As you read in part one of the series, Marty made a suicide attempt on Christmas morning. Though much was involved, the last straw was being unable to buy Christmas gifts for his sons. He’s safe in the E.D. now; and according to Marty and his wife, Michele, here’s what went down over the previous 12 hours.
It seems Michele and their two sons were staying at her parent’s house Christmas Eve so they could get an early start on the morning’s festivities. Marty had been out and returned drunk to his in-laws late in the evening. After talking things over with Michele a decision was made for Marty to return to their home and come back for a family gathering in the morning.
So there was Marty in their trailer this morning; distraught, probably hung-over, and without a clue as to why he should continue living. It remained unclear exactly what he used to inflict the multiple lacerations on each wrist, but he did an ample job. Fortunately, though they were nasty looking, the cuts required no sutures. As fate would have it, Michele had driven to the trailer to check on Marty, and she got there just after what I believe was round one of his suicide mission. Michele’s call to 911 brought help and a trip to the E.D.
By the way, Marty told me he had lethal intent when he began cutting on himself, and was displeased with his first effort. And he’d told Michele, as EMS was arriving, that he’d only try again after he got home. Of course, he’d have had no idea he wouldn’t be going home.
Here was a good guy absolutely decimated by his undiagnosed and untreated anxiety and mood pathology. And, of course, his family’s immediate circumstances only exacerbated his distress. Though Marty confirmed he’d been drinking occasionally, I learned from Michele he’d been buying street Xanax, smoking weed, and ingesting just about anything he could get his hands on to medicate his worsening anxiety and depression. How sad is that? But common, nonetheless.
I don’t do this all the time, but I shared my panic, anxiety, mood, and alcoholism history with Marty. And I made sure I shared that in the early 80’s agoraphobia had left me virtually housebound. I could immediately see a bit of hope in Marty’s face and eyes as I placed that on the table.
Well, there was a very happy ending to the case. It seemed as though Marty had had enough, and knew he had no fight left in him. So when I returned to tell him he’d have to be admitted psychiatrically, which is often a very tense moment, he allowed as how that would be fine.
So off he went to the unit an hour or so later. And his future, and that of his wife and sons, was definitely in his hands. Had Marty truly had enough? They’ll all find out, won’t they?
As always, we’d love to hear from you. If you were to offer your comments on Marty’s story, what would you have to say?