ICUsteps
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Coping with emotions and rejection from family after suicide attempt left me in ITU

I am 3 months after spending 5 weeks in ITU in a coma on life support with a tracheotomy and then another 7 weeks on HDU and then a liver ward after multi organ failure due to an overdose. I had had my children taken me by social services a few weeks before for not being able to care for them properly due to my many and complex physical issues. I felt useless after that and sick of being in pain and so so lonely. But now, having miraculously pulled through (the doctors told my family that I wouldn’t survive) my parents and my eldest daughter won’t talk to me. I get how seriously horrendous their experience would have been but now I am even lonelier without their love. Has anyone else had any similar experience and if so, did the family come round eventually and how did you manage to stay strong enough afterwards to not go down the same route. I feel disgusted with myself and so selfish but that guilt just adds to all my other negative feelings xx

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Oh my darling lovely Lara, how my heart aches to read your story but how wonderful it is to hear you have survived.

Firstly, welcome! This is a lovely group of people and if you have a local icu steps group, please do attend the next meeting.

Secondly, as a teen I tried suicide 4 times due to my mental health being poor. I didn’t know at the time but my Mum’s first Husband had committed suicide and she was massively scarred by the event. She found my diary and burst into tears when I detailed in a typical juvenile way how I hated my life and my family. If I could take back that pain I caused her, I would, but at the time my pain was more unbearable than anything else and it consumed me. They will come around, they are just hurting.

Thirdly, people say suicide is selfish and I wholly disagree, however it does impact the people left behind therefore unfortunately you have not only been to the depths of despair, you also now are faced with the fall out for the people who would have had to face life without you. They will come around eventually and time is a great healer. It’s just a massive shock for all of you.

Fourthly, I am 20 months post coma and my emotions have never been on such a roller coaster! The only way I’m still here and still standing is through the support of the NHS, some new anti depressants and monthly massages, seek them out if you can, I believe they really help with my stress levels.

Fifthly (which is not a word!), my emotions are compartmentalised and my personality is different to pre-coma but you are only 3 months out. You will get back to your true self but it is a marathon not a sprint. Please please seek support from icu steps, this website, your GP and if you can, your ITU team at hospital.

Thank you for reaching out, I hope we can help xx

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Hi there Lara. I'm sorry for what you've been through before your overdose.

It is good that you pulled through and hope you are getting help for your mental well-being. That will be a good space to discuss how you felt and how your family are treating you. Maybe later there could be time for family therapy.

Do you have any residual symptoms (physical or psychological) after your harrowing experience?

All the best in your recovery. Here's love and well wishes coming your way.

Xx

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