Where’ve you been? An update
I’ve been quiet for a long while. I’m sorry for that and I’m not. The purpose of this particular blog is to update the reader on where my life has taken me these past 3 weeks. In order to get here, I have to back up a bit...quite a bit actually. Back to the beginning.
I began to struggle with depression and anxiety in adolescence. Looking back a little further to my childhood, I was a very fearful child so I guess anxiety was a thing for me even way back then.
I attempted suicide in April of 2003. I’m grateful my attempt wasn’t successful —which always strikes me as wrong—if I DID die then I was successful? No. NO. I’m sorry, no. I’m alive and I’m fighting to want to live and THAT is successful. Every day I wake up and open my eyes and take a breath and mercies are new is a living, breathing, God-given success. Yes? Yes. YES.
After that attempt I was diagnosed with “generalized anxiety and depression.” I was recently upgraded to “major depressive disorder,” more about that in a bit.
I no longer believe in suicide as an option for myself. In listening to a podcast by the great Jordan B. Peterson, I have come to the following conclusion:
My life is not mine to take. My suicide would devastate the people I leave behind. You cannot fix suicide. You can only make the choice to take your own life once. Wait until tomorrow. Or maybe wait another moment. And then another. And another. And still another. Suicide is wrong. Taking my own life would leave a hole in the fabric of the transcendent universe. Suicide is wrong. My life is not mine to take. I no longer believe in suicide as an option for myself.
In this moment.
And I pray that I believe the same in the next moment.
And the moment after that.
And still another moment.
You see, I have an unquiet mind. My mind decides from moment to moment whether I should actively try to take my own life, whether I might want to be dead, whether I want to live, whether I want to give in and allow Anorexia, this disease that I have been given, to completely take over and kill me. My mind decides from moment to moment whether I will choose to fight or give in. I choose to fight.
In this moment.
I am choosing to fight.
I had a break down on July 15, 2019. I was on the road to Cedar Point for a little getaway with my family when I received a call from my psychiatrist’s office. I let it go to voicemail. Once checked in to our room at the resort in Cedar Point, I listened to that voicemail. That voicemail started a butterfly effect that continues in this moment. The voicemail stated that there was a contraindication with two of my medications. The Lexapro that I was taking daily to counter my depression and anxiety and the Vistaril that was prescribed to me to take as needed for the panic attacks I continued to experience despite being on the Lexapro. When taken together, the voicemail went on, there is a potential for fatal heart arrhythmia. FATAL. HEART. ARRHYTHMIA. Those were the three words highlighted in my brain at that moment and I began to panic. I quit taking the Vistaril immediately. I called my psychiatrist’s office, my psychiatrist was not available. If I can’t take the Vistaril as needed for anxiety, I need something else. Someone who suffers from high anxiety and panic attacks “vacationing” in an amusement park complete with arcade and performance hibachi restaurant cannot be without an as needed medication to temper said anxiety. A prescription was called in for Klonopin. Klonopin. Prescribed to an admitted addict. If you don’t know, Klonopin is highly addictive. I filled it. I took one. I had a breakdown. I began to experience delusions and paranoia and began having intrusive thoughts, suicidal ideation.
My husband was out to get me. I called my therapist. I called my psychiatrist. I called my friend Priscilla, whose background is as a drug rep. All of these people told me DO NOT STOP TAKING THE VISTARIL COLD TURKEY. If you quit a mood altering prescription drug cold turkey, the consequences can be devastating.
I was faced with two options.
Option one: Take the Vistaril as prescribed in connection with the Lexapro and potentially experience FATAL HEART ARRHYTHMIA.
Option two: Take the Klonopin and continue to experience delusions, paranoia, intrusive thoughts and SUICIDAL IDEATION.
Of these two, I chose to take the Vistaril. I chose the potential heart attack over committing suicide.
We arrived home from Cedar Point on July 17. I saw my psychiatrist on July 18. She told me the percentage for fatal heart arrhythmia was so small it was practically nonexistent. Keep taking the Vistaril.
My mental health continued to decline. My Anorexia made a mean resurgence. It was decided that I would seek inpatient treatment to stabilize my mood and hopefully find a cocktail of medications that might be effective for me. I was part of that decision. We began to look for a facility that might be a good fit for my particular maladies. We found Sycamore Springs in Lafayette, Indiana. Calls were made, chess pieces moved, childcare arranged, goodbyes were said.
Long story short this place was NOT a good fit for me. I feared for my safety. An attempt was made to give me another patient’s medication, one of which was Klonopin, the one I had such a severe adverse reaction to while on vacation with my family. I ended up spending about 24 hours at this facility against my wishes but came home more determined than ever to find the right place to get well.
I had hoped to write a little more and finish this blog more eloquently in the style I am accustomed to writing, but the truth is I am just plain tired and I don’t have it in me to do that.
I will conclude by saying I have decided to continue to seek treatment for my anorexia and major depression. My goals are to get an accurate diagnosis for my mental health because I do not believe I have gotten one up unto this point. I am hoping to find a combination of wholistic and medical means of treatment for my diagnosis once I am satisfied we know exactly what I am suffering from. I will remain hospitalized as an inpatient until such time as it is determined I am stable enough to make the step down to Intensive Outpatient Therapy. Thereafter I will hopefully commute between my treatment center in Chicago (Eating Recover Centers is the place we have decided on) and my own home where I can be with my family and tuck my boys into bed at night.
I am terrified of going back in.
I am also extremely hopeful and optimistic.
I want to live.
I want to get well in this moment.
I can hold on “Solo Pòr Hoy,” Just for today.
I will hopefully have an address available so that I can correspond with some of you via snail mail.
I am hoping to have phone privileges at some point so that I might communicate with those closest to me.
Thank you all for your willingness to help my family in my absence, it means the world to me. I have an incredible source of support in family and friends without whom I know I would be in no position to continue seeking treatment.
I just want to get well, y’all.
I want to continue to want to live.
Thanks for taking a minute to read this.