Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm sorry

I thought I had endured the most painful day of my life. I was wrong.

It was a day full on tension as finances were gripping their sharp claws at our bank account. With Christmas rapidly approaching, the tension became a monster I tried so hard to flee from. I withdrew, I laid alone in our bed, hoping that the monster would give up, and allow us just a shred of hope. The day passed as my anxiety and depression came to greet the monster, feverishly searching for me. The room became dark, the house stood silent. I arose from my hiding place and went downstairs. I was calm, collected, as the darkness grew. I grabbed a drink and went upstairs and began to write my own "I'm sorry". I kissed my kids and told them I loved them and always would. The growl was now coming from inside. I knew there was no turning back. It was my time. I was doing them all a favor. Allowing the monster to consume me in order to spare them. No longer seeing their Mom suffering. No more tears. No more pain. No more grief.

I began to swallow a 3 month supply of a deadly dose of medications. Over 200 pills, handfuls at a time. Desperate to swallow as many as I could. With all 3 bottles empty, I laid back down hoping I had put a end to the monster that so often ruled my everyday life. The last thing I remember is my body trembling and then everything went dark. Success.

Until I awoke from the cruelest of nightmares...

The room was filled with warm light and I couldn't believe it. Sigh, it was just that, a nightmare.

Until I sat up and saw my note and the empty bottles next to me. I went downstairs, told my Husband what I had done and began to make calls immediately trying to find a bed at a behavioral hospital. We decided it was best to go to the ER to check me out physically and to expedite finding a bed. They took me to the back right then and there when I told them what I had done. My blood pressure was through the roof and my pulse was racing. They put me on heart attack watch, and did an EKG every half hour. After a bag of fluids, my pulse and blood pressure lowered. The doctors were shocked that I woke up. Telling me the patient next to me went into a coma with the same medications. That I should have been dead. I spent almost 24 hours in the ER on suicide watch and got no sleep as I heard nurses laughing, patients yelling, snoring and machines beeping. I still couldn't believe it was all real. I was in shock.

I was then transferred to St. Luke's Behavioral Hospital and spent over 3 hours in their waiting room. I was given my phone for 5 minutes to get phone numbers from it and so I could let people know where I was. The shame began to flood in as I sat there alone crying. I couldn't believe what I had done. I always swore to myself that I would never put my family through what I have been through. It was something I felt so strongly about. I think it's the thing that kept me from an attempt all this time.

7 days and 7 nights of intensive therapy, new medication and a bunch of new tools and coping skills to banish my monster. Breathing exercises, meditation, group therapy, individual therapy, classes, groups and even creativity based therapy! It was a very healing and eye opening week.

Seeing the doors open and the bright smiles on my loved ones as I ran to hug my beautiful daughter. Tears swelled up and ran down my cheeks. Tears of pure joy. I didn't want to let go. I held on to my Husband's hand the entire ride home as I felt like I was seeing things in high definition for the first time. Colors were brighter, and I felt like I was flying as I turned on my phone and was overwhelmed with all the texts, messages, and posts. How did I not notice before?

I am ashamed of what I did. I can't take it back. I can't make it go away. But I CAN make the most of a bad situation. I CAN be thankful for what I gained. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

I've had a few people ask me why I am so open about the mistakes and trials I have had to endure. It's easy, because mental health should be out in the open. Discussed just like any other illness. It affects people of every age, race, religion and sex. It can result in death if not properly treated. No more shame, no more stigma!!

If you are struggling with your own monster, please seek treatment. If you are seeking treatment and the monster still looms over you, seek a different provider. Until you get the real you back! Fight for your life! I promise you, it will be the best thing that has ever happened to you! Don't settle for "okay"! You deserve to be happy! If I can be after everything, than I know you can be too!