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Grapevine : January 2012
I lit a cigarette, took a big pull from the glass of vodka and began to roll up my sleeves. There I sat, on the lawn of my home behind my garage, in the dark. I had a box cutter, a half pack of cigarettes, a flashlight, vodka and a true desire to leave this world. I planned to open the veins in my arms and let my life flow out. I knew there was going to be some pain but I believed it would be short-lived. The trauma no longer concerned me at all. The thought of not being alive anymore had become so attractive to me. I began thinking that when the folks who wanted to foreclose on my home called me the next day, I would be dead. When the folks who wanted to repossess my car called me the next day, I would no longer exist. The fact that my water had been turned off by the city would no longer concern me. I wouldn’t need the water. I wouldn’t have to vomit blood anymore. I wouldn’t have to face another day of terror, bewilderment, frustration, fear and shame. Suddenly, I began to hear voices and radio communications in my backyard. I could see flashlights flash- ing around and more voices. The voices and the flashlights drew clos- er. I was spotted. These folks shined their flashlights into my eyes. They introduced themselves as members of the police department. They asked, “Sir, are you planning to hurt yourself tonight?” I sat there on the lawn with my sleeves rolled up, a box cutter in my hand, my flashlight lit, and my glass of vodka, and I replied, “No.” I think these officers had some detective skills because they did not believe me. They were very nice to me as they explained that I would be go- ing with them, and there were three of them so I chose to comply with their request. The policemen took me to the hospital against my will. I do not remember the trip. I do not remem- ber arriving at the hospital. The next event I remember is waking up in the emergency room with this guy sitting near my gurney. I asked him what was going on. He told me that he was just there to keep an eye on me. As the morning began, I was moved out of emergency to a room against my will. Nurses were putting pads all around me. I asked them what the padding was for. They told me it was to safeguard against sei- zures. They applied monitoring leads to my chest. The nurses were all very nice to me. An aide stayed with me 24 hours a day to make sure I stayed put. I was confined to my room. Then the psychologists, doc- tors, psychiatrists, and social work- ers came to see me. They all had long lists of questions for me, like: Do you drink every day? Do you ever drink alone? Have you ever had a drink in the morning? Have you ever had a blackout? Do you ever drink more than what you initially planned? Do you ever gulp your drinks? I answered aagrapevine.org 49 GRAPE_47-51.indd 49 11/14/11 4:38 PM