"Death gave me a chance to live"
Every day more and more people disillusioned with their lives are resorting to committing suicide. But a very few survive to live afresh. How does it feel to survive a self-induced death attempt? Let's hear it from a suicide survivor …
हिमानी दीवान 10 Sep 2019 8:15 AM GMT
One night I went to my room and consumed poison. No sooner did it enter my system than I realized that I have committed a serious error. I screamed. Hearing me, my family members readying for sleep, came into my room and were shocked to see my mouth foaming.
Both my younger brothers sat me on the bike and took me to the hospital. The half-an-hour distance to the hospital witnessed me oscillating between life and death. It was as if my body was slowly inching towards death, but my heart desired to live persistently. I had committed an act of suicide but wanted to delete the very incident from my timeline. I was full of remorse.
My life had never been easy, but I always remained positive. Being the eldest child of the family, I fully understood my responsibility. I did dream but never unrealistically. I desired a decent job. I wanted to earn myself a car and a house. I even had a love-life that I wanted to live fully. I wanted to provide every kind of support for my two younger brothers. My life simply revolved around this and I was happy.
Career moved smoothly
At a very young age, I had begun working in part-time jobs. I finished my education which I had supported with the money that I had saved from my jobs. I didn't want my brothers having to do the same so I remained extremely focused on my career which ran smoothly. I don't know when began the vicissitudes of life propelling me to commit suicide.
The love angle which I had mentioned earlier had a very special place in my life. We had liked each other for ten years; we were besotted with each other and had wanted to get married. Love makes a man forget reason. We had also become unreasonable. When talks of marriage began, the caste issue came up — I belonged to scheduled caste and she did not. Talking to our respective families we realized that our marriage is impossible.
We were great friends besides being lovers so we thought practically and parted ways. I did not want to upset anyone. I believed that she would face trouble in adjusting with my family if she married me. Had she not adjusted; it would have bothered my parents. Even more, would have the girl's parent suffered by marrying their daughter 'down' into a scheduled caste family. So that no one suffers, we separated.
Rejected thereafter a marriage proposal
It is not easy to forget one's constant companion of ten years, but I never allowed this setback to become my weakness. Whenever my heart remembered her, it bled, but I buried myself deeper in work. My career was crucial to me. Slowly my life got restored to normalcy.
Once I had to visit Mangalore at work. There I befriended a girl. After long, I came to know that she was an NRI. She had come from Canada to India and was studying medicine. What I had assumed a friendship was, in fact, love for her so she proposed me marriage.
But marrying her would have meant my leaving for Canada to be with her. I couldn't have done it because I had the responsibility of my family and I did want to distance myself from them. I told her that I did not wish to be a part of all that and informed her of my ten-year-long affair. We discussed at length about our situations, but she understood in the end and I parted from her too.
Forgetting every emotional attachment, I again directed my efforts to my career. Fearing the fact that I would be soon past the age, the family pressure for marriage was mounting. I resigned by telling them that I'd marry anyone they'd find for me. I had thought that my love-marriage would suit them. A girl from common background and culture would adjust well and life would be happy. But the reality turned quite the opposite.
My wife sued me
I got married in 2014 and within 3-4 days household acrimony began. We live in a joint family with all my uncles and their families. My wife had desired to live separately from the beginning. I explained to her that I'd fulfill her wish, but it would take a couple of years.
I don't know why but she failed to understand me. While I was struggling to give up living with my family, I was served a notice from the Women Commission. My wife had filed a complaint against me. Thereafter, every week, I had to present myself at the women's cell for the hearing. Under pressure from the women's cell I had to take up a separate rented accommodation. Everyone in my family was worried.
Losing the job
Every Monday I had to present myself at women's cell and therefore due to regularly taking several days off during 2-4 months, I lost my job too. I was in dire straits. I had not enough money to even pay for the commute. My younger brother had to provide me with my travel expenses. I took to walking 4-5 km in order to save my expenses.
While walking upon the road I used to be totally consumed by a singular thought — what has happened to me…I did not wish my life to be so…what has happened to me…what situation had I gotten myself into. I had lost my job, my debt was mounting, my wife had left me, I was distanced from my family and just remained a constant source of worry to them…thinking all this I thought that the end had drawn near. Due to me, everyone is worried so if I die it would put everything right. Resolving thus I came home and consumed poison one night.
And so I committed suicide
My family had sent me to the hospital on time so I was saved. I took 15-20 days to recover fully. I got discharged from the hospital and came home with my family. I still was wife-less, job-less and money-less but had realized my mistake. I had wizened to the fact that no issue is bigger than life itself. As for my family's woes, my attempt at suicide had only aggravated instead of putting an end to them.
Road trip altered life
I resolved to face life boldly but could hardly gather the courage to do so. My family and friends helped me immensely to do so. Only a handful of close acquaintances knew of my brush with death. A few of my friends during that interval had planned for a road trip.
When I was asked, I too thought that I should go. The family initially was apprehensive for me to re-attempt a suicide but let me go eventually when my close and good friends persisted. That ten-day-long road trip transformed my life.
Now when I returned home after traversing through the valley in Himachal and Kashmir I was fully determined not to ever give up in this struggle of life. Courage very gently had approached me and held my hand. I reached up to my wife and asked her what she wanted from me. I told her that I was okay with every decision of hers whether it be a divorce or alimony or reconciliation.
Slowly things fell back in place. Women cell episode ended -- my wife and I started living together separately. I began looking out for a job- I got one. My new job wasn't as great but allowed me a dignified life.
Even today the situation is not good. I do not have the life that I had dreamt of, but I don't allow any cracks in my resolve to live as it comes. I have worked on myself to come out of depression and seek professional help, eating pills and attending several counseling sessions.
Confidence and not cowardice or suicide is the key
People reading me may as well know that suicide doesn't fix anything. To give up on life is also giving up on people who love and care for you. Do speak up, talk to people around you. Try to understand others, assist them in their life and become their support system. A person nose-diving into depression needs the companionships of loved ones much more than the medication. One should always extend support to one's own.
Such is the story of 38-year-old Gagan Parcha from Delhi's Seelampur. He had attempted suicide five years ago in 2014 but was rescued. Till today he is unable to shake off completely the depression that ensued. Life continues to pose challenges while creeping towards normalcy, but he too is determined to live out life — for one lives only once, to brace himself and move ahead without retreating under any circumstance.
One suicide every 40 seconds
As per World Health Organization across the globe 8 lakh people commit suicide every year which means that every 40 seconds a man takes his life. As per the statistics, Indian youth takes the lead in the world for committing suicide. The most evident causes behind the suicides being depression, financial crisis, domestic discord, serious ailments, unmet aspirations and failure in exams.