What Surviving a Suicide Attempt Taught Me About Hope.

Our resident coach in THE LIGHT LOUNGE, Frankie Coté, shares a profound personal story about surviving a suicide attempt and what that taught him about hope and coming out on top. This is a personal account that no matter how bad things can get there is always light at the end of the tunnel if you have hope.

Surviving a suicide attempt. I’ll never forget the night I had my second suicide attempt. I was sitting on the side of a quiet suburban road, near black-out drunk, having failed once more to drink away my problems. There was a chill in the air, and dark clouds masked the twinkling of any stars. For the first time since my suffering had begun I felt quite sure of what to do next. I would lay in the middle of the road and wait for the next car to crush the life out of me. Swift, effective and hopefully painless.

To die would not only end the suffering I knew would return to me as soon as I sobered up, but it would also put a stop to all the disappointment I was leaving deep in the hearts of those who loved me. It seemed so clear to me then. Moments later I had dragged myself into the middle of the road and as I lay on my back and gazed emptily into the starless void I felt tears sting my eyes. How had it come to this? 

As dull vignettes of my life passed in my minds eye, I thought only of the personal tragedy of the last decade, the hate I now held in my heart and the abuse I had been subjected to. I thought then that perhaps my passing would finally make people realise how much they had hurt me. That’s when I heard the sound of an engine in the near-distance. A few long seconds the beams of a cars headlight bathed my face making me squint. Then time seemed to crawl to a stop as I braced myself for deaths blow. 

But I felt no crushing impact. Another moment passed, and then another. I heard a car door opening and then slamming. Then voices speaking quite calmly. 

“Sir, if you don’t get out of the road we’ll have to arrest you’’. 

To this day it seems completely miraculous that the car that had come my way first was a police car on a slow night patrol. Any other vehicle would have left me smeared across the street, roadkill. 

A few months prior to this I had stood on a bridge over a busy motorway and planned to jump only to be stopped by a completely random call on my phone from my Mum. Another staggering display of fortune. 

The Awakening of a Valuable Life

Now I must say this, I am lucky. One in a million kinda lucky, And I don’t for one second count myself special or deserving for this – just extraordinarily, incredibly, deeply fortunate. Every time I hear news of someone who has not made it through, the burden on my heart deepens a little. I can’t begin to comprehend the suffering of those who are left behind and it hurts me so profoundly to think that I almost put those who love me through this pain.  

The gift of life against these odds is something I will never fully understand, nor do I try to, but it is something that brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it. 

Some time after these attempts, I found myself back at home with my family. I was bed bound and incapable of mustering the mental, emotional or indeed physical strength to do anything other than sleep. I ate almost nothing and was in a state of deep rest, completely depressed and feeling like a total failure. I had even failed at dying at my own hand, what good could come of anything I would ever do?

And then, during one of those mingled, lost hours, something incredible happened. I realised, perhaps for the first time since childhood, that right here and now as I lay in the bed I was ok. The pillow was soft and the quilt warm. This simple ‘ok’ feeling made me cry, but not like I had done earlier that day.

This time I cried because I realised that the bed was safe and warm. I realised in that singular moment that I may not have noticed beautiful things like the warm bed for many years. That perhaps my suffering, spite and attempts at self-medication through intoxication had stopped me from seeing things for what they truly were. I realised that things likely couldn’t get worse. I saw that somewhere in the soulless sad darkness there was something vulnerable but strong, something fragile but forming, something that would grow from the damp, dark soil I was planted in – should I let it.

During a moments quiet reprieve I became aware of the fact that I could find a way out. I understood that if this was indeed the bottom of the ocean, then I could give up and quietly drown or I could thrash with every limb and desperately seek the surface. It became clear that I had just about enough breath in me to take me to the top, that it wasn’t the end and I didn’t need to end it. 

During a moments quiet reprieve I became aware of the fact that I could find a way out. I understood that if this was indeed the bottom of the ocean, then I could give up and quietly drown or I could thrash with every limb and desperately seek the surface. It became clear that I had just about enough breath in me to take me to the top, that it wasn’t the end and I didn’t need to end it. 

“That little slice of beautiful hope grew to eventually overcome my entire life.”

Frankie Cote | The LIGHT LOUNGE

And then the darkness settled back in. Sleep took me away to miserable dreams and I awoke having almost forgotten the feeling. But not entirely. 

That little slice of beautiful hope grew to eventually overcome my entire life. Over the 7 years that followed my body transformed from obese to healthy, I overcame my alcohol addiction, I made peace with those who had abused me and apologised to those I had hurt.

With every win, big or small, that little shimmering light shone brighter and brighter. And I can tell you only this, there is always hope, even in the darkest of nights. I implore you to keep your eyes and heart open to it. I hope that you too may be kept safe when life becomes tough, that you may be a survivor like me.

Frankie Cotehttps://www.beinfinity.today
Frankie Cote is an Amazon Bestselling Author and the Founder of BE INFINITY, a life coaching business that helps its clients find the peace and self-love needed to take their lives to the next level. Frankie once weighed 320lbs, drank a bottle of whisky every day, lived with chronic depression and an anxiety disorder and tried to kill himself twice. Having faced his demons and escaped the major rut he was in, he now spends his days helping others do the same.
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