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One Year Ago (in 2 Days)

One year ago, in two more days, I was hospitalized for my depression. I was suicidal. I had a plan. I was going to take all the pills in the house, drink a bottle of alcohol, and die in my bed with a note that said I was sorry.

I was going to die. I was ready to die. I was sorry that I couldn’t make everyone happy, let alone make myself happy. I was sorry for everything and sorry that I couldn’t make it right.

But I told my counselor. I told someone what I was going to do. And they suggested hospitalization. I cried, for the entire hour I was there. I cried on the way home. I cried while packing. I cried to my best friend. I cried on the way to the clinic to get assessed, and on the way to the hospital. I was scared and worried. But my husband reassured me that this is what would be good for me to do. It wasn’t to harm me, it was to help me.

So, I got to the hospital. Intake took forever. But, Justin was there with me and was calming me, holding my hand and loving me and all my shortcomings. He was my rock when I was in the storm.

The hospital was fine. The first night was scary. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. They strip-searched me, which was scary and embarrassing, but I didn’t have to do the “squat and cough” thing, because, fortunately for me, I was on my period at the time. I got settled into my room and fell asleep.

The week to follow was great actually. I was pretty much stress free. I saw a doctor everyday and attended group therapy, which was really more of a joke than anything. I was able to call everyone everyday. I missed my friends and family though. I was able to see people Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I guess I knew then that things weren’t right at home. I was gone for a week and I knew that Justin was up to god knows what. We didn’t have much trust, but I was hoping that this was his wake up call. When I got back home, I wasn’t so depressed, until it came time for me to go back to work.

Work was a major stressor. I had panic attacks before and during work. The last night that I worked, I panicked and went home an hour after being there. Justin was pissed that I left early, I was just glad that I was able to go home.

I should have known then that things were different. That things weren’t the same at all, everything was a mess in my marriage. But I looked over it with the thought that he was just stressed out because of my episodes. I never realized how he really felt, because he kept everything so deep down inside of himself. When I asked him if he wanted out, he had said no. We lived like this for months.

It’s crazy how much can change in a year. I was diagnosed with Major Depressive disorder and PTSD in the hospital. My diagnosis has changed to Bipolar II disorder, Borderline personality disorder, and PTSD. I’m getting my medications checked on monthly, I’m attending therapy with my case manager Lisa, and I’m sleeping when my body tells me I’m tired. I am blogging more, whether it’s on here or on my Facebook page. I’m talking to people. I’m taking baby-steps to get back where I was. I’m making huge strides in becoming more self-aware. I am learning what I can handle and what I can’t, learning to put up boundaries for myself and my sanity. I’m learning to take better care of myself, like showering daily (yes, I know that sounds stupid) and washing my face each night. I’m learning to let things go. I’m learning what I want in life.

I’m doing a lot for myself. And I’m taking this time to reflect on my time in the hospital and all the trials that led up to that point. I’m visiting this moment with the knowledge that I am no longer that person that I was a year ago and that’s OK. I realize that I was in a down swing, and it’s ok to have those moments and that I will have more of those moments in the future. The goal is to let those moments pass and know that the sun will rise through the darkest night. I realize that my marriage falling apart wasn’t my fault, and that I did everything I was supposed to. It’s ok to visit these moments and reflect on what they offer, and then we need to move on.

My problem is the moving on part. While I realize it does no good to dwell on the past, my heart is still broken over these events. Eventually, with therapy and support from those I love, I will be able to turn the page from this chapter of my life and move on to the next. I have some faith and hope that things will turn around for me in the future. That I will find the one I’m supposed to be with and love with all my heart. Justin was not a good man for me. And that’s ok that I learned that lesson.

A year ago, I was a different person. It’s time to turn the page.

Herds

Sheep or cattle

it doesn’t matter

herded through doors and halls

all day long.

Led this way and that.

No one really knows

where we’re going

what we’re doing.

You have a purpose

or at least that’s what they say.

Things will get better

if you flow this way.

Like a river flowing

or cattle moving

you just have to go with the current.

Don’t move away from others.

Participation is necessary.

It’s all bullshit anyhow.

Go with the flow

like cattle or sheep.

Following blindly

led by the blind.

 

I wrote this on the second day at the hospital.

Home

After a week of being in the hospital, I’m home.

I’m flattered that my co-host, Amber, was nice enough to post for me. I had asked her to at least update everyone, I know that my posts had been very depressive and upsetting and maybe unsettling. I didn’t want people to think that I had actually killed myself or something. I also appreciate all the kind words that everyone voiced. Thank you.

I am home now. I’m happy and nervous at the same time. I missed home. I missed my husband and my dogs and the comfort of my own bed. But I knew that I needed help, more than my family or my therapist could give.

I’ve always struggled with depression and the thoughts of suicide. What scared me the most was how violent the thoughts were. They were vivid and loud. And it was overwhelming.

As you can remember, I didn’t want to go to therapy, but I went. And I had my husband with me for support. I told my counselor about how bad the week before was. She looked at me with concern and asked if I had a plan. I had. She asked me what I thought about hospitalization. I told her that it was exactly what I didn’t want to do. I was afraid of it. It terrified me. There was no way. But we brought Hubby back in and she asked him about hospitalization. He thought that maybe it would be good.

They called to see if a bed was available. There was. They wanted to meet me at Weatherford to be assessed.

I was terrified. Crying. Screaming inside. This is not what I wanted. Hubby told them that we would think about it.

On the way home, I asked why he thought it would be good. Get me stabilized. I agreed. I wanted to go.

We got everything ready. It was harder than I thought. I cried. A lot. Packing was harder than I thought. It felt like giving up. Everyone kept telling me that it wasn’t giving up, it was something good.

