Irene's suicide attempt
Cape Town - In her darkest hour on Friday, the singer Irene van Wyk was convinced that no one cared for her.
With her pocket full of pills and suicide in her heart she got into her car intending to drive to Johannesburg Airport on the way to a performance at Lambert's Bay on the Cape west coast. At that stage it was a matter of where she would end her life.
"I just didn't have the strength to cope with everything around me. The pressure had become too much."
"I'm a strong girl. I've survived big setbacks. But at that stage I felt I couldn't cope any more. My own son refused to speak to me. The newspapers were 'quoting' things I'd never said. It was unbearable."
Irene told Die Burger on Sunday that she didn't seem capable of making anyone happy any more.
"I didn't know how I could get onto the stage at Lambert's Bay and face people as such a fraud and a liar."
Irene sent SMS messages telling her former husband, the embattled music promoter Louis van Wyk and her son Vaughn about her plans to take her life.
At the Arcadia Hotel in Pretoria she drank the pills bit by bit.
"I couldn't get the last lot of pills down, and that's why I continued to live.
Meanwhile there were frantic efforts to find her. Vaughn reached her on the phone when she was already slipping into a coma.
"They didn't know if I was already in the Cape or not. They phoned all the hotels in Pretoria."
Irene had locked the door to her room on the 14th floor from the inside so that no one could reach her.
"Someone climbed through the window to open the door for the paramedics," she said.
Irene said on Sunday she was still alive because there were people who took the trouble to go and look for her.
She realised that "there are many more people who care for me than I thought."