February 2009 or: How Not to Kill Yourself

On February 1, I attempted suicide. I had purchased materials within the past month, and had everything I needed to produce hydrogen cyanide. When I finally began the process, I was unable to get the gas to condense correctly, so I turned off the burner and stoppered the apparatus. However, I had inhaled enough that my heart began to race and I passed out. Two hours later, I awoke because I had to pee.

My breath was coming in gasps because of the cyanide. It took about twenty minutes to even stand up. I stumbled across the room to unlock the door, and called the cops. As I was on the phone with the dispatcher, I got a call from Alan. I decided it would be bad form to switch over on an emergency call. Moments later the cops barged in. I stumbled out of my room to the stretcher, and they wheeled me out. On the way through the lobby, the evacuees from my floor looked scared for some reason.

The only thing I remember from the ambulance ride was saying “this oxygen tastes like shit,” which absolutely no one found funny. I had to answer questions about how I procured cyanide about fifteen times. Somehow it was hard for them to grasp that I bought the chemicals on eBay and Walmart. Once I got to the hospital, I was catheterized and given an antidote intravenously. It made my urine purple for a week.

Apparently my situation was quite serious, but no one told me. Thinking back, one of the nurses did say something like “you might not make it through the night,” but I thought she was just being nice.

In Lincoln, suicides are put in emergency protective custody in the Lancaster County Crisis Center. After a good visit on the 2nd from several friends (and Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Juan Franco), I was shipped there and put on Zoloft. I have yet to discern a change from the meds.

Anyway, after 24 days in the Crisis Center, during which I met several extremely interesting people who I will be able to tell stories about for years, I was released and returned to Leavenworth to live with my parents.

Having said all that, I have some remarks:

1. To all the people who visited me in the crisis center, thank you very much. Just having one visit made the days much more bearable. I only wish I could have reciprocated for all your generosity, but I suppose I still have time. I assure you I am very appreciative of everything you all did for me.

2. This is absolutely the last thing I want to talk about. Oh, if you’re curious about the mechanics of it, I can give you a play-by-play of cyanide poisoning, but the whole emotional part of it is just annoying.

3. Today I baked a delicious cake.

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