‘Has anyone ever spoken to you about autism?’ my Psychiatrist asked after only 5 minutes of conversation in our first consultation session at the psychiatric ward post my failed suicide attempt.
I tried to commit suicide 12 hours earlier on a Saturday evening. I drove out into the mountains, to be close to nature. I was fascinated by the ferocious beauty of nature, the calmness and the efficiency. The diversity and the plainness. The smells and the sounds. It fascinated me, and that’s where I decided to go for my final farewell. I picked a beautiful spot where I would end my life.
Just some context, I didn’t want to die.
I did not want to die; I loved the adventure of Life!
I was tired. I was drained. I was empty. I was depleted. I was spent.
I also had this feeling while I was driving there that I was ‘outside my body’ like a spectator. I saw what was happening, but I could not stop myself. Almost like being on autopilot on my way to my end. I was aware of every move I made, driving the vehicle, following the path to my final destination with a six-pack of beer and a switchblade in my pocket. I spoke to myself in my head and was repeating the same statement: I am tired…
I reached the spot which I deemed fit for departure from this earth. Had six 500ml cans of beer, swallowed 20 painkillers and slit my wrist…
I thanked mother nature for the full life I lived. I said goodbye to my 2 daughters in my mind and drifted into darkness for the last time…at peace…
…until I woke up!
What?! What the hell happened? Why is there blood everywhere, wait, what?!
It was midnight and the temperature outside was below zero. I realised I might freeze to death, so I tried to fall asleep again. To no avail…
I drifted in and out of consciousness until sunrise.
I had a clear thought: I need to get to a hospital!
I started the car and slowly started driving back along the same path I came the night before. I lost blood and I was weak, but something inside me kept me awake for 2 hours until I reached the Emergency Room at the hospital.
The nurse asked: ‘Sir, did someone attack you? Who did this to you?’.
I replied: ‘I did’.
I will never forget the panic in her eyes…
She immediately called the Doctor and they started asking a lot of questions while cleaning up the gash on my wrist. They stitched me up and booked me into the Psychiatric ward.
In the ward the nurse asked me: ‘Do you know why you tried to kill yourself, Sir?’ and I replied: ‘I have no idea, I am extremely confused and surprised to be here right now.’
She showed me where the consultation room was and told me that the Psychiatrist was waiting for me. I entered the room and the gentleman stood up, asked me to sit down, he sat down and asked: ‘So, please tell me what happened.’
I started talking at a very fast pace about how I saw myself driving up into the mountains with a clear plan to kill myself. I did not want to die, but it was as if I had no control over my actions. I told him about why I chose that spot, I told him about my daughters. I told him about my life. I told him about how great it was to have lived a difficult but adventurous life for 42 years. I told him about my childhood, my parents, my family, my career, my interests, my achievements, humans, physics, mathematics, stars, planets and the history of Homo Sapiens…blah blah blah…all in 5 mins!
He interrupted me by slowly raising his hand in a gesture which meant: slow down, and then he asked: ‘Has anyone ever spoken to you about autism?‘