In late 2008 I visited the chemist section at Tesco in Pitsea, the Boots in Pitsea centre, the chemist on Pitsea high road, the chemist section at Asda in Basildon and the Boots in Basildon centre. At each, I purchased a packet of sleeping pills. I took them home and proceeded to eat as many as I could. It's funny: They're only little pills and you'd think you could easily neck the lot but I've never been much good at swallowing pills and I could only manage a little over 30 before I could feel myself gagging, and I didn't want to throw them all up. Still, thirty should be plenty. After maybe ten minutes I started to feel sleepy and thought well, here it is and here we are. Just a nice lay down and a nap, that's all. I ****ed this life up, there's just something missing in my makeup which other folk possess which enables them to... just, cope.
So, many hours later - 15? 18? - I woke up. Slightly fuzzy-headed, VERY shaky and wobbly, the wrong way up in the bed, and covered in vomit. Turns out that whilst thirty sleeping pills will surely kill you dead as Dillinger, if you take them all at once
your body will reject them. That I didn't choke to death on my own sick - well, that was just dumb luck I guess. That shaky/wobbly feeling lasted several days, incidentally. It's hard to describe, I just couldn't trust my body to do exactly what I wanted. I couldn't possibly hold a glass of squash or a cup of tea, for instance, without throwing it all over myself. Walking was like I'd deliberately spun myself around a hundred times before I set off. Only a few days it lasted, but it was long enough to wonder if I'd done permanent damage. An ironic concern from a failed attempt at suicide.
Anyway, why I was in that state's not important. What IS important, vitally important, is that I sit here in 2017 gassing to you bumgremlins on KUMB, with my kitty-kat on my lap and my son behind me noodling on his laptop, and my wife - my soul mate, with whom I became involved only a couple of months after my adventure with the pills - sitting across from me, a wistful smile on her face as she watches the Quantum Leap
box-set I bought her for Christmas (it was a childhood favourite of hers; I think it's fuckawful but that's a whinge for another thread), and I thank whatever Gods there are (or aren't) that I was such a ****ing loser I couldn't even get death right, because it was a very permanent answer to what were, after all, transient, temporary problems.
People say it's good to talk and I've no doubt that it is. Still, I really had nobody with whom I could discuss anything. Nobody personal. Not right at that point. I'd imagine that's a large part of why many fall totally into despair and take the final way out. Still, once I'd decided I was still here and going to try again, just a little further, it was the little things that kept me seeing each day through, one at a time.
Little things like KUMB.
The ability to come to a virtual space like this and just make big issues of the fundamentally unimportant, such as football, or music, or film, or bloody Pot Noodle flavours or Toby Keith concerts, kept me at bay from myself. That's not to say that I was able to stick my head in the sand - that would've been impossible, even if I'd wanted to - but at those moments in the day where it might otherwise had been just me and my over-thought thoughts, I was able to plug into a completely light-hearted world where the biggest problems were Duxbury and CB Holdings and which player we could draw best on MS Paint. And it helped, believe. Only a little bit (and there were other such places on the www, not KUMB alone, although KUMB was my most visited place by some measure), but a little bit was enough to get me a little further. And a little further. And a little further, and a little further. Until eventually... well, it gets better, doesn't it? Even if it's something which never goes entirely away, it gets better.
What was my point? I'm not sure. Maybe: If any of you are ever thinking that way, just don't think what you're thinking, and stay here with me a tiny bit longer, yeah? Whatever any of you want to bend my ear about, I'll listen. At any time of the am or pm, for as long as it takes for that tiny bit longer to become a tiny bit longer than that, and so on and so on until the world doesn't look quite as dark, eh? Listening is more-or-less all I'm good for, but I'm not bad at it. And I owe it, to every one of you.