**Possible Trigger Warning** this series of blog posts talk about depression, despair, hallucinating, death and attempted suicide.
The first part of this series can be found here.
This third part of the story is going to be the most difficult for me to write about as time became completely irrelevant - it didn't exist. While only 24 hours passed, there were times I was convinced it was a week and other times I thought it was two days and other times it felt like just minutes.
Nothing I tell you about will be in the order it happened as I have no idea of this myself. Remember that this is my truth, which is different from what may have actually happened. It is how I remember it and it happened for me. For those with me, I was not me. I was basically on a bad trip - a very bad trip. I scared those who loved me and I worried people I had never met before.
Please also be aware that although at times I may seem as if I am blaming others, I am not. No one other than me is to blame for what happened and I accept that. I will go into this in more detail in a later post.
I remember arriving at the hospital. I remember thinking I had seen Gramps stood waiting for me. Of course it wasn't and I realised this almost immediately, but for that brief moment, I was happy. Seeing Gramps meant I was closer to death. I was rolled into a small room and left with Dan. He didn't leave my side. I was dry. I don't know how long I had been this dehydrated but this was the first time I had noticed it. My tongue was literally bone dry and I kept picking at it - pulling it apart - I bear the scars of this now.
Looking around the room I noticed that a group of doctors were looking at me. I heard them talking - I didn't hear what they were saying but what my mind made me hear. They came in to put me on fluids and I was adamant that they were trying to poison me. I had strange tastes in my mouth and I was certain that the doctors were doing something to me. I shared this with Dan and he tried to assure me but the paranoia was stronger than my want to believe him. I started to notice patterns everywhere. All over the walls and ceiling, all over people's faces and on my skin - I guess this could have been a lot worse, but it was still unsettling. Marks on walls started to move and became the strangest looking creatures, moths and worms and things without names. Strangely enough, this did not scare me, but instead had me an awe. They were beautiful.
Then it started again. I felt my breathing change and I knew my body was building up to the scream. Again I made that horrific noise, one that Dan can no longer remember, but I cannot forget. A nurse shouted at me. Told me to stop - I assume she thought this was in my control. It wasn't. I could not stop the noise. She got angry with me and I couldn't stop. I went through this cycle a few times while I was in A&E and I became extremely distressed because every time the scream came I was shouted at and I tried so very hard to stop it. I tried and tried and tried but still it came. I completely understand that there were other people and the noise was haunting and possibly terrifying for others, but screaming is something that I have never actually been able to do. My screams are always nothing more than a loud exhale of breath. Ever since I was a child, I could not scream.
I went in and out of sentience. Not consciousness - although I think I had several seizures while there. Time jumped, I was, in a way, aware of this. Things changed. Dan moved, nurses changed so time must have moved on, but for me it was moments; all completely separate from each other.
I remember talking to Dan. I have no idea what I was saying, but it kept happening - over and over again in exactly the same way. I asked him if I was in Hell. Again I was questioning my faith, did I have it all wrong? Was Hell really a place? Was I there, being made to relive the scenario over and over and over again? Was I going to be haunted by what I had done to Dan? Making him hear the things he had heard? Making him see things he never should? Forever?
Still I was not scared to die, still I was sure I had done the right thing. He would struggle at first, but he would be so much better off without me. He can turn off his feelings and emotions and he would do this. He would choose not to think about it. He would choose to forget me too, no doubt. He would be OK. He could go on with his life, without me standing in the way of what he wanted, what would make him happy. It really is possible to love someone too much, to a point where you will hurt yourself in the worst possible way just to see them happy - even if that doesn't involve you being happy too. Even Hell would be better than the darkness I had been promised by the negative thoughts that had started this whole thing off. I still wanted to die.
Still around me were all sorts of strange, but wonderful creatures. Eyes watching me, wings fluttering, patterns on everything.
I became unable to communicate what I wanted to. I couldn't put words together to make sentences. My mind went blank, constantly. I couldn't remember what I had just said, what I was thinking, I even forgot that Dan was there at times. I completely stopped making sense. Starting one conversation and then changing it midway through the first sentence. The following morning, Dan told me that he thought that I was going to be seriously brain damaged. The Mental Health team who came to see me thought I don't know what, but they questioned Dan about whether or not I was normally like it.
