My World in pieces *Trigger warning: suicide attempt*
Hi, I been having a really hard time lately. Me and my husband are struggling a lot. All started a few months ago when he started drinking more excessively. He has always been drinking but most times quite well under control.
Iust noticed that he was getting less interested in activities and already started drinking in the morning on our days off. I was getting more depressed and unhappy with the situation. I told him it could not go on like this and that we would have to change something. He wanted to move out straight away an told me he also didn't want to live like that anymore, he said he felt to much pressure of doing work on our big property and paying off the mortgage.
I was very disappointed and did not think he would give up our relationship so easy. I am also very sad to sell the house as it was always my goal to live in a place like this.
Just before Christmas we put the house on the market and I found a small place in town where I can manage to live on my own.
We had three weeks of holidays and my husband was drinking more and more. When it was time to go back to work he called in sick most of the time and stayed home. A week ago on a evening shift I got a phone call from a neighbour that the ambulance had picked my husband up and that he was trying to take his own life.
I was in complete shock, and it was very traumatic to see him in the state he was at the emergency. I was very relieved that he did not succeed with his attempt but also had a very hard time believing that he did this in the first place.
He has agreed to go to the MHU voluntary and he is feeling very ashamed and sorry for what he did.
For me it just feels like an absolute nightmare, trying to juggle organising everything, packing up house, visits at the MHU meetings and still Keep working and also informing family about what had happened.
He is back home now the last two days and he promised me he stays sober untill the move is over and that he wants to help me. He also said that he would like to make a rehab later. I just feel very uncomfortable, after being really happy the first few days that he is still alive, now I am also very angry that he left me with the whole mess. I am also trying really hard not to upset or trigger him because I am so scared that he will go straight back to drinking or has another attempt to kill himself.
Sorry it has become a bit long and my written English is not that good. I just had to get this off my chest somehow.
Just when I though that everything has settled down, it is getting really bad again.
We had our last meeting with the relationship councillor yesterday and all seemed quite clear and positive to me.
My husband has started drinking again but he didn't think that he has a problem with it, he says he's just drinking because he likes it. And that he loved his new freedom and he feels much better without the big property and me not putting pressure on him. He would like us to be good friends.
I stated that I feel said, that he chooses the alcohol over our relationship. But I am happy that he is feeling better I also enjoy having him around with the option to not have him to close when he is drunk. And I also would like us to be good friends.
We went for a long walk in the afternoon, had dinner together and all seemed fine. I had a work shift today in the morning and after I was asking my husband if he would like to join me for a swim at the beach. He was still in bed and said he was to tired, strong alcohol smell. When I came back he was still in bed and I went upstairs to to some stuff. When I went downstairs to get the washing I could hear him sobbing in his room. I went to see what was going on and he was in a mess again. He told me that he feels that he has destroyed my life and that he is absolutely worthless and that he really just wants to die. I could not talk him out of it. I had another shift to work tonight so I asked him if it is ok if I ring up his best friend because I didn't feel comfortable leaving him alone. He agreed to this. I also asked him if it is ok if I put all his meds that he needs for various reasons away and if he needs any tonight. He said I can take them and he has not been taking any of his meds in weeks, which shocked me a bit.
His friend texted me some time later and told me that he was going home and that my husband is ok. I was not convinced, he is such a good actor, so I finished my shift early. He is just a shadow of himself, he told me to let him alone sleeping. I left my dog with him in the hope she can comfort him a bit.
What can I do? Is it ok to ring his doctor and talk about him and my concerns without him knowing? What can I do if he does not want help?
Thanks for reaching out tonight on the Beyond Blue forum,
We're so sorry to hear how depressed and low your husband has become over the past week. We can hear how concerned you feel and acknowledge how stressful a situation this must be for you both.
If you feel your husband is at risk of self-harm or is feeling suicidal, we would strongly urge that your partner seek professional help. They may want to get in touch with their doctor to speak these feelings through and to discuss their withdrawal from medication. If you feel your husband is at immediate risk of self-harm or suicide you can take him to the Emergency Department of your local hospital or call 000 (triple zero).
We would encourage you to call our Support Service on 1300 22 4636. We can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week with counselling support, information and referrals. In addition to this, counsellors are available on Lifeline via phone or web chat which you can access through the link provided: https://www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat.
We hope that you keep checking in to let us know how you're going, whenever you feel up to it.
I'm sorry your husband has gone back to such a depressed state, something alcohol will not help at all.
I can well understand your reluctance to leave him alone, but have the pressure of work too. While ringing his friend was an option, I'm not sure if that was enough - it really depends on the friend's reliability and knowledge.
I guess there are two options open, the first is if you believe him to be in immediate danger you ring 000. Emergency services will come, assess and if necessary take him to hospital.
The second option is to call a CATT team, who also come and assess, then conduct the person to safety if they beleive they are not able to safely look after themselves.
As I'm unsure if you are in Qld or elswhere the following page lists them - or their equivalents - for each state and territory
While you could talk to his doctor it might allow you to give input, but the doctor would not be able to reveal to you any matters concerning his patient. Nevertheless it might help the doctor get a clearer picture.
I think under the circumstances the dog might have been a good idea, however it is only a very stop-gap chancy measure and longer term solutions are needed.
Apart from your husband Both Sophie_M and I have been concerned about you. Living and feeling responsible for a person who has had suicidal thoughts and actions, and may do so again, is terribly stressful and frightening.
Have you been able to seek support for yourself? It might help you understand no one person can keep another alive, it takes a team including medical professionals - plus a small spark from the person themselves.
Please fell you can pop in here anytime and talk, we may not answer straight away but do care and will answer when we can
Dear Croix and Sofie
Thank you for your kind replys. This time we got back to "normal" a lot faster than last time.
I was really unsure whether I should have called the ambulance or not, since this time my husband had not taken any action of taking his life he was only talking about wanting to do it. For the next day he stayed in bed with a blanket over his head, refusing to communicate only telling that he feels worthless and that he is a burden.
After two days he was sober again and the next day he went straight back to work. Which in some ways is great but then there is always the question in the back of my head, when will he have the next break down? We try and work out strategies on how he can prevent getting so low. It seems always to be the combination of feeling depressed and way to much alcohol.
I am also quite confused, then his first breakdown he said he had because I was putting to much pressure and control on him. And as a result we half separated and we both live our lives now much more independent. But now he struggles because it feels like we have separated.
I don't get any professional support for myself at this point and I don't think I really need it. Me and my husband went to a relationship councillor a few times and he did help us with our communication. I do talk to my family and friends about the situation and it helps me to write here in the forum. I think I actually have become mentally stronger and more independent in the last few weeks. I know now, that I am more capable of doing things by myself, than I ever was aware.
I am really hoping that my husband finds a way out of his crisis and finds a way to enjoy life again.
I'm please to hear that things have improved for a while.
I'm afraid that one of the big stresses in trying to look after someone who has suicidality, alcohol and other mental health problems is uncertainty. You don't really know what is best.
I can well understand your wondering about if you should have called the ambulance for example. All I can say with that one is if he has the means and immediate intention to harm himself or another there can be no doubt - you call.
Trying to make sense if it is not easy either. On the one hand being told he needs space and not be pressured and controlled. Then after trying that saying he needs you there. There is no real logic, just actions you take for what seems best at the time.
Actually I was encouraged by your post, not so much for you husband, though that was good, but because you do have you own support system and are also feeling stronger and more confident in yourself -that's wonderful.
Please let us know how things get on