…and consumed around 96 paracetamol
So, I could start with the reasons why, or what happened but I’m not too sure about either. I can speculate about the reasons why, add 2+2+2+2 and see if it equals 8. I’m still piecing together what happened. I’m not sure if the things I remember are my memories, or my imagination reacting to what people have told me happened. Maybe I was so far gone through it all that I don’t remember anything, and what I think I remember is all just a dream. I think the best thing to do is write it all, everything, the entire lot, down. That way, however distorted it all is, I have a record of everything that happened or I though happened.
I woke up. I walked to the bus. I got on the bus. Somewhere on the journey I decided I wasn’t going to college. I still hadn’t done that law essay. Sometime later I decided I was going to take paracetamol. I got off the bus in town, at Sainsbury’s, and bought a packet of paracetamol. I bought another in Boots and another in Moss’. I went to Woolies and bought some envelopes and some bottles of water. I caught the bus back out of Alton. There were quite a few people on it that I knew. Did they know what was happening? I wrote poems in my notebook.
I got off the bus at Co-op and walked into the Square. I bought another packet in Lloyds. Becca’s mum served me. I bought another packet in Sainsbury’s, along with some more water, cheese and guacamole. I bought a sixth packet in Somerfields. I sat in the station and wrote notes to my parents and friends. I phoned Ben from a payphone outside of the station. I said goodbye and explained how his voice was the last thing I wanted to hear. I walked down to the bomb pits. It occurred to me, on the way down there, that I might have scared Ben. I sent him a text saying not to worry. Everything was going to be ok. I was going to become an angel.
I didn’t quite go to the bomb pits. I went along the track and sat on the hill on the left-hand side, next to a fallen tree. I ate the food and started on the paracetamol. Amazing how easily they slid down. I had no fear of them, know what would happen. I felt at peace. It was beautiful out there. All this time Ben was texting me, so I was texting back. At one point, he asked me to tell someone else. So I told Han and Clair. I curled up and went to sleep.
When I woke it was dark. Not that dark though. Streetlights seem to make the night darker and there were no streetlights in the middle of those trees. I puked a good few times. It was powdery and tasted of paracetamol. I turned my phone and looked at my messages. General ones saying don’t do this, where are you? One from Ben. I took it to mean if I was gonna die, he was gonna follow hot on my heels. He claimed it said he didn’t know what he’d do without me. I tried to text back saying where I was. The battery kept cutting out. I sent quite a few single word texts trying.
I put my Walkman on. Delta FM. I sang along. Atomic Kitten – Whole Again. Hearsay – Pure and Simple. Other random stuff
No one came.
I got up and tried to walk back. I wanted to phone Ben and tell him I was ok. It was almost like being drunk, only different. I was uncoordinated, vaguely disorientated. I felt sick.
I think someone in a passing car stopped to ask if I was alright.
I remember hearing a car running. There were people. Two women and a man I think. I was lying on the ground. It was wet. She thought I was 14. At that moment, despite everything, I felt insulted.
Two men. An ambulance. Why did I walk out here? I shouldn’t be helped, they shouldn’t save me. I remember getting up and walking into the ambulance. It was cold. So very cold.
I remember being wheeled into hospital.
A nurse who called herself Pip. Half of me says that mum and dad weren’t there than. Another half of me remembers seeing them there. I’m not sure which is right.
I was screaming and struggling. They were trying to take blood. I was caught up in wires.
I woke up. I puked into a bowl held by mum. Dad was there too. I stayed awake for a while.
The doctors said at some point that my liver could fail. I could need a transplant or I could die.
I took six packets of paracetamol. I think you get about 16 in a pack, so that makes 96. I’m sure I remember taking them all. I’ve heard that a lethal dose is 35. I’ve also heard 13. Either way, I seem to have taken well over that much. Either my body’s a lot stronger than I think, or I didn’t take them all & just think I did. I’m not sure which now. It doesn’t make sense.
On the ward dad went, mum stayed. I didn’t want to see her. She bought me clothes but forgot socks. She went to the supermarket and bought me some – three pairs of sports socks, white, grey and black. I wore black umbro shorts and a fluroescent yellow umbro t-shirt. I asked for a pack of cards, books. I asked for the Virgin Suicides. I played patience and ate fizzy lances, bootlaces, both by the bag.
One friend came to visit. She later said it was like I didn’t know she was there. I was a shell, and there was nothing inside. The thing is, at the time I thought I was fine. I honestly thought that once the drips had been removed I could get up and carry on again as usual.
But nothing was usual anymore.
This was originally written into a notebook, and later placed on Monday Morning Cold on 17 January 2003.