More on depression (so please be aware that there is a TW on this post).
I can’t remember ever feeling free of emotions. I have always been anxious, a little paranoid about other’s intentions, and depressed once I hit my teens. It did not help that when I got into my teens I had some life altering events happen (the death of my nephew, my uncle was murdered, and I moved for the 2nd time across multiple states and lost all of my friends.)
I don’t feel that my depression is 100% triggered by those events though. I feel that mine is chemical. I can have everything going for me and I can still be depressed. I have my old online journal printed from when I was hospitalized in 2003 for my depression. That year, I went off to college but the day I moved, my mom and I got into a car accident with an 18 wheeler. That triggered one of the worst episodes of depression I have ever had.
I was not sleeping. I was not eating. I felt like dying. So I reached out to my RA at college, and was taken to a hospital for evaluation. But since I am a clever clog, I got released that night. Unfortunately for me, I was still very deeply depressed and was readmitted that week, and that next time I was not allowed out…for 2 weeks.
It is not hard to read my old online journal. I can relate to my youthful self, but I wonder why no one helped me sooner. Why did people not see the clear signs of depression and self harm? A few years ago an old friend apologized to me, because he said he saw my self harm scars and did nothing, and now he felt bad. I reassured him that it was not his fault, honestly it wasn’t. Everyone missed it.
When I was in therapy at college, (therapy was provided by the college after the first hospitalization), the therapist told me “I have no idea why you are depressed”, like I had to have a reason to be depressed. It made me feel like SHIT. Like I was broken… and useless.
During my time admitted for my depression, I met people in the ward. This is where things changed for me. I was the youngest person in the ward, so all of the adults… ranging in various ages… helped me. One friend, Frank, who I still remember, helped me feel safe when I felt like everything had been ripped from me. We would take naps in the common area and we would watch over one another because people would steal stuff from you if they were too mentally unstable or just jerks.
Frank was admitted because he tried to jump off of a telephone pole. The poor guy. He was just as broken as me and only a few years older than me. I bonded with a few others, an alcoholic who was doing through some withdrawals, a few other severely depressed women, and a woman who tried to break out of the unit with a plastic spoon. I remember my dumb ass room mate at college, who knew me in high school, sent me a fresh set of clothes…… a short mini skirt…dude…I was in a hospital…wtf was she even thinking!!!
My experience would have been very different…. if I was sent to another hospital. I had a friend who was also …sort of a stalker…. When I was admitted to the hospital…he somehow got himself admitted but since they only had one bed in the unit, they put me in it and he went to another state run hospital hours away. That could have been me. He later told me about his experience there, it sounded horrible.
Not all hospitals are good.
What was I thinking?
So… what was I thinking at the time of my hospitalization? I am breaking down walls here… I broke these walls down ages ago but I think it’s time to remind myself why I got help… what it was like… so here you are… here are parts of a post from back in the day….(I am going to only put parts of it here because…I loved to write back then).
“Why did I break down my walls and tell someone… I just stared out the window. I felt dizzy. My hands were numb. The paramedic just watched me, he looked like he was in a daze. I over heard him and the police officer talk, he gave him the papers and said something about me being at the hospital recently, I think this guy knew I needed help. I didn’t cry during that ambulance trip.”
I will save you the teenage angst from the posts though, lol.
“Night times were hell for me. I couldn’t sleep. And half the times they didn’t want to give me medication for it. One night, I tried to sleep for an hour and it didn’t work, so I walked slowly out of my room at about 1 am. I scared the workers who watched over us at night, I walked up to their glass window, and they just looked at me. I guess everyone else was sleeping and they asked what was wrong and kinda distanced themselves from me. I mumbled how i couldn’t sleep. And they told me to take a seat in the big room while the nurse went to get me sleeping pills. I wouldn’t mind not sleeping if they didn’t watch me all day, and notice I was tired… I didn’t want to sleep in the big room… some people frightened me. I am only 4’11” and I weighed 105 lbs, I am NOT BIG. So I took their sleeping pills. It was either that or listen to my disk man and cry all night.”
“I was off suicide watch.”
Those words… hurt to read now. Because it was a lie…to get community time. I had to sign papers stating that I would go to the doctors if I felt suicidal. But if I didn’t sign those papers, I got no community lunch… no community time outside with everyone else. I had to eat lunch alone. It was …so uncomfortable…
“I remember being Q15 for a few days, every day the people would ask me if i wanted to hurt myself, usually I said no. But I really didn’t feel like telling them if i did. When I did, I stayed in my camera room, the suicide room, for a few days. I usually didn’t go there in the day time, I tried to stay positive, i slowly got over my social anxiety disorder while in the hospital, well only around the other people there, because most of them understood everything i was going through, the racing thoughts, crying for no reason, not knowing why…but you would like to hurt yourself.”
Just a note….Q15 was suicide watch. They checked on me every 15 minutes….. dude….They would put me in a room where I couldn’t have any shoe laces, belts… nothing. It had a camera… bars on the windows… I got moved to level 2 from Q15 the same day as my friend Frank.. he talked me into signing the papers about safety.
I wrote a lot about my experiences when I was younger, it helps me to look back at them… to remind myself what I have over come.
“I felt ashamed.”
A sentence that hits me hard. I was ashamed to be depressed. I was ashamed to tell my mother I was in the hospital… no one told her. On day 3, I was able to call her. She was in another state visiting my sister. So no one could come pick me up. I was admitted for 2 weeks….
“It was 6 am when they woke me, oh man, that was so early. They checked everyone’s vitals, yep… I was alive. I couldn’t believe this wasn’t some cruel dream.”
Okay so my dog is alerting me that she is upset that I am upset… so I need to let her be a good dog… I am actually thinking of training her more to be kind of an emotional support dog… just not with any traveling… just home stuff. Anytime I get sad… she nudges into my arms and puts her face near mine… she currently will not leave me alone. I know writing will help me feel better, but things are just bad today. Today my mood dipped pretty low. My arms hurt.
I may be posting more again soon … I am posting for therapy reasons. I feel better when I write. And I feel very isolated right now… I need this.