This post may be the hardest I’ve ever had to write. I’ve had a horrible summer and have spiraled out of control. I call my decent into depression spiraling, and it has gotten the worst I think it’s ever been. It started a few weeks ago when I stopped caring about the house and doing productive things. I’d been taking pictures of the adoptable dogs at the SPCA and just stopped as I didn’t feel like going. Everything seemed pointless and worthless. I didn’t notice it at first. I would spend my days in a burrito in my bed either sleeping or staring at the walls. I did nothing. I’d sleep until 4PM. At night, Connor and I would binge watch Sopranos (GREAT show by the way) and so I’d get away with doing nothing all day. Including dishes because all I’d make for dinner was frozen pizza. I had to get back to the show of course.
So, after weeks of spiraling down and feeling hopeless, last week I hit what was close to rock bottom. I’d been isolating myself from my friends and family for so long. I hadn’t leaned on my support system to get me out of my funk. I wasn’t thinking about all that I’d learned in my Intensive Outpatient Therapy (IOP) that I spent months working on. I was thinking about nothing and everything but what I should have been in order to help myself out of the pit. So, about a week ago, I woke up one day and had suicidal thoughts. I will refrain from saying what I was planning on doing, but it got bad. It went from the intrusive “what if” thoughts to actually planning. This is what snapped me out of it. Now, in IOP and in the hospital, you create what is known as a safety plan. This is what you’re supposed to enact when you are in a bad place and feel like hurting yourself or others. I immediately put mine into place. I called my psychiatrist, my therapist, told Connor, told Emmaline and told my support system from my IOP. I wanted to check into the hospital behavioral unit, since I was afraid I was going to hurt myself. Now, I have no insurance since I’m on disability, so that would be twenty grand I don’t have the ability to pay back, ever. So, my psychiatrist, therapist and I made a plan on what to do. I went to a NAMI (I don’t know what the acronym means, but it’s a free group for those of us with mental illness) group. I was the worst off there and so it made me feel even more suicidal.
I went home after group and told Connor that I wanted to check into the hospital. He was devastated. We talked through it and decided that maybe a change in scenery and “checking out” for a few days would help me snap back into myself. My therapist agreed (I love my therapist) and so we made plans to go out of town. I’m a history nerd and so even with the whole eastern America to choose from, I chose to go to Williamsburg/Yorktown/Jamestown area and immerse myself in history. I really did enjoy much of the trip. I still had nagging thoughts, but they turned from active planning to just ruminating intrusive thoughts. I think this trip with Connor saved my life and I can’t thank him enough for being there for me. He was at both my psychiatrist appointment asking questions that I wouldn’t have thought of. He was at my therapist appointment asking what he can do to help me when I’m like this. He has completely changed how he views mental illness and it’s changed how I view a lot of people and their ability to get rid of the stigma of mental illness. It is possible to change.
Now for the good news. I no longer am having active suicidal thoughts. I want to live. I want to keep pushing and I’m looking forward to small things in the future like the Scottish festival next week. I plan on going to every NAMI meeting on Mondays and see if the group dynamic will help me like it did in IOP. I have a concrete plan to go through every handout and worksheet I got from my IOP. I will beat this spiral and go up to being happy and joyful again. I know I can do it. I have a date with one of my oldest friends on Wednesday that I can’t wait for. It’s the little things that are giving me hope and drive to continue. And I will. I have two rings that I wear every day. One says “I am enough” and the other says “keep fucking going.” And I will. I refuse to let this beat me.