The whole time, I was concerned about family. I didn’t know how to tell Mom. I didn’t know how to tell anyone. I talked to Amber. She was supportive.

I met my sister in Fort Worth. She said that she would tell mom.

When we got to the hospital, it was scary. I was with Hubby in the waiting area, and they did another assessment when we went back on the unit. I was scared and crying. Hubby was supportive.

I finally got in my room at 1 am. It was after they did a strip search. It was scary. They didn’t see me naked, but they took my clothes and searched them. I guess for drugs and sharp objects. For safety. I understood, but it was scary. They also wanted a urine sample, again scary.

So, there I was, in a strange room, dark, with a stranger in another bed, who had just been yelling because we woke her up. I fell into a, surprisingly, restful sleep… Only to be awoke at 5 am because I needed to see the doctor.

I didn’t even see the doctor, they took my blood. I sat there in the day room wondering what I was going to do.

I did get to see the psychiatrist. It was around lunch time. Yes, I know that I skipped over most of the morning, trust me when I say that nothing exciting happened. I think I slept.

The first meeting with the psychiatrist lasted all of two minutes I believe. I sat down, looking nervously at the big man sitting in the corner with my chart. He looked at me, said “22 year old female who cuts herself, you must have some unresolved sexual issues. Am I right?” I just nodded, I had been abused, I guess, as a child, there are thinks that I don’t remember. And then there was that rape. So, yea, ok I could agree to that. He prescribed medications. Sent me on my way.

That’s basically how the first two days went. He increased my meds the second day I think. And constantly asked me about my unresolved issues, had I worked on them? No. The reason I don’t like him, “I talk about things you don’t like to talk about.” ok….

So I finally I started going to groups, making friends. Yada yada.

I’m more stable now. I feel pretty good. I’m staying home from work. But I’m ok.

I have a final diagnosis of MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) Recurrent, severe without psychosis. And PTSD, he actually called it something like PTSD with deflective or defective sense of self — I can’t remember which, because I couldn’t understand him most of the time (not because he had an accent, I just think that it was because I was tired and nervous.

For the record, I have another appointment with a different psychiatrist on the 30th of this month. I’m needing him for maintenance of my medications, and probably further diagnosis. Hopefully, this will be one that I can understand and talk to for more than just a minute or two.

So, that’s it. I’m back. 🙂

Updates Regarding Preslee

I believe an introduction is in order! I’m Amber (not Preslee) and I will be your host this evening (more like afternoon here). I know what you’re thinking- STRANGER DANGER! So let’s get to know each other.

Here’s some background on me: I’m a friend of Preslee’s from our brief stints at college. One of the things we share is our struggle with depression and related issues that she covers in her blog. I am also a blogger but mine covers my experiences as a nanny for a little girl with Down syndrome and a sister to three teens with special needs. You can check out my blog here: http://fromear2ear.wordpress.com/

As you will notice, Preslee is going to be M.I.A. for a bit. I could tell you that she is away on a magical adventure or busy being knighted by the Queen, but Preslee has given me permission to disclose her whereabouts and wants me to keep y’all posted until she returns.

Three days ago, Preslee had an appointment with her therapist. She had really been struggling this past week, more than usual. She told me that she has days where it’s really bad, but never for a week straight. That’s something I understand from experience and will hopefully find the strength to delve into in another post. First, let me tell you something I’ve learned about Preslee: this girl is a fighter. She’s been fighting and fighting but this illness is something that can drain you of your will to live before you even see it coming. She’s been doing all the right things- finding a psychiatrist, a therapist, scheduling and attending appointments, taking meds, talking about it- but everyone’s strength has limits when it comes to this. Here’s where she blows me away… no matter how badly she wanted to skip it, she went to her therapy appointment on Tuesday and told her therapist everything. I am so proud of her, y’all have no idea… it’s hard enough to admit to yourself when you need help, but admitting it to a professional, knowing that it is likely to cause concern, is brave. That’s just how Preslee is- brave.

After disclosing her struggles with resisting suicide she was sent to be evaluated for hospitalization. Later that night she was admitted to an inpatient program at a mental health facility and so far is expected to be there for about a week. She called me after her initial appointment and kept me posted. What I remember most was that she was scared. So was I. I’m so in awe of how brave she has been. I honestly don’t know if I could do it. Her decision to get help before taking her own life is something that words cannot describe for me. I know she worries about how her depression affects her loved ones, her mother and husband especially. She’s selfless in her pursuit of healing and now needs to do it for herself too.

They doctor at the facility has her on Neurontin, Seroquel, and Celexa. What we don’t understand is why he’s having her take Seroquel PRN throughout the day when she was only taking it at night. Today he upped all her dosages and still isn’t explaining things very well but Preslee is doing well considering. It’s been frustrating for her because he has her on Seroquel 24/7 and then talks super fast every time she sees him, which is always for a very short amount of time. It’s pretty much ridiculous to expect anyone to follow what you’re saying when they’re constantly tired and never given a chance to ask questions. Long story short, she’s doing better but still has a ways to go. She’s also gotten official diagnoses that I will go over in another post after I do a bit of research.

 

I really respect her honesty with y’all. I still haven’t been able to publicly discuss my struggles with mental illness, so she’s been a very good example for me in that regard. Maybe someday I can be as real as she is. 🙂

I tried to keep it light, but the ugly truth is that mental illness is anything but light. Our girl Preslee is a fighter, and is on her way to recovery because of the healthy choices she made. If there’s anything y’all want to tell me about yourselves or anything you want me to tell Preslee, let me know in the comments!!! I’d love to hear from her readers!

 

From Ear 2 Ear on Eros & Psyche,

 

Amber