It’s hard to go through depression. It’s hard to have suicidal thoughts. It’s hard to be put in a hospital. It’s even harder to get back to reality.
In the hospital, everything is easy. People tell you what time to go to bed, what time to get up, what time to eat, take your medicine, when you go to therapy, when you can go outside. You’re cut off from social media and the outside world, there’s a whole world living inside a building. And it has its own schedule, its own ebb and flow.
The reality of the world is that life doesn’t work like that. There is no one to tell you when to do something. No one to make sure you’re following your meds. Mostly you’re on your own. And then there’s work, life in general and the stresses that brings, social media, and your very own mental illness to deal with.
When the doctor tells you for the first time that you’re bipolar, it can be jarring. It’s not something that people want to hear. But it doesn’t have to be something that brings you down. It doesn’t have to label you. It just means that you have to manage the world differently, keep up with the medications and doctors visits, go to therapy if that helps you, make sure you get adequate sleep, eat right, things like that. But you learn to manage with that. And you can. It’s been done before, you can do it.
And you don’t have to do it alone. I’m here. I’m here for you. I’m here to help. I’m here to make sure you take your meds and eat, but you have to let me in too.
I’ve been in the hospital, I know how low stress it was compared to out here. I know what it’s like to not want to face the reality of going back to work. I also know how it feels to not be able to do it, not be able to face it. And I can tell you that it’s ok.
The point is, I’m here. And I’m ready and willing to help when you’re ready.
My dearest love,
I miss you. I wish that I was by your side as you’re going through something so profound, something so brave. You’re going through the hardest days you’ve ever had to face, and you’re facing them alone. But, please, know that I’m with you in every way I can be.
I miss you. I miss your smile and your laugh. But those have been missing for a while now. So maybe, when you get home, those will return with you.
I want you to know how proud I am of you. You’re making progress and taking care of yourself. I’m proud. I’m a proud wife. You’ve been working so hard to take care of everyone and everything, it’s time to take care of you. But I’m proud of you, because what you’re doing is brave. It’s going to make you better and stronger. You’ll look back on this and be thankful for the experience that you’ve gained, the skills that you’ve learned. I’m proud of you.
I know you’re scared. It’s a scary place, a scary time, and you’re alone. But you’re going to be ok. We’ll be ok. You’ll come home soon. You’re so brave, you’re braver than you think.
I can’t wait til you get home. We’re going to be stronger together. The girls miss you, but not as much as I do.
You’re brave Babe, braver than anyone I know. And you’re strong. I just need you to hold on a little longer.
I love you to the moon and back.
My heart hurts.
Last night was the first time I’ve been on the other side. The one letting someone take the one I love into a hospital, knowing that I’m going to have limited visitation and calls. Watching security guards surround him as he tried to go home. Because all he wanted to do was go home. Watching as the police came to get him, to take him away from me where I could not follow.
Last night, my heart broke. But I know it’s for the best.
Suicidal thoughts have a way of sneaking up on someone and taking over everything. They consume and they do not discriminate. Depression doesn’t care if you’re white, black, hispanic, male, female, gay, straight, or bi. It takes and it takes all.
So when you say that you’re depressed, I listen. And when you say that the images in your head are scaring you, I’m scared for you. Because I know exactly how that feels. To be trapped in a cycle of images that ultimately want to break you, break your mind and spirit and your heart. Its hard, it’s scary. But you don’t have to do it alone. And when you say you need help, were going to get you help.
Last night I felt like my world was ending. I know it’s not, I know it’s for the nest, but it hurts. My chest hurts. My heart hurts. Breathing hurts.
Last night I felt like maybe I made a mistake. The doctors give you weird looks when you tell then you’re suicidal. Sure they say they want to help, but do they really want to?
Last night I took my husband to the er because he was struggling. He was struggling more than I could help him. I’m only human, I’m a CNA not a doctor or a nurse and I can only do so much to help. So I took him to the er.
For the first couple of hours he was ok. But as the night dragged on, because you know they take their time, he wanted to go home. So he wanted to leave. We unhooked him from the machines. He was feeling better and he wanted to go home. We put his shirt on and headed out the door. The nurse called security. Did you know that if you tell the er that you’re suicidal they put you on suicide watch and you can’t leave unless you’ve been cleared by a doctor? And usually the only way you’re leaving is to go to another hospital. They called security. We made it to the parking lot. We were surrounded by 4 security guards with attitudes. He just wanted to go home. They took him back inside and searched my purse. It hasn’t been an issue until then. Finally at 3am the cops came for him. They took him away to the mental hospital.
Love can be a hard thing. When you love someone, you want wants best for them, even when it’s scary for you. I’m scared for him. I know he’s in the best place he can be right now. But the not knowing is killing me.
