Before my most recent hospitalization, I was asked to write a piece for a mental health blog on “11 Small Victories Over Depression.” I accepted the assignment, despite being depressed and feeling like crap at the time.
I waited until the last minute to do the assignment in January and wrote all the usual things—how getting up to face the day was a victory in and of itself and worthy of celebration. How listening to uplifting music and reading uplifting books could help your spirits. How prayer and gratitude could help you get through the day when depressed. I wrote a good article. Trouble was, I didn’t believe a word of it at the time.
So in February I sat on my unmade bed at home on a Friday afternoon and weighed several factors–were the thoughts constant? Yes. Did I have a plan? No, not really, not beyond a vague idea of stuffing my head inside a plastic garbage bag. Did I think I could survive one more day thinking this way without breaking down where the kids could see me? No. Did I have a reason to be suicidal? No, not really. My life was fine. What kind of disruptions would I cause in our family life if I left the house to go to the hospital? Not sure. How long would I be there? Not sure.
I had already had to cancel Rachel’s eleventh birthday family party because her sister Amber was sick with an upper respiratory infection. Rachel herself was still coughing after going to the doctor on Tuesday. The family faced minimal disruption because it was only a couple of weeks until spring break.
Waiting on going in until after spring break was impossible—I needed to be well for the dance trip to Mobile and the family trip to Natchez we had planned for the vacation time. I wondered idly if I got admitted today if I would be in long enough to miss the local dance competition on the next Saturday and decided probably not.