The day my husband almost died by suicide is a day I’ll never forget. NEVER. It’s burned into my memory and will live there for the rest of my days.
It was November 6, 2017 and we were on a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC. I was there to provide blog coverage for the Breast Cancer 5k Beach Walk and visit the cubs at TIGERS Preservation Station. We were on a trip without the dogs and had hoped to spend time together enjoying the ocean and our beautiful room on the 11th floor of a beachside resort.
It didn’t go as planned…
On the night of November 6th, we got into a disagreement over the trip. He went outside on the balcony and I went into the bathroom to take a shower. I figured we both needed time to cool down before the argument got out of hand. A few minutes went by and, from the bathroom, I heard what sounded like a banging noise on the glass door leading to the balcony.
I thought Brandon had somehow locked himself out there. As I walked into the hotel room to let him in I saw a sight that terrified me! He had climbed over the balcony railing, intending to jump and die by suicide. He was barely hanging on. There was just enough room for the tips of his toes to stand on the balcony floor. He was clutching the metal railing with all his strength trying to hold on. The railing didn’t appear to be all that strong and we were both fearful it could come loose at any second.
In those moments after our argument, he had convinced himself his suicide would be a gift to me. He had crossed the railing intending to jump and fall the 11 stories to the concrete below. It was late at night and the ocean was crashing hard on the beach outside. It was loud and cold and I was frozen in place by fear. I was afraid to rush to him yet was always afraid to stand still. In my terror, I couldn’t do anything but stare at him and silently plead for him to cross back over and come inside. A few seconds later, he was able to shuffle his feet over and climb over the railing back to safety. We both collapsed and were so thankful that he was still with us. It was a terrifying day and something we’ve never understood, until recently as we’ve come to understand tolerance withdrawals and how they affect the brain.
We are doing our best to work through these benzo withdrawals and he is healing, slowly, but he is healing. We are seeing improvement week to week and month to month which is giving us hope that soon our lives will settle down and feel back to normal. It’s slow going but it’s going and that’s what matters the most to us right now. And, every day since that day in November, 2017 I’ve thanked God that I still have Brandon by my side.