12 days

It would be an utter lie if I were to say that things have improved since my last posting. Quite the opposite actually.

I’m not even sure where to begin but here goes…

I went on my annual trip to visit my Auntie on September 28th. I’d been struggling immensely with thoughts of suicide for the past few months and basically alluded to the fact that I had a real wish to be anywhere except on the planet. T and I had been texting some before I left and he knew things had been getting worse as the days went by. Having suicidal thoughts is not something new for me, but there was a difference this time and even though I knew it was precarious I didn’t care.

On the Wednesday T sent me a message asking how things were because I hadn’t been in touch with him. I’d been busy doing outdoor things with my Auntie and had seen the message but didn’t reply until the evening. I’d told him that I didn’t feel much like talking but wanted to acknowledge his message (because I know how shit it feels when people don’t answer). Almost as soon as I sent the response, T called, but I was away from my phone and it went to voicemail. Not long after he made another call which again went to voicemail. I then got a text from him asking to call him as soon as I could even if I didn’t want to talk to him.

In the meantime my Auntie and I were watching a movie and the phone rang. It was my mother calling and I handed the phone to my Auntie. At the time it all seemed normal but knowing what I know now, T had called my mother, got my Auntie’s address and phone number and then proceeded to call the police department. My mother was calling to give my Auntie the heads up on the situation.

So, I’m sitting there in my pjs, watching a movie oblivious to anything when all of a sudden 6 very large police officers and 2 people from the CMHA crisis team are standing in the living room staring at me. I didn’t look at them and didn’t say anything. The police didn’t stay long (apparently I wasn’t threatening to them) and left so that only the 2 CMHA people were there.

We chatted, I answered as honestly as possible, showed them my plan in my journal and basically the options came down to either I go to the hospital or they call the police back and I get taken to the hospital…great choices! Police absolutely terrify me so I agreed to go. The check-in process was a nightmare and the one nurse was a total biatch. Once I got taken into the ER they seemed nicer. They put me in a small room with two chairs and basically left me alone for the most part. Eventually a mental health nurse came to talk with me and told me that I would have to stay. I was given the option of voluntary or, if I disagreed, they would Form 1 me. I agreed to stay and she left the room.

About 15 minutes later she comes back and says they are putting me on a Form 1 because the risk is too high, so I became an involuntary patient for 72 hours. They took all of my clothes, my shoes and my phone, put me on a bed outside of the nurses station and left me there for 24 hours. Within those 24 hours I saw the psychiatrist who apologized for keeping me in the ER that long but was basically ignored by all the nurses and doctors, didn’t get my medications and had a code yellow (missing patient) called on me because I went to the bathroom.

27 hours after I went to the hospital, I was finally transferred to the Adult Mental Health unit. I was given a new set of gowns which reminded me of something out of a Margaret Atwood novel. They were a heavy, gross brown colour and didn’t breathe at all. I slept maybe an hour, and the new normal began. I will admit that the nurses on that unit are 1000% nicer and try their best not to make you feel any worse than you already do.

I saw the psychiatrist again the next day. She called my T and between the two of them it was decided I was too unstable to be discharged and was put on a Form 3 (involuntary patient until October 15th). I finally got to shower and was given my clothes and phone back. Let me tell you this–just being able to shower and wear your own clothes makes a huge difference.

As to be expected from a hospital the food sucked. Every day they served either strained cream of mushroom or cream of celery soup. I seriously don’t know how people are supposed to eat that stuff but thankfully my Auntie brought me real food almost every day.

I had two roommates. The first was really quiet and I almost didn’t know she was there. The second used to pace, would stop and stare at me and continually told me she was going into a coma.

The first few days were long because it was the weekend and I was feeling very trapped and uncomfortable. The next week I decided I would try some group things (mostly crafts because I don’t like to talk much). One day we did painting and while there’s too much white in my picture I really liked that part of it.

I saw the psychiatrist every day, told her as much as I could (which really wasn’t much) and she thought it would be better to transfer me home only because of follow-up care once I was released. I understood and agreed but the thought of coming home gave me a lot of anxiety–there is just so much crap here. In the meantime she increased my antidepressant and we discussed other potential medications for sleep and anxiety. Basically, she believed that I have 2 things happening: trauma response and a current inability to cope in the here and now. She also believes I’ll be one of those people who is continually suicidal.

After 9 days I finally got transferred home. An ambulance picked me up at the hospital, took me to the airport where I was flown home to another ambulance that took me to the hospital. As soon as I got here I’d wished I’d stayed. They basically put me in my room and ignored me, didn’t give me my medication and the guy doing the room check practically gave me a heart attack. After that night I finally agreed to take something for sleep as it’d been over a month that I’d really had decent sleep and I wasn’t sure I’d last another night of room checks.

The next day I met the psychiatrist. I like him. We chatted a bit, he offered to kill anyone who was still alive that abused me and told me I have PTSD, depression, anxiety and BPD–I agree with them all except BPD because I don’t really see it. He then put me on three new medications–one for panic disorder, one to lock up the intense traumatic memories and one to help with sleep. He kept my antidepressant at the higher dose because he said it would act like a vacuum cleaner. Day 11 he cancelled my Form 3 and on Day 12 I was finally able to go home.

Being home is strange. I feel like I’m on parole. Every time I want to go somewhere I’m questioned and given strange looks. My brother came for two weeks which actually helped fend off my mother. We talked a bit and he’s got issues too–I guess that’s what happens when you grow up the way we did. And while nothing excuses what he did, I do have some empathy for his situation. I handed over my stash of medication I was going to use and he’ll dispose of it for me. The thoughts are still there constantly and new methods pop into my brain quite easily.

Mostly, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t want to live this way anymore. T says the medication will take time to work and we need to try our best to be patient. I told him I’m afraid to say if things feel really bad again because I don’t want to go back to the hospital. He says he understands but firmly believes it’s going to get better. My brain isn’t working properly these days so I’ll need to put my faith in him.

It’s going to be a long road but for now I’m trying my best not to stray out of the lines.

5 thoughts on “12 days

  1. I’m sorry this happened. I think you were really brave about getting sent to the hospital. I’m always afraid to say exactly how bad things are when they get bad because I don’t want to be hospitalized, so I get that. I think it’s wise to put your faith in T. The meds and new coping strategies will help in time. The hard thing is that all of this just takes time. Hang in there.
    PS- I think your painting is great!


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