My house is full of chocolate and Starbucks gift cards – and I’m okay with that – Part I
I want to write this blog, but I also don’t want to write it.
I want to write it because I want it out there in the world for other people to stumble across when they do a search on their phones at 1:30 in the morning, looking to see what happens when you decided to go to the ER for suicidal thoughts.
I don’t want to write it because I did go to the ER at 1:30 in the morning for suicidal thoughts.
I did want to write it because I didn’t know anything about going to a psych ward for help.
I didn’t want to write it because after going to the ER, I agreed to check myself in for hospitalization at a psych ward.
I’m going to keep going with these blogs over the next few weeks while I document what it was like for me in the psych ward (for those who have a need to know), and what it was like getting out.
To begin with, I shared with my husband, around 12:30 on a Monday night/Tuesday morning that I had a pretty damn good plan for committing suicide, and if he and my son weren’t home, I’d probably be using it right about then. It had been a bad day for me, and while I can look back now and wonder at why it was *that* bad, at the time, it felt that bad. I had been crying on and off all day, and I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. I just couldn’t figure out how to fix my issues and problems, and I couldn’t deal with having them.
And I want to say, regardless of your personal feelings, you have to believe me when I say that suicide is not selfish. I hate when people say that. I’m not saying that the people left behind aren’t broken and miserable, but what I’m saying is that the person who is in that mode is not capable of understanding that. The person who is considering suicide is doing so because they think it is the best for all; they aren’t making a decision purely for themselves.
To go beyond that, now I am feeling better, and I understand why it’s bad and I know how it would make other people feel. But at that time, and in that place in my head, none of that existed. So don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying that suicide is good or an alternative, but I’m saying that you have to have been there to truly understand how a suicidal person feels.
That all said, after doing some basic Internet research (bad idea, but, hey), I decided to go ahead and agree to go to the ER.
Our local emergency room has gone all high tech now. To sign in, you have to go to a console and type your information in. It found me since I’d been there before, but I can’t imagine having to use that in the case of a bad emergency.
“Help, I’m bleeding!”
“Well, you need to type in your name on that screen.”
“But I’ve lost my hand!”
“Not my problem, buddy.”
Okay, so that’s not true. My friend actually brought her daughter there, and since the daughter was clearly in distress, they brought her to the back and did everything there.
But it’s still a bit weird.
Anyway, so I spent the night there…I will still argue that my problem was that I had too good a plan. If it hadn’t been so good, they would have let me go home.
Well, maybe not.
But I did have a good plan. And, no, I’m not sharing it here because I’m not in the mood to encourage anyone else’s suicide. The point of this blog post (and this blog in general) is to improve my own and others’ mental health, and encouraging suicide is kind of the opposite of that.
I wound up talking to a bunch of people, but the night is a bit of a blur in retrospect. I did write down some notes to myself, though, because I’m always writing. My basic impressions and thoughts were that I probably made the right choice by going to the ER, but I did somewhat regret going because once I was there, I felt like I had lost control. I couldn’t just get up and leave. They could have chosen to commit me.
Luckily, when I did finally get to talk to a counselor through a super strange hook-up (they called her through a computer, and I got to talk to a head on a computer screen. For those who like community, think about the episode when they had prisoners attending through the iPads that were on wheels…like that! But super weird…). Anyway, I got to talk to the counselor, and she convinced me that it would be in my best interests to commit myself because, well, she had a feeling that the doctor was going to agree with her assessment, which was that I should go inpatient to a psych ward.
It felt very, very strange to be told that. To realize that, yes, I was definitely not right. That, yes, the medication I took had a very good reason behind it. That, yes, I really did have problems that needed to be dealt with, and the best place to deal with them might be in a hospital setting.
I didn’t really want to go – I wanted to try to convince them to let me do outpatient or partial hospitalization – but the woman on the screen really pushed it. She even told me the name of a hospital.
Once I talked to her, she talked to my husband, and then he came back and talked to me.
I agreed to go inpatient.
We sat in the ER and looked up the hospital. It seemed like it would be…not really nice, but not horrible. I didn’t know what it would be like. I had thoughts of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and that episode of Psych that made fun of Girl Interrupted that had Molly Ringwald as a guest star. In other words, I figured it would be a cross between a health spa and a prison.
But I agreed to go.
I would go.
Yes, that was terrifying. I had agreed to give up my personal freedom. It was like joining the army. But, you know, for not as long (I hoped).
I was told it might take hours and even up to a day to get transferred. My husband went home to get a few hours of sleep and brought me back my computer and some things to keep me busy. He brought food. All was going good. It was going to be a long wait.
He finally left in the afternoon to go home to meet our son getting off the bus.
And about five minutes after he left, the ambulance showed up to transfer me.
I had to text him that I was going, pack up my stuff (which was confiscated by the psych ward because I wasn’t allowed to have any of it while I was there), and get strapped onto the gurney and taken away.
I didn’t let them take me without my Starbucks, though.