1/5: “I’m fine,” She Lied: Part 12 – Bicycle vs Car (It’s not the end of everything, it’s just the end of everything you know)

I never finished this series. I should have but didn’t. The truth is someone told me to turn it down, but I couldn’t find a way to write without doing that. I want to honor that request because that’s is the person I am. So, this post is the last in the series. For those not familiar, there is a link to the beginning in the menu.

My release date came. Wednesday. Noon. My husband would be there to pick me up. My things were packed in the paper sack given to me on my first night in the hospital. I took one of my books by Nick Hornby and stuck an envelope with a twenty dollar bill in it with a note to Jem because I knew he was being released Friday and had no shoes because he came to the hospital from the ER, which didn’t send his shoes. I said to get a pair of flip flops for his ride home and enjoy his sister’s wedding.

I wished everyone all the best. About half had no idea when they’d go home or what their living situation would be once they were released. One person admitted they were not taking the Xanax he was administered and was keeping it on him. I’m naive, so I didn’t know how someone could get away with that. It’s not as if we could request little baggies to hold medication. I’m guessing he put them in a folded paper towel and kept it in his pocked.

The new woman who had started ECT the day before would remain for at least 30 days because that was policy. The grumpy old man having ECT had already had it, so I had no idea how long he would stay. He was so angry, perhaps the most angry person I have ever met. In the previous posts I said he was Mean Doc Pomus (look Doc up). I new what some of his anger came from — PTSD — and losing a lot of friends he considered brothers. His wife had left and he lost a child. His anger came from pain. I’ve prayed since leaving the hospital that he would find peace and I hope he has.

I was called to the desk and my husband was there. He took my brown paper bag and we left. I felt so ugly without my hair done and makeup. I don’t know why that bothered me knowing where I had been for six days. My husband told me I shouldn’t worry about it and we could go for lunch. I wasn’t up for that yet.

The first few days at home were hard. I worried what my kids think. I wondered what everyone would think, knowing so many people I know view suicide is taking the easy way out. That it’s selfish. That you’re not thinking of your family. But having been to the point of attempting suicide and I have my own perspective. Suicide is not the easy way out. It’s the only way to relive the pain a person is in in. When you aren’t on the right medication for your particular illness. Here’s the thing most people who aren’t in my club don’t realize and in my infinite wisdom, I’ve figured something out: it’s not Prozac or Xanax. With the billions of pharmaceutical commercials on every 12 minutes per one hour television show, you’d think depression or anxiety is so easy to get rid of (yes, people think many disorders only last for a little while and your cured). I’m likely to be on a medication (ha! one — my medication list looks like a grocery list).

The other thing is that it’s hard to get properly diagnosed. This has turned into a primer for mental illness, but a lot of people — even people I’m close to — don’t know much about it. So, here’s how it goes (this is only my experience and mine alone)

  1. Someone close to you notices and says something to the effect of “I’m only saying this because I’m concerned…” and suggests you get help.
  2. You start noticing the things that person said and you ask around to find a psychiatrist.
  3. You start seeing a psychiatrist, you’re diagnosed, you’re prescribed a couple of medications. You’re in and out in 20 minutes. Most people think it’s a long appointment with a ton of questions, but it’s quite the opposite.
  4. At some point you don’t think any of the meds you tried aren’t working and think about getting a new psychiatrist. Most people don’t stay with the same psychiatrist forever. I’m on my third.
  5. The new psychiatrist might re-diagnose you.
  6. The new psychiatrist changes your meds again and again. And again.

From this point on I’ll talk about my personal experience. None of my medicines helped. I sunk into a deep depression and I couldn’t climb out. I attempted suicide and ended up in facility for 6 days. My psychiatrist changed most of my meds and changed the dosage on another.

When I first got on my floor they asked for a list of people I would accept phone calls from. I gave my list. Most called. The person I wanted to hear from most didn’t. After the first few days I knew they wouldn’t.

A good friend of mine messaged Scott and filled him in on what to do and expect when I came home. She was right and my husband was great. Everything was too much. I couldn’t get dressed. I couldn’t wash a dish. My family and friends were pretty great. I love them.

I got better.

Last spring I had a severe rare reaction from a migraine preventative coupled with one of my psychiatric meds. I grew extremely depressed and got to that deep dark place. I called my doctor he said to come in the next day. He instantly knew it was the new medicine — I was to taper off over two week. I was better within a couple of days. Sometimes having a psychiatric disorder makes life horrible, but when you have the right doctors, therapists, and medications you can manage. Not only manage, you can be fantastic. That’s my goal everyday. I miss the mark often, but I know I have it in me. I have a great life. And I won’t stop.

Oh, the song is by Bob Schneider and is called “Bicycle vs. Car (Its not the end of everything. It’s just the end of everything you know)”. It was/is a great song that has helped. As my readers know, music can be medication.

And with this post, the series is over. Onto something new.

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