afterwards to go "aww dangit, I didn't have a final moment of peace, I finished on a down note!"
    • Like x 2
  19. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    That's cool with your brother, about not having it be a Huge and Deep Subject. I'm close with my sister...maybe I could try to establish that sort of thing with her? Or one of my friends.

    It sucks that you couldn't talk about it. Part of the reason I think I got to the point that I did was I was trying to be Strong and Adult and Self-Sufficient, which are things I kind of had to revise my definition of afterwards.
    • Like x 3
  20. Elph

    Elph capuchin hacker fucker

    Yeah, that might be good.
    Oh god, same same same. Since I was a kid I've wanted to be an adult - long story - but I was so relieved when I finally reached adulthood, and then it turned out that I can't actually adult in the way adults are expected to adult. And not just in the sense of "ahhhh being a grown-up is harder than I thought!", but in the sense of "I have not passed the landmarks our society expects of a 24-year-old and am not capable of being self-sufficient to the degree expected of me and which I expected of myself". I've had to seriously re-evaluate my own standards for strength and adulthood too, since I've now had more life experience than ever before (well, obviously, passage of time and all) and yet I've spent most of my adult life becoming increasingly unable to function.
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