I love you baby. And one day this all will make sense and will be nothing buy a memory.
So I had a bad panic attack today. You know the kind… the shaking, can’t breathe, crying, feels like your heart is going to explode, all of it.
I would have been fine, maybe, if I had been able to distract myself, or if I had my emergency medicine. But I couldn’t. And I didn’t. So I felt like I was dying. To make matters worse, I was at work. I was on my lunch break. I should have been fine.
Those of us who deal with panic attacks on a daily basis know that they can come from nowhere, can be triggered by anything, even when you are doing nothing at all. Including sitting outside on your lunch break.
Personally, even though I know all of this, panic attacks make me mad. I know that it’s a system misfiring, my fight or flight system going off when there is no apparent danger to me, I know this. I know I have panic attacks. I know that I have a panic disorder. But they make me mad. Because, in the end of it all, I feel stupid. I feel like I should be able to handle myself at work, even with the stress, because I do work a stressful job that likes to throw me some curve balls. I feel like I should have a good reason to be triggered. And sitting outside on my lunch break before I have to go back to work should not be a trigger. Work should not be a trigger.
It takes so much out of me when I have a panic attack, especially ones like today. With the shaking and everything, I’m just worn out. And of course, all I wanted to do was go home. So I did the only rational thing I could do, ask to go home. Well… that only got some raised eyebrows. Why? Because I couldn’t find the DSO, the one in charge that would tell me if I could go home or not, and when someone finally got ahold of them all I got was “Go to the ER”. So this nurse puts me in a wheelchair and is wheeling me down to the ER, and I’m just trying to remember to breathe and not bawl my eyes out while saying I don’t want to go to the ER, I just need to go home. We get there, and they all look at me to check in. Another nurse from the ER comes up and asks me what’s wrong and I tell her that I’m having a panic attack and that the DSO sent me down here. And she said something about me not having chest pain or being short of breath. Well, duh. So I calm down enough to call the DSO, she’s still telling me to go to the ER. I say fine and I call my husband to come and get me. I go and grab my things from the 4th floor. And tell them that I’m leaving, noticing that they are making a call to the DSO too. So this is just turning into a mess and a half.
I finally clock out and just leave the building. And while I’m waiting on my husband, my boss texts me and asks not so politely why I’m leaving in the middle of my shift. And lo and behold, there she is, pulling up next to me. “You, I need to talk to you. Walk over here.” So I follow her. And she’s got her hands on her hips and asking me what’s going on. I explain again, and start crying again, because I’m still having a panic attack and she’s only making it worse. “Well I don’t understand how you can have a panic attack while you’re on your lunch break.” Well aren’t you lucky that you don’t have to know how it feels?
So I’m probably going to be written up for sure this time, because she told me this counts as an absence. And she’s telling me that I’m not dependable and she needs dependable people she can trust to do their job. And I totally get it. And I’m trying to be that person. But I couldn’t be that person today. Because when I’m having a panic attack, it’s not safe for my patients. I can’t focus like that. She tells me that I need to see a doctor and suggested that I go to the ER. The thing with going to the ER is that nothing is going to be done there. It’s a panic attack, not a heart attack. They will send me home.
But this got me to thinking, how many people truly don’t understand how debilitating a panic attack can be? And instead of being so hard on someone about it, why wouldn’t you want to help them? I understand she’s a boss, and it’s her job to be tough and get things done. I get it, I really do. But when you have an employee crying in the parking lot, I would imagine a little compassion can go a lot further.
Panic attacks are weird things. People experience them in different ways. Whether they are being silent and staring off into the distance, or making a scene (like I did today). Panic does things to people. And I doubt that any two people go through them the exact same way. I shake, my face turns red, my heart beats fast, I hyperventilate. But there are times, too, when I have a panic attack and I simply get sick to my stomach, or stare off into space.
For those who need a little further explaination:
“A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack, or even dying. Panic attacks typically begin suddenly, without warning. They can strike at any time – when you’re driving a car, at the mall, sound asleep or in the middle of a business meeting. You may have occsional panica attacks or they may occur frequently.
Panic attacks have many variations, but symptoms usually peak within minutes. You may feel fatigued and worn out after a panic attack subsides.
Panic attacks typically include some of these symptoms:
- sense of impending doom or danger
- fear of loss of control or dying
- rapid, pounding heart rate
- trembling, shaking
- shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
- hot flashes
- abdominal cramping
- dizziness, lightheadedness, or faintness
- numbness or tingling sensation
- feeling of unreality or detachment”
So a lot goes into a panic attack. And if you have panic attacks and face each day the best way you can, you’re a bad ass. Just saying.
I’m doing better now. Just resting. I hope everyone has a great day.