Hello lovely reader,
As you may have noticed, there was no blog last week. Well, that’s because I have been working on this one. Sort of. I have been mostly thinking about whether I should publish this post or delete it, or leave it for myself. But then there’s no point in writing it on here if I am not going to share it. So. Here goes.
January 16th was the two year anniversary of me being alive. I was not in a catastrophic accident. I was suffering from an invisible illness that no one could see and I had made a plan to kill myself. Just like my birthday, I don’t have a set reminder for this day. I just know when it is.
Thanks to a wonderful friend (you know who you are) who called emergency services, I received the help that I desperately needed. Initially I blamed her for where I wound up, as being in a hospital for psychiatric reasons you end up losing a lot of privileges that I took for granted in the outside world. Like cell phones, and going outside, and not sleeping in a room by myself in my own bed…
I was in the hospital for a little over 2 weeks, after which I was discharged to outpatient group therapy. The only thing I have to say, is that group therapy helped me immeasurably more than being an inpatient. If you are considering suicide, find a group therapy offered by a hospital or something and see if you can check yourself in. The program I was in, is in Westchester NY, so if you’re in the area it won’t be hard to find.
Going back to my friend. Thanks, boo. I legitimately was upset at one point because I couldn’t leave the hospital, but when I got my day outside I started crying with fear. I had developed a safety blanket of the hospital, and was afraid of what would happen to me outside. Things are so much simpler inside the hospital. You’re told when to eat, there is a structure of group time, which is like a tiny class, and then after that you can socialize, sit and color in coloring sheets, or watch tv, or read a book. If you’re lucky, you could end up with other patients who are kind, gentle, and suffering just like you.
What helped me more was the give and take we did among ourselves with the other patients. We were like friends, but not really. We supported each other. Although most of the time it felt like they were supporting me. But I met some of the nicest people in the hospital.
I met a woman who had suffered abuse by her husband, who used her children against her. She was homeless, and in the hospital for desperate need of help. This woman was also incredibly artistic, she was so beautiful, and she was incredibly sweet, kind hearted, and smart. Sarcasm was her second language, and she made my sides and cheeks hurt from laughter.
I met a women whose face could scare the baddest man out there. Her life was filled with tragedy. She played with my hair and told me funny stories of her daughters, and their relationship, and the fun things they would do together. She would let no one say anything bad about the other girls. Like a mother hen, she was the mom of the women’s unit.
I met a young woman, I think she was the youngest one there. She was suffering from terrible anxiety and post traumatic stress. She was put on some strong medications which made her look out of it half the time. She colored with me every chance she got. We even requested to be roommates. She was so short and skinny, but made sure everyone was included in a conversation or tv time, even during breakfast, lunch and dinner, we wound up combining all the tables to make one big continuous table because she wanted everyone to be together. She even remembered the little things I told her about me.
I met people that, I know for a fact, I will never meet again. Each person in there was an amazing human being. All of them touched me in ways I can never reciprocate or thank them for. It was the most depressing time of my life, and one of most wonderful times of my life at the same time. I was in the hospital for me, but I was there for them too. We were all there for each other.
My family and friends never left me alone either. My current husband, then fiance, came to see me everyday. There was a terrible snow storm on one day, and I called him to tell him not to come because I worried. He made sure to come at the first possible time the next day. My mother would come and see me occasionally as well, she tried her best to come everyday as well, but her schedule was bit busier. They both brought me food from outside. Hospital food is not exactly the best. My mom even brought bagged chips, which I not only snacked on, but made sure I shared with everyone else. My father and my brother were overseas at the time, which was not a problem for me. They both spoke to me at the first chance they got. Both of them are complicated men. But my brother spoke to me shortly after coming with his family, and remembering it makes me cry because of how close I felt to him. Even my friend who had called emergency services; she called me almost every day to check up on me. A few days she also came by to see me.
When I entered the hospital, I was a pathetic mess. I felt like a lost cat. Leaving the hospital, I wasn’t that much better. But they gave me a path to follow. Which eventually lead me to several paths.
I am on my own path now. I do not have instructions, or a well structured day. But the truth is, no one really knows where they are going in life. Whatever path you are on, good luck.
It is very different to have a support system. I feel very lucky to not only have my family and friends who supported me through that time of my life, but I also feel lucky for the other patients who supported me as well. I am not very good at keeping in touch with others, and my own friends know that I am terrible when it comes to meeting up. But I love them, and I know they can talk to me if they really needed to.
Stay safe. And if you are looking for a sign to not kill yourself, this is it. There is someone who loves you more than you know, maybe even several people. You are not a burden on them, you have permission to cry on their shoulders.
I love you, and I will see you next time.
I’ll try not to make it so serious.
The Quirky Digest