After I packed my clothes, I called Bob’s mom to ask her to come sit with Rachel until Bob got back. My father-in-law answered and said she wasn’t home and didn’t have her cell phone with her. I didn’t tell him what was going on, just said we would call back later.
I packed my contacts and makeup, knowing to leave my meds and other valuables at home. By then Bob was walking in to a hug from our youngest and asking me how I was doing. I stayed strong and didn’t cry in front of my daughter. We called Dr. Bishop’s office since it was still office hours for him, but the staff there told me to call the hospital directly. I called the behavioral health unit and was told to go to the ER since they had closed assessments for the day. Everywhere I turned it seemed I was being palmed off on someone else.
We decided to just drop our daughter off at Bob’s parents’ house, and Bob called to tell his father we were on the way. His father said that would be fine and wished me well at going into the hospital if that was what I needed to do.
We went to St. Dominic’s with very little talk, mostly about logistics and who needed to be notified that I might be going inpatient again. Again we landed in the ER, and again I was taken back to a windowless room with a wooden bed and a rubber mattress and asked to change into disposable scrubs. And again, I was evaluated by a doctor and a social worker and admitted to the intermediate ward and taken across the street in a bus to behavioral health.
The next morning I called my psychiatrist, Dr. Bishop, and asked his office staff if I could be seen that day, that I was having an emergency. I already had two appointments that day—one a check up for my daughter and another a check on my cholesterol. They said the couldn’t see me at all–they were too busy that day. They offered me a 2 p.m. appointment the next day, and I said yes, thinking I could make it that far. I was feeling calmer and not so out of control.
But the further it got in the day after my appointments, the worse I felt. Every time I went into the kitchen for anything, there was that big knife again, with the same thoughts of how much it would hurt to cut myself but how good it would be to be done with life.
I don’t really know what made the thoughts jump on me like that. Yes, I had gotten rejections on my writing but that wasn’t anything new. Yes, I had some thoughts about how I was still upset at my job not working out at the first of the spring semester and feeling like dead weight in the household even though I handled cooking, laundry, scheduling, and some cleaning. But I didn’t want to spend my days doing just that. I wanted to work. I kept feeling more and more hopeless and helpless but held on until my youngest came home from school.
I thought that talking with her about her day would get my mind off of mine. But it didn’t. I finally called Bob at 4:20 p.m. and got him on the phone. I was terrified to start cooking dinner and handling that knife. I told him, “I need you to come on home.”
“Are you okay?” he said.
“No, I’m not. I can’t wait any longer on going to the hospital,” I said.
He said, “Okay. Call Mom so she can come get Rachel and I’ll be home just as soon as I can.”
I went back to the master bedroom closet and started packing. I pulled open drawers in my closet unit and pulled clothes off of hangers to stuff into my large duffel bag. I had the presence of mind to get three pajama sets and three casual pants sets and three sets of underwear. I thought I probably wouldn’t stay longer than that. I would get my medication adjusted or otherwise managed and be out.
“Here we go again.”
That was the major thought in my mind in March 2018 when I found myself being driven to the hospital in Jackson where I had always ridden out my suicidal urges. This time was more serious—I kept imagining picking up the big knife laying on the kitchen counter and chopping at my left wrist with it. Just go ahead and cut it and bleed out. Get it over with; be done with life. I don’t know if such imaginings are what’s called command hallucinations, but something serious was definitely going on.
It had started Monday. I had experienced such thoughts throughout my day through the afternoon. I told Bob, “I need to talk to you,” as soon as he came through the door with our youngest daughter in tow from dance practice.
He sent her upstairs to change, and I tried hard not to cry as I told him where my thoughts had been going throughout the day. We tried my doctor’s office to see if they had an emergency number for him, but there was none. We ate dinner, and Bob kept asking me how I was feeling, if I still wanted to go to the hospital. By now we had made my daughter aware of the situation, and being thirteen and us having recently had a talk about my troubles, she knew the situation was serious.
As we went through the nighttime routine, I got calmer and calmer. After dinner, we decided to watch old Bugs Bunny cartoons on DVD to get my mind off the seriousness of the situation. I sat and watched the classics on the DVD—where Marvin the Martian was introduced, the Barber of Seville sketch, one of the “Duck season! Rabbit season!” sequences, and ended with the “Kill the Wabbit” masterpiece featuring Wagnerian opera.
By then I thought I would be okay through the night. I took a hot bath and went to bed.
I did not win out over my anxiety and suicidal thinking so I wound up back in the hospital Tuesday night in the ER, I had finally gotten an appointment with my doctor n Wednesday but could not wait that long to see him. So I went in and got admitted to the intermediate ward. I’ll write more about it in the days to come as I’m able to process more about it–I’m still adjusting to getting back home and getting my bearings. Just wanted to let everyone know where I had been all this time.
So now I’m dealing with the mental fallout of mu little episode–I’m sleeping and I can’t organize my thoughts to do anything coherent. Going to the grocery store sent me into another little anxiety fit, especially when I got there and realized I didn’t have any checks. I knew if I went home to get them I wouldn’t go back, so I just charged it. I hate doing that. So I got the minimum and will need to go back Monday and get the rest of it. So.
I’m really scared I’ve ruined a friendship with what I’ve been writing. I was talking to an old friend about what I was up to, and he said he’d be willing to look over it and tell me what he thought. And now I haven’t heard from him for almost a week. I know he’s busy and all, but I’m scared something I wrote just went too far for him. And he doesn’t know how to react to it. So there is that to bug me.
I;m so tired but sleeping doesn’t make me feel better. It just keeps the anxiety at bay.
I am much calmer today. I talked to my counselor yesterday and we spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I do this to myself. WE didn’t really come up with an answer, but we have some more appointments scheduled to work on it. Then I went to church and . heard a sermon on prayer that really calmed down my spirit. I went and told the pastor that, and he said the nicest thing to me. He said he knew my struggles (we had been in counseling with him once) and I was an inspiration to him in how I fought bipolar disorder, the fact that I didn’t give up. THat made me feel good inside.That’s all I want is to inspire somebody if I:m going to have this problem , for it to be used for good.
I do not know what to do with this frustration I am feeling. I feel like a failure in every department of my life. I cannot get past this. I do not know now if it is depression or mania. I don’t care which it is. I just want it to go away.