Living life and Loss: 2021 Sucked — PT 1

TW: Suicide, Depression, Mental Health

It’s the last day of January 2022 and I’ve been trying to figure out how to get back into blogging since June 2021. I mean, I’ve been paying for the {dot}com and telling people that I’m a writer and yet hardly any updates for so long. My voice, much like my heart and head, has been numb — muted by something seemingly more powerful than I can control. Wait… depression just feels like it’s more powerful than I can control. Or is it more powerful? Am I giving it too much power? Who knows. Anyway, my depression has been kicking my ass.

Let me roll back to June of 2021. I tried to kill myself. Yep. After 20 years of wanting to die, I made my first attempt on my life. I had messed up financially for the Nth time and I was sick of it. Ashamed of myself. Fed up with everything and everyone and saw no way out. I said my goodbyes on Instagram and attempted to overdose on a half a Costco-sized bottle of pills. It didn’t work.

I woke up hours later in an ER, my mother softly praying next to me. They scanned me and checked me for any internal damage and what came next was what any person who is somewhat well-versed in the mental health system would expect. The wait for the a into a psychiatric unit.

Now, for those of you who don’t know, in my area psychiatric units in hospitals are few and far between. There wasn’t one in the hospital where I was, but there was one in the town over — though there’s no guarantee that would be the one I would stay at. I’ve actually never stayed in a psychiatric unit in my hometown. I’ve always been at least 50+ miles away. From experience, I knew that waiting for an open bed in my county would take a while, but I wasn’t expecting what happened next.

I was stabilized and transferred from what I’m guessing was the ICU area of the ER into the hallway of the psych area of the ER and patiently waited for my transfer. That first night there, I saw a psychiatrist who said I was probably bipolar and added lithium to my regimen. Yay for another pill I’m going to have trouble remembering to take! The nurses seemed nice enough, one was a no-nonsense, kind of blunt lady, one was a softer, “I get it” kind of lady, and there were CNAs assigned to watch me like a hawk, in case anything happens again, I guess. I tried to be nice to all of them because I have family that works in healthcare and if I can make someone’s shift easier by not being a jerk, then I definitely will.

But the wait seemed weirder than usual. I figured I’d be in the ER hallway for a day while they sorted out what psychiatric unit I’d be going to, but things were taking a while. In my drug addled state, I hazily remember telling them I have sleep apnea, which in combination of the reason why I was being sent to a psychiatric unit made me… “difficult to place.”

“Difficult to place?” I thought angrily as the hours slowly ticked in that hallway. All my anger and hopelessness about our mental health system came flooding in again. The despair one feels when one wants help, but there’s no help available is pretty awful. It usually shuts me down pretty hard and leaves me in a “why bother,” state. But being in an ER hallway lit a fire in me to get out. If I wasn’t going into a unit, there was no reason for me to be wasting my time in a damned hallway. So I constantly begged the nurses to talk to the psychiatrist to let me go. Every night, they said they weren’t sure when the doctor would be in.

I would spend FIVE NIGHTS in the hallway before the no-nonsense nurse decided to switch things up and I finally got a room. A room where the door had to stay open, but at least I wasn’t watching the comings and goings of the psych portion of the ER anymore. Eventually I was switched to a room with a TV, which was nice, but still something I felt I could do from the comfort of my own home, so I still attempted to advocate for me to leave. I asked the nurses how long could someone stay in this limbo and one replied, “well we did have someone who stayed in the ER for a couple months.” My eyes widened and my resolve grew stronger. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I got things to do!

On night 7, the psychiatrist finally came and rescinded the hold that was keeping me in the hospital and I was freed! And terrified. Would I be able to change my ways? Would I be able to find some glimmer of hope that would keep me on this earth— make me WANT to stay alive? I knew one thing, I NEVER want to experience that kind of hospital stay again. To feel trapped and unwanted and unfixable by the system that is supposed to want me to get better? No thanks.

I decided, as I sat there waiting for my ride home, that I would try and figure this out again. Try the things that worked before (like blogging, cooking, and being a good mental health advocate) and see if they still work. Maybe try to maintain a fitness routine (*unenthusiastic yay*) that will help me in other ways beyond my mental health. I’m not sure what will work and what won’t, but you can be sure that I’m not going out without a fight. 2021 sucked, but life keeps going on. I have to keep going too.

About mischameesh

Messy Meesh: Learning How to Cook and Live a Happier Life
This entry was posted in Depression Kills, life update, MentalHealthMEESH and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s