I’m Finally Glad I Stayed and Didn’t Die by Suicide
If you struggle with mental illness, you know depressive episodes can hit you out of nowhere and last for months at a time. Every task feels impossible, even something as simple as brushing your teeth. Even worse, everything feels pointless because you can’t derive pleasure from anything.
I am slowly coming out of a five-month straight severe depressive episode. The hell I’ve endured over the past five months, I wouldn’t wish on anyone, ever. After month three, I planned my suicide. I’ve struggled with suicidal thoughts before, but I’ve never actually had a plan. This time, I did. I had three plans, actually, depending on what I was able to get.
Obviously, since I’m sitting here writing this, I didn’t follow through with the plan. I’m sure you’re expecting me to say I didn’t do it because of my kids, but unfortunately, you’re wrong. I have two beautiful little girls, a caring boyfriend who loves and supports me, and at the time of the suicide plan, I was 10 weeks pregnant. The mental and physical pain I was in was so horrendous that I literally didn’t care about leaving my kids without a mom and breaking my boyfriend’s heart. So, what was my reason for not going through with it? I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, to get what I needed to “get the job done.”
My boyfriend questioned me that night when he got home from work, and I broke down and told him what I was planning to do. We had an appointment with my psychiatrist the next day and my boyfriend told him what I said. My psychiatrist admitted me to the hospital. This was in early May. I stayed for three days and was released.
A lot happened between that time and now. Three months after my suicide plan, I am finally able to say, “I’m glad I stayed.”
When I was so depressed and exhausted in December that I didn’t know how I was going to give my girls a good Christmas, “I’m glad I stayed.”
When I had a bad reaction to a new medication in January and sat on my bed while screaming and ripping out handfuls of my hair while my boyfriend tried to restrain me, “I’m glad I stayed.”
When I was admitted to the psych ward and treated like a prisoner instead of a patient, “I’m glad I stayed.”
When my psychiatrist wanted to do electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) treatments while I was in the hospital, my OBGYN signed off on it, but neurologist would not because I had a history of neck problems. Instead, I was discharged with a new medication and a plan to try TMS, and “I’m glad I stayed.”
When I had to get the TMS therapy five days a week (starting the day I left the psych ward) for about 30 minutes at a time. It’s painful at first but as you get used to it, it’s definitely tolerable. I had to do this every weekday for six weeks, and “I’m glad I stayed.”
When the day for me to go back to work arrived, I put on nice clothes and a little makeup (for the first time in months), only to be told when I arrived into work that I would not be seeing patients — I’m a nurse practitioner — but instead that they were not renewing my contract and I no longer had a career. But, “I’m glad I stayed.”
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