If you missed it, here is the story of my multiple suicide attempts. That story is a precursor to this, which is why I've called it The Aftermath.
In my relatively short lifetime, I have put my body through absolute hell quite a few times. From starving it and over-exercising, to binge drinking, and finally with five attempted suicides in three weeks this past spring. Needless to say, this latest abuse has resulted in some long-term issues, some of which are most likely permanent. So let's talk about my broken body, shall we?
Since experiencing my first seizure in June (following my Gravol overdose), I have had 7 separate MRI's of my brain to determine just how badly I messed up my brain physically with my attempts; one of these scans was done while I experienced an induced seizure to map the parts of my brain that were affected by them. Sounds fun, right? It's really not, at all. But luckily we did learn something from these scans: I suffer from Photosensitive Epilepsy, meaning flashing lights/crazy patterns/some video games and animation can induce seizures for me from now on. This is relatively good news, because it means that I can still drive and I don't have to take medication for it (for now, at least).
I have also managed to completely disrupt my natural circadian rhythm, exacerbating my already debilitating insomnia. Even with the adjustment to my medications, I still only manage to get about 4 hours of sleep per night, and that is usually spread out over 8 hours of attempting to sleep. As it turns out, chronic sleep deprivation can really mess you up, and has been one of my main roadblocks on my road to long-term recovery.
I have always had food issues, but I basically broke my digestive track by taking too much of basically everything. My body no longer produces the "hungry" feeling, so I have daily alarms that go off reminding me to eat. As well, my body has been having issues with absorbing nutrients and retaining fluids, so I'm basically in a constant state of under-nourishment and dehydration. Slowly this is getting better, but it means that I am constantly drinking water and taking multivitamins. A side effect of this side effect is that I rapidly lost 25lbs and have had trouble putting them back on, and have to live with a constantly shaking body (my hands and legs are the worst) as well as a perennial "floaty" feeling in all of my limbs from the lack of nutrients.
Other side effects that I live with that haven't been explained yet: a constant, unshakable headache; short-term memory deficiencies (now I just write everything down...if I remember to); hormonal imbalances; and worst of all, a ringing in my ears that so far has refused to cease.
I did come out of this incredibly lucky--I still have 100% liver function, 85% kidney function, and my adrenal glands appear to have been unharmed. I've been subjected to hundreds of tests this summer, and the bad news has always been out-weighed by the good--thank the gods, right?
Not everyone is so lucky, unfortunately. Failed attempted suicides can lead to permanent damage to major organs, and in the worst cases, leave the person in a long-term coma that they most likely will never come out of. So, please--if you, or someone you know, has even a slight inkling of self-harm, find help. Whether online, through your family doctor, or just walking into a clinic and letting them know what you are thinking--please, please, put down the knife/pill bottle/noose/gun, step back from that ledge, and remember that you are loved. You are needed. You will be missed. There is no shame in asking for help.