I’m starting this blog out with my very first post from Facebook after getting out of the hospital that had any real substance. I think it belongs here. I think it very much will show my journey, how it changed, and give me a place to see where I’ve come from. Looking back and reading it now, the place I was at was bad… suicide is always bad. However since then I think I’ve been worse in ways. Not suicidal, just different.
On reflection, my hospital experience was by no means a bad one. I was under the care of some very amazing people. I met interesting people who were also at their breaking points for one reason or another. People with many different diagnosis. It wasn’t completely what I had expected. I was scared going in, no PETRIFIED. Expected violent outbursts out of people (which did happen, but not nearly as often as I had expected). I imagined people being held down and drugged so deeply that they could do nothing but stare and drool. I just expected some very scary things. The things that ended up being scary to me? Little things like… no locks on any of the doors… even the public restrooms and shower rooms. No hooks to hang things. Flimsy plastic spoons and forks to eat with, which were promptly accounted for after each and every meal. Things like shampoos and soaps given out in such small quantities so as to not pose a poisoning issue. Random room searches. All drawstrings being ripped from my clothing. No shaving… unless you wanted to be watched of course. It was a world of its own. It was safe, and I actually wanted (and definitely needed) to be there.
After being released I was thrown back into the real world. I had a few days “off” before returning to work. I spent these camping with my parents who had driven out from Kansas to be with me, to try their best to take care of me. I tried my best not to scare them. I was extremely fragile. I was flighty, like a startled bird. But I think I hid these things well. Mental illness is not something my family has ever talked about, and it wasn’t talked about even after my release from the hospital. But even in these few days I had to make Heather take me for a drive. I needed to cry, I needed to reflect and I just couldn’t bring myself to do this in front of my mother, it would hurt her too much.
I returned to work a few days later. I failed MISERABLY. I can’t even remember exactly how many days, no hours… it was only a matter of hours… that I made it through. It was too soon. I was still so broken. I ended up going on a leave of temporary disability and put myself into an intensive partial hospitalization program. I was in this program for what I believe was 4 weeks. It helped immensely but wasn’t without its struggles. Some days were hard. I experienced several panic attacks while there. Other days were actually on the verge of fun and definitely interesting. But this gave me the strength I needed to return to work. It’s still rough. Some days I’m insanely productive, energetic and able… others I sit at my desk and attempt to hide the tears. (later I’d find out just why I was having such fluctuations… but that’s another post of its own).
So I’ve gotten off topic… my original Facebook post is here:
So I’ve been thinking a lot this morning. And realizing that I don’t have to be afraid of what I’ve been through. A friend of mine basically, but not as bluntly, told me that I’m letting my pride get in the way. And she is right. So here it is. I’m putting it all out there because I shouldn’t be afraid of it.
I was hospitalized with suicidal ideation. I turned myself in the Tuesday after Memorial Day for an initial 72 hours because I was afraid I would hurt myself and feared I might do something rash and unplanned. By day 3 I knew I wasn’t ready to go home. They released me reluctantly on Monday so that I could spend the day with Dakota on his birthday. Honestly I probably wasn’t completely ready, but I needed to do that.
My diagnosis… suicidal ideation with major depressive disorder, severe anxiety, Insomnia, PTSD and ADHD. While in their psychiatric care, the doctors, nurses, techs and caseworkers helped me. I received lots of therapy, including some I never imagined. Group therapy and goal setting, nurses workshops to learn about our illnesses, art therapy, hell we even sang karaoke. All this plus one on one with a doctor(s) and a case worker. We talked and talked and talked and talked.
I’m on lots of medication, each one essential to help me through each day. I won’t be on them forever but they have a very real purpose right now. I will also continue to be seeing a psychiatrist and therapist as I was before hospitalization.
The truth of the matter is I’m finding it hard to adjust. I am terrified of going back to work on Monday but I am, and will be, ok. I learned a lot while there. I learned that mental illness is no different from any other illness or injury, it can be treated. I learned that it can be acquired through genetics or simply just develop. I also learned that NOT HAVING A SUICIDE PLAN IS LIKE HAVING A THOUSAND PLANS. This was me. I did not attempt but I couldn’t help but feel like I would be better off not existing. Now I know I have too many reasons to not die. My family and friends being of the most importance. But when you are that depressed… nothing matters.
I’m learning and growing, through lots of tears I am getting there. I’ve got new friends, old friends, new and old family, my parents and most importantly Heather by my side. So this is it, if you read the whole post now you know… and if you’ve been through it before:
My 3 goals for today are:
Getting up. Shower. And dress to look nice
Face the day and try to have as much fun as possible. Laugh and enjoy my parents and fiances company.
Tell myself when I get anxious that I will be just fine. Use my coping skills to bring myself through the moment and just be.