365 days ago I was sitting on this bed. My bags were packed. I had flushed harmful meds down the sink a day or two before because I was so suicidal. I'd removed the plastic bag I'd automatically packed toiletries in. I had no idea if I was a direct admit or if I had to go through the ER. I wouldn't know until after 8 AM. I knew I'd be admitted as the statement "I would kill myself if I had the energy or ability to formulate a plan" was very true and I knew that all it would take was one short burst of mania and I'd be entering very risky waters. I also knew that soon I would be totally unable to function at all. Somehow I was managing hygiene, if barely. But I was also barely functional with anything else. I'd gone from only eating a little to basically not eating and was living on water. There was not one thing that was not an effort. I could not longer be nice or polite.
I can't describe how it felt. I kind of remember, although mostly my memory stops when I realized I had to go inpatient NOW and picks up when the hospital became unbearable thanks to Cynthia the nurse I hope retires before I ever go back there again. I know that I knew I was doing the right thing and that after years of resisting hospitalization it was definitely time to go, and without delay. I think that was my greatest fear, that they would send me home. I remember telling a friend several days before that I would like if I had to go through assessment before admission and say I was actively suicidal. I also remember admitting a few days later that I was in fact not going to have to lie about that.
The depths of my desire to end my life still haunts me. I was safe enough or Dr. Mind would have put me in the hospital days before. There is no doubt about this. If I hadn't been scheduled for admission that Monday he would have had me admitted against my will if needed, I have no doubt about that. But a few days before I was "at risk" but had no plan or real concept of what I wanted. But by the time I got to the hospital I wasn't organized enough to have a plan (something they are really cautious about) but I was ready to do anything impulsive I could to harm myself. I simply could not imagine living another minute like I felt and I did not feel strong enough to take on everything I was about to take on--groups, monitoring, being kept safe from myself, almost no privacy ever, and a new med that had less than 50% chance of working, for me probably way less. And then by the end of the first day I knew that it was going to be harder than I thought as I waited and waited to see a doctor (it took almost 30 hours and then it was not my doctor so he was thumbing through my chart scanning while talking to me rather than having had an intense discussion with Dr. Brain about me, and that doctor started pushing a med I've had a severe allergic reaction to that he said I could avoid, requiring an email to Dr. Brain to have her tell him NO. I wasn't about to take it, but her support helped.
What I remember most about 365 days ago? My male cat doesn't like to be held. He does like attention and spends much of his time lying beside me, and when I lay on my side or back and turn out the light he comes and lays on me for a while. Well, that night I didn't expect to sleep well. Noah however knew what I needed. He not only lay on my side as per usual, he figured out how to rest his cheek on mine and he stayed that way and purred for about an hour. He's never repeated this for even 30 seconds since; all I can guess is that he knew how scared I was and knew how much I'd cried about leaving my kitties.
One thing about reaching this week of looking back, it makes me realize that my episode now is frustrating and long and feels like it's been forever when it's really only been several months and that I had a really good period for a week or so, and that I feel much, much better right now than I did a week ago and 700 mgs of Seroquel is having no adverse effects. Which is a miracle. This recent period had been so hard, but it is nothing like choosing to be locked up to prevent me from killing myself. Admitting that and making that decision were so incredibly hard, I hope to never get that sick again without realizing it is time to go. With the MAOI I'll likely wind up inpatient again since there are so many interactions and so many difficulties if I need to change drugs, especially if I have to come off the MAOI. But it will never be as hard as this night one year ago.
And now that 700 mg of seroquel is making me unble to type, so goodnight.