Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A long time

Two years ago today I signed the green voluntary commitment papers that admitted me to the psychiatric unit.  I knew I was dangerously suicidal and tried to communicate that fact but it took another day and a half before I got the point across to the nurses and doctors.  That stay was long and very, very difficult.  I had painful conversations with seemingly everyone but especially Drs. Brain and Mind who gently explained about the precautions I would need indefinitely. Two years later some are still in place, most notably that I have limited access to medications.  Every week for 2 years I have brought my meds in a padlocked box to Dr. Mind's office.  He gives me the key.  If he is worried he watches me.  Most of the time he doesn't really.  Nobody will say when this will end.

That hospitalization was emotionally the hardest of all of them because it was when I started verbalizing my terrible awareness that I was not going to be able to work anymore.  Saying that the first 10 times felt like ripping my own heart out.  Then it got a little easier and although I still couldn't say it without crying for months after I left I was saying it and preparing for it.  I remember being in a group the day after Christmas and 3 days after I had first said the words.  We were asked to talk about something that we had damaged in our lives because of our illnesses.  I said simply that by letting things get out of control I had ended my career.  At that moment little was said about that but at the end of the group the leader made a point of saying that he knew what my career was and that he was sorry.  By that point all the staff were being briefed that I was dealing with that when they checked in before the groups so he knew that I was not saying much about it except to Dr. Brain and that saying it in group was big.  (The first group I said it in was just 2 people, me and someone else). 

Several days after I could say it without sobbing for several hours I went home.  The journey was really rough for a long time and I can't count how many times I nearly went back to the hospital, especially in the first few months.

But the surprising part is that through a lot of effort on the part of both doctors and myself I haven't been back.  That last admission was not one that had a lot of hope that I wouldn't be back in a month or two.  I got really close but we worked around it and I am now hospitalization free.

What is even better than that is that I am re-learning confidence.  I have a pretty significant depression right now and it was complicated by a bad (stimulated) response to CoQ10.  It really has not been an easy few weeks at all.  But I'm able to use all the things that have kept me out of the hospital for 2 years and I'm handling it ok although more sleep would be really nice.  I still wish I could function like I used to but that is now so long ago that it is easier than when I was thinking "only 6 months ago I could..........".  Oddly it helps that Anne has never known me otherwise that she remembers because seeing this as normal Aunt Jen in her eyes makes it easier to think it really is normal for me.  She doesn't see symptoms, she just sees the person she has always known and who she knows sometimes has trouble with things.

Two years.  So long.


Jean Grey said...

that is very impressive that you haven't been back to the hospital. It is also wonderful that you have your nieces and can be a part of their lives.

Michal Ann said...

Yes, very impressive, Jen.

May you feel Christ in your holiday activities and always, Jen.

Love, Michal