Last year is a very hard subject for me to talk about. I was at my lowest point at this time last year. Memorial day weekend of ’19, and I tried to kill myself.
After having been manic off and on for almost a year, I crashed. The worst low I’ve ever had. I had been drinking about two bottles of wine a night and then having hard liquor occasionally on top of that. I wasn’t sleeping except a few hours each night. I would wake up early with the girls, go to work when my husband got home, get off at ten or eleven that night and go to the gym, then come home and work on my blog for an hour or so. Then wake up the next morning and do it all again. I drank an entire pot of coffee during the day, and two large Monsters at work each evening. When I stopped the drinking, I started averaging around a hundred calories of food and drink a day.
During this time, I lost forty pounds. I almost lost my husband numerous times, and could have lost my life many times over with the bad decisions manic-me was making. After the crash I would find myself looking longingly at my prescriptions each night when I took them. The feeling that enveloped me scared me enough that one night I told my husband I was afraid. I was afraid that I would give in to the feeling of longing and take all the pills.
So we called my mom, and she came out that very next morning. I packed up my things, said goodbye to her and my girls, and let my husband drive me to the hospital. I was admitted to the psychiatric ward that day. It wasn’t my first time being admitted so this time I kind of knew what to expect. But that didn’t make it any better. There are some who feel more comfortable in that setting, and then there was me. I hated it. It was cold and I was limited on what I could wear. The huge windows in the rooms had no blinds or curtains, obviously, which meant I was met with the bright sunlight every morning with nothing to use to block it out. As a sufferer of migraines, it was hell.
Another obvious issue was the privacy. I didn’t need privacy, I needed to be watched. And I was. The bathroom doors didn’t click shut and were low enough that if you walked up to the door, you could look inside. The nurses and aides ran check-ins every so often, so that meant if you were in the bathroom for a second round, you were getting looked in on. Which leads me to the reasons why you’d be in the bathroom for more than one check-in. You were either pooping or showering, and yes, you did both in a circle bathroom of about four feet in diameter. Because you had to leave the bedroom door open at all times, everyone on the ward knew who was pooping and who was showering. I found it humiliating.
On Memorial day, something happened. I can’t go into the dark details, because I’m not ready yet. It’s been exactly one year today, and I still can’t talk or write about it. To skip to the end, I shouldn’t even be here. But I am. I’m here, sitting on my living room couch, while my family sleeps. I’m in a new and better town, in a much nicer house. I’m not working so I get to enjoy every evening, weekend, and holiday with my family. I can go to the gym when it’s not eleven at night and sit down to write anytime, as long as my kids are giving me a chance.
Something or someone was looking out for me on that day. Something that knew my parents didn’t want to bury their only daughter. That my husband didn’t want to lose his soulmate and my children didn’t want to lose their mother. After coming home, I struggled with this a lot. I’d randomly get flashbacks to it, and start crying at the fact of what could have happened. I felt selfish and sick every time. I had so much in my life going for me at that time, I just wasn’t in the right state of mind that day to see my life clearly.
It was clouded. My illness had warped my mind into thinking I was “saving” everyone from living a life with me in it. As I sit and type this, my chest is growing tight. I know I have a lot to live for, and I know that those thoughts and feelings were purely the illness talking. No one would be better off with me dead. Especially my family and friends. But that’s a part of it, the illness. It’s these thoughts and feelings it puts you through, over and over until you give in and believe. I know now that it wasn’t selfish of me that day, though I still feel it sometimes. I was a victim of a disease of my mind.
Turns out, that’s not so easy to type out. But it’s true nonetheless. I was a victim, and I survived. I’m here. I get to wake up next to my wonderful husband and see my beautiful girls every single day. We laugh and play, and I thank the gods that I was saved that day. So as I sit here and think about last year, I tell myself to shrug off the guilt and shame, and just be thankful that I’m alive. That my family and I are far better off than we were last year. I just need to focus on that, and I can get through this day.