I have been having some really negative thoughts and this post will go into some of the thoughts and feelings I have had both now and in the past, some of which led up to two different intentional overdoses in the hopes of ending my life.
First of all I want to say that I am not currently suicidal in the fact that I don't have a plan in mind. However, I am not saying that the thoughts haven't been there. I don't want to offend anyone so consider yourself warned. Also, I want this blog to be positive but in order to explain the good I also have to explain the bad. If you don't want to hear about it then I understand and you can go back to whatever you were doing before you opened this blog. Hopefully the next post will get back to the more positive side of my struggles.
To begin, I watched this video on YouTube this morning and felt like it was a good explanation of the cycle of depression that many people like myself go through. You can watch it now or come back to it later.
Several years ago things had been going pretty well until I injured my neck. I'm still not sure what happened exactly except that one day I couldn't move my neck and I was in a lot of pain. I went to my chiropractor and he told me to take the rest of the day off and go home and relax with an ice pack. After a few weeks of treatments and trying to relax when not at work, I was working in a grocery store meat department where I was in charge of wrapping and stocking the deli, the chiropractor told me to take a week off. When I still wasn't getting better I took two weeks off. After about a month of working, seeing the chiropractor and my regular doctor, and starting physical therapy, I was told to take off work indefinitely.
I went through an MRI, CT scan, and X-rays with no cause being found. It was a hard time and I was very depressed. After six months I was finally given the okay to go back to work part time.
In the meantime, I had had to move out of my apartment because I couldn't pay rent so I was living with my sister and her husband and four kids. I also got behind on my other bills. I was stressed all the time and didn't know what I was going to do.
Living with my sister brought on even more stress. I started hating myself more and more for the situation I was in. I should have been able to take care of things on my own. I also felt like my sister was taking advantage of me living with her. I felt like she still had a life but I didn't and it wasn't fair. I was trying to make the best of the situation by not complaining about not having any privacy and feeling like I was the built in baby-sitter, after all I love my nieces and nephews like they were my own. I don't think I was stable enough to be in that situation. Don't get me wrong, I love my sister and am very grateful to her for taking me in. In some ways our relationship was strengthened because of it but in other ways it was just too much.
Things were building up inside. I felt strangely alone and yet like I had not time for myself. My bills were piling up and I was only working about 15 hours a week. My paychecks were barely paying my gas to get back and forth the extra 20 miles to and from work.
I had a hard time talking to people about what was going on. I had started seeing a different counselor who I didn't really feel comfortable with. I sometimes felt like she was criticizing me for the thoughts and feelings I was having, that for some reason they weren't legitimate reasons for being depressed. The bishop of that ward had helped me out a few times but I didn't feel completely comfortable around him either. He was however helping with the bills, or so I thought.
One week in April 2011, it seemed like everything that could go wrong that week did. I was getting extremely depressed and stressed out. Later in the week I was supposed to have an appointment with the counselor and the psychiatrist. I kept telling myself that I could get through until I saw them. When the day came for my appointments I went to the office where I was informed that I couldn't see them because my bill had not been paid. I told them that the bishop had said he had paid it but they insisted that it hadn't been paid and that until I was caught up I couldn't talk to anybody there. I had a panic attack right there and then. I didn't know what I was going to do. They let me sit in an empty office until I calmed down but that seemed to be the final straw.
I couldn't take anymore. I was tired of being in pain all the time both physically and emotionally. I just wanted the pain to be done with. I didn't want to deal with life anymore. I went home and immediately took several anxiety pills and anti-depressants. That was on a Thursday. Over the next three days I would take one or two pills every couple of hours. I don't even know what all I took or how many I took. That weekend we had a birthday party for my niece. I don't remember it. I know I was there because I have pictures, but most of the weekend was a blur. I slept a lot.
On Sunday I didn't go to church because I didn't feel well enough to wake up. I felt like I was in a haze and wasn't really aware of what was going on. That afternoon I had a realization of what I was doing and in some ways I didn't care but I was also scared. My sister and her family had gone to her in-laws and I felt like I probably ought to tell her what was going on. When she didn't return my texts or calls I felt like she didn't care so I decided I needed to get out of the house. A few weeks prior I had found a spot on the desert where I could go to think. I took some more pills and then took off.
It was a beautiful day And I pulled out my camp chair and just sat and enjoyed the breeze and the peacefulness. I felt myself slipping away. I knew there was no way I could drive back home. The drugs in my system had finally gotten to be too much. At first I was relieved that I wouldn't have to deal with life anymore but then I started to get scared. What had I done? Did I really want to die. I wasn't sure. What if God was angry at me? I felt like that would be worse than what my family would think. I pulled out my phone and called the number for the person on call for mental health. I didn't realize that it was the non emergency number for the sheriff's department. They asked me where I was and I wasn't really sure. I told them how I had gotten there and they said they were sending someone to find me. I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't just let me talk to whoever was on call.
I don't really remember much after that. A couple of cops came and then the ambulance. They told me not to go to sleep but I must have. The next thing I remember was seeing my former counselor in the ER and he looked like he was extremely disappointed in me. I felt like a huge failure for many reasons, mainly because I was still here. The next thing I remember was waking up in the ICU. It was a restless night full of disappointment and heartache. I was scared. I didn't know what was going to happen to me.
My sister came the next day and was upset. She said she hadn't realized that things were that bad. She told me that my parents would be coming from Nevada that weekend to take me to live with them. I felt bad that my family was suffering but I was also angry at myself for chickening out and knowing that I was going to have to deal with the consequences and also still face the things that I had been trying to escape.
It took me a while after that to feel like I could actually function again. The problems didn't go away but having my parents support helped a lot. I started seeing another counselor out in Elko that I felt comfortable with although looking back, I don't think she really helped me that much, I just seemed to be able to cope a little better.
I spent eight and a half months in the Elko, Nevada area. I started working for Head Start in the fall and loved my job even though it was only a few hours a week. I was teaching the seven and eight year olds in Primary and grew to love them. I still had my trials but I felt like I was doing much better.
In January 2012, Mom, Dad, and I moved to Bountiful, Utah. I didn't like the city and I struggled to fit in the ward and to find a job. The nice thing was that we lived near my brother and his family and I had the chance to spend time with them and get to know them better. I found a counselor who I loved and felt like she really cared about me as more than just a client but as a person. I got to see my mission trainer quite often as well since she went to the same counselor. Things seemed to be going better for a while but I should have known it would only be a matter of time when I would start to feel like everything was out of control. I will have to write more about that later.
I hope I haven't offended anyone by speaking about these things. It is not easy and until now I haven't really told that many people about what happened. As I stated when I started this blog, I am doing this for my own therapy. It is not my intent to offend or scare people away but it has been helpful for me to share so I will continue to do so. If I lose readers in the process, oh well. I do hope you will come back though. Thanks for your support.