Out of my comfort zone. My first suspension attempt
The hours leading up to my first Suspension attempt were long and slow. I watched the Australian Rules Football Grand final on tv and pretended to care because I didn't want to do too much thinking. I was nervous about the night ahead but also very excited. I feel I was reasonably mentally prepared.
I arrived at the club and the first thing I saw was a big flight of stairs, all I thought of was stumbling down those stairs after the event, not knowing how I would be feeling, I then began to wonder if the place was wheelchair friendly. That is not even relevant to me.
I got up into the club and I was a little overwhelmed, the crew was setting up and it all suddenly occurred to me that I was in a very short time going to have hooks in my back. I signed a release form for the camera crew that was there and answered a few questions. I am not sure what I said, I hope it was not stupid.
I was to be the third to Suspend for the evening but the first person had not shown up so I had the pleasure of Suspending alongside Paul, I must say watching him go up I wished I would be able to do the same. I feel this was where I started to come undone. Previously I had decided that whatever would be would be but now I was watching someone else and telling myself I have to get there too. I had not prepared myself for the possibility that I would not lift off the ground.
I am far from light weight so it was decided that a six point Suicide Suspension would be right for me. My biggest concerns were the rope breaking or the hooks pulling through. It may have been these things that contributed to my failing to get off the ground. While I trust the team the niggling thoughts, no matter how irrational are hard to shake. The pain was never too much to bear; I just could not get my brain off the ground.
I must say by the time I lay on the table to have the hooks placed I was no more nervous than when I first walked into the club. I had been told the hooks are the worst bit so I was ready for the pain but as it turned out the pain was not too bad I did feel the difference when I managed to get my breathing timed right. I now understand why they say take a deep breath and then they pierce in the exhale. I don't know whether 14 years of self injury helped me deal with the pain at all but I think it might have done something. If nothing else I can at least stay still while things are hurting.
With the hooks in I was ready to go, I hopped down off the table and got ready to be strung up. At this point I wished I could see what was going on, I tried to turn my head to see but I'm not quite flexible enough.
I spent some time stepping back and forth and did a little bit of stepping side to side. I was slowly hoisted up as I gave the signal that I was ready for a bit more. I got up onto my toes and then the dizziness started. They lowered me back down but it was not enough, I had to sit down. A few minutes (time is a blur) of head in hands and I was ready to go again. I felt good the second time but then I guess I forgot to breathe and got dizzy again. I'm not sure how many times I got dizzy but I did lie down at one point. I have no idea how long it took me to decide I could not do it.
Once I'd made the decision to stop they brought me down and untied me. I then hopped back up on the table and had the hooks removed and the wounds dressed. As I lay on the table with the hooks still in my back my head felt clear, although I did not lift off the ground I felt something amazing. I am still having trouble putting this into words a week later.
The days following my Suspension attempt brought a strange mix of emotions, I found myself in tears for no apparent reason and then the tears would just dry up again.
I do wish I had lifted off the ground but I am not disappointed with my experience. There will be a next time and hopefully I will lift off but if I don't I will still have gained something.
I would like to thank The Hanged Man Team for their professionalism, hard work, dedication and patience. I am sure that the experience was better for having the right team helping me.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 09 Oct. 2006