I want to stop here and say that the Mental Health team at Hull are amazing! When I met with one of the nurses the following day he was fantastic, not so much sympathetic, but understanding and empathic. He promised me help, I would not fall through the net again. He reminded me very much of someone I met briefly when Gramps died, but I am not going to go into that right now.
Anyway, I remember the second I realised that I was going to survive. I suddenly started to feel the effects of the medications wear off and it made me sad, so very sad. I remember telling the mental health workers that I wish it had worked and that I wanted to be dead. I remember planning. I was in such a dark place. I hadn't slept for almost three days and this could have been partly to blame, but I had decided that I needed to do it again. Now this is where it was very different to any previous episode. In the past, as the effect of the overdose has worn off, so did the mood and the darkness and the need to end it all. I still wanted it to end. I wanted the pain to go. I wanted the hurt to stop. I wanted Dan to know that I wasn't standing in the way and then he could be happy that I was not influencing the one thing that I knew he wanted. Pretty screwed up, right?
I slept. I slept and slept and slept. I slept that much that the nurses commented on it. I missed dinner and breakfast and it was almost lunch when I woke up. Now the problem with this is that I was convinced that I had been in the hospital a lot longer than I had. I was convinced that I had been left, deserted, abandoned. I asked if my husband had phoned and was told no. I asked if anyone had phoned and was told no. I was alone. This was how my life was going to be from now on. Alone. I was never going to see Dan again, never see the family that I had come to love so much over the past 8 years and never going to see the family I was born with. As far as I was concerned, everyone had left me.
I started thinking about what these people who I loved so much were doing. This was a bad thing to do. I was convinced that they were happy; glad to be rid of me. I was sure that I was going to be locked up. They were going to see me for what I was and decide I couldn't do it on my own. I still wished I was dead. I had no phone as Dan had taken it home to charge it, he had promised that he would bring it back the next day, Of course to me this was much later than the next day so I started to feel rejected and alone again - always alone.
A nurse came and did my obs, she was lovely and I asked her what day it was. She said it was Monday and I assumed Christmas Eve, she set me right and told me that Christmas Eve was still a week away and suddenly everything didn't seem as dark. I was still unsure what day I had come into the hospital so I didn't know how much time had passed. I was still convinced that Dan would never come and I would be alone. I knew this was what I deserved. I had gone to Hell and taken him with me.
Doctors came and went, tests were done and doctors came and went again. No one told me what was happening, no one told me anything. They asked me questions and got frustrated that I was unsure on timelines, couldn't tell them details and was, really next to useless. I know that one of the tests was showing as higher than it should and that my chest was showing issues, but that is about the gist of the information I gained from listening to people as they talked about me.
When you have mental health issues, it seems, you do not need to know what is happening. You do not need to understand why you are being tested, what you are being tested for or what the results of the test mean or even are.
I think this part of the story has been the hardest to write and it may well be the hardest to read. I can assure you that as I sit here now, I am determined to live. Things did change very quickly and I had started to see the light before I even left the hospital. I was given the option to self admit to the local unit but we decided that I would be better off being helped by the Crisis Team until my referral came through. I was promised help and on Monday I will go for my assessment for CBT.
For the first time in my entire life, I not only want, but feel the need to get better and I never ever want to be back where I was just a few weeks ago. It is going to be bloody hard work, but I will do it. I will be on my own as Dan and I have separated, but this is a good thing. We are not good for each other - at least for the time being and probably forever.
I am on new medication and I will be accepting all of the help I can. I never ever want to put anyone though that again and I never want to put myself through that again. I have also promised my son. This is key to me, as he has never known about it before.
I will be posting regularly with my thoughts and updates. It will, I guess, be a kind of therapy for me, but it will hopefully also be of help to others. That is my goal.
If you can relate to any of what I have written about so far then please, please, please ask for help. There is a list of links below but I am also here if you just want to talk and I can promise that I will not in any way judge, I will listen. You see I understand that every point of view is valid so long as there is no ignorance seated behind that opinion. I also understand that this disease is capable of making each and every thought twist and turn in your head until it is black and dripping with every possible doubt you have ever possessed.