Things had been on a steady decline since January. I was doing trauma therapy and that brought up a lot of hard feelings to deal with. Everything came to a head in June. My therapist left me to go to private practice. This was the first therapist I had connected with. Therapy was finally working for me and now I was going to have to start over and find a new therapist. I started having major panic attacks at work and breaking down at my desk. I ended up taking a leave of absence from work.
In July my boyfriend broke up with me. We had only been dating for a short time, but it really affected me. The short time we were together was the happiest I had been in years. Life felt normal and worth living. It was my fault for the break-up. I didn't handle it well at all. I started falling apart.
I was crying all the time. I couldn't get up to do anything. I started having thoughts of suicide. My quality of life was very poor. I was not taking care of myself. I didn't shower for days.
One night it got really bad. After being self-harm free for 250 days I hurt myself really bad. I did not care. I just kept hurting myself. It was like I was in a trance. I remember at one point looking down and I was bleeding really bad. My son came in and sensed something was wrong. When he saw what I had done, he stayed very calmed and talked to me soothingly. I wanted to keep going and hurt myself more and tried to get him to leave the room but he wouldn't. He is the only reason I texted my landlord to see if he could take me to the hospital. I told him what I did. I just needed stitches and I would be okay.
My landlord is my Mom's preacher. He called her and then he called 911. So when he showed up so did the Police and EMS. I was extremely embarrassed. It is scary being a hermit and all a sudden having a room full of people. Everyone was asking me questions. I can't remember what exactly was said, but I ended up in the back of an ambulance and rushed to the ER.
The Police were scary and not very nice, but the EMS were very nice. They comforted me on the way to the hospital. When I got to the hospital the Doctor cleaned my wrists and applied steri strips to close the wounds. They gave me medicine for my anxiety and took all my belongings and made me get into paper scrubs. I felt so alone. They don't allow you to have your phone in a mental health crisis. They take your shoes, clothes, purse, everything. Then you wait.
The next morning I talked to mobile crisis on an iPad. Mobile crisis are the people who evaluate you and decide if you get to go home or to a mental institution. Unfortunately, the EMS workers who were so friendly told mobile crisis everything I said in my home and in the ambulance. I was in distress and said a lot of disturbing things. I was labeled as a suicide attempt and a danger to myself so they committed me to a mental institution. I just wanted to go home. I did not want to go back to a mental hospital. I was very upset.
I was taken by ambulance to Erlanger Behavioural Health Hospital in Chattanooga. That is two hours away from my home. I had no idea if my family knew I was okay. I was worried about my son who was the ultimate reason that I texted my landlord. I had no idea how long they were going to keep me. The check-in process was grueling. I had not slept yet. I was exhausted emotionally and mentally. I was in a tiny room, still in paper hospital clothes. I was at my lowest point.
Hours later I was finally taken upstairs to the mood unit. I was in a unit with about 24 other adults. Most of them were there for the same reason. Others were there for detox. I had a room with a roommate and a bathroom. They locked the bedrooms during the day so you can't sleep all day. There are only two rooms you can go in. A large community room with a TV and a smaller room with tables and games. They had a schedule for everything. Several group therapy meetings during the day. We went down to the cafeteria for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We went to the gym twice a day and art therapy once a day.
The first couple of days were awkward. I kept to myself. I ate by myself. Then one day a guy waved me over to a table full of people and introduced me to everyone. Everyone seemed so normal. They were really nice. We formed a badminton team and played badminton twice a day. It was actually the best part of my day. I found out I was really good at badminton. My Sister and Mom brought me clothes and toiletries. I wasn't allowed to see them. I could make phone calls 3 times a day. Not having my phone though I only called family. I didn't really miss my phone. It felt good to have a break from social media.
I was in the hospital for a total of ten days. I should have been there longer but I lied to get out. The purpose of going to a mental institution after a suicide attempt is to get stabilized. You see a Psychiatrist every day. They change your meds and when they think the meds are working you get to go home. You are asked a couple times a day where your anxiety and depression are. There isn't one on one therapy. Only group therapy. Talking to other patients was actually more therapeutic than group therapy. The hospital was very nice and the staff were amazing.
My family did not want me to come home. They wanted me to stay or go to another facility. Even when I was discharged I knew I wasn't ready. It has been almost a month since I was released and I am still not back to normal. The first couple of weeks being home was really hard. I had crippling anxiety and suicidal ideations. I almost went back to the hospital, but I didn't want to leave my son again. I talked to my Psychiatrist and there weren't any other medications for me to try. I have tried everything and nothing works to control my depression and suicidal ideations. I am seeing a new therapist and I have group DBT therapy once a week.
My wrists still hurt. I have very ugly scars that I am very self-conscious about. I should have had stitches instead of the steri strips.
I am not giving up. I eventually want to save up for Ketamine infusions. It is supposed to work for people who have treatment-resistant depression. While I am saving up for that I am doing a six-week experiment on myself. Trying to see if I can rewire my brain. I will be doing a blog post on that process soon. If you are still reading, I really appreciate you for sticking with me.
If you are feeling like you want to harm yourself or are having suicidal thoughts please reach out for help.
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