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.
Yesterday I posted about my first intentional overdose. Today I will talk about some of the things that have happened in the past year and a half or so.
We were living in Bountiful and things had been going pretty well. Nothing was perfect but things were good overall. And then I lost my part-time job as a custodian at an elementary school. I didn't even see it coming.
I had been at work one day and we were out raking and doing yard work all day. It was August and it was hot. I was trying to stay hydrated but I think I got too much sun and not enough water because I got really dizzy and sick to my stomach. I was told to go home an hour early. The next day was more of the same. I managed to make it through my shift and then the supervisor asked to talk to me. She said that I hadn't been doing things the way she wanted them done and that I took too long. She also said I had taken too many sick days when in reality I had only taken a couple in the few months I had worked there. She told me she was letting me go but she made it sound like it was because of budget cuts. The way I saw it was that she just didn't like me for some reason. Nothing was ever good enough. I was devastated! I had never been let go for any other reason than that the job ended. I had quit jobs before and had even contemplated quitting that job because it was hard on my back and neck. What made it hard was that she had never told me she had a problem with the way I was doing things so that I could have tried to do better.
I was very upset and I had a panic attack. I didn't know what to do. I found myself driving to the temple. I didn't have my clothes or recommend that was needed to go inside so I parked across the street at a place I had discovered previously. I could look east at the beautiful temple or west over the valley toward the Great Salt Lake (as seen in the picture above).
I talked to several people through text and calls and after a while I began to feel better. I just needed to start looking for another job. I had been thinking it was a good time to start my own preschool and had been making some effort to do so. Since I didn't have anything else to do I started to put my plans into full swing. I found out what regulations I needed to follow and started gathering supplies. I put flyers up around the area and even created a website. I decorated the basement of our home and made it cute and inviting. One of the girls in my ward put together a toy drive and many people donated toys, books, and even some supplies. It was a little overwhelming to see the support from people who mostly didn't even know me. I am still grateful to this young woman who decided to do this all on her own and even did most of the work herself.
As time drew close for school to start I had only received a few phone calls and none of them were willing to commit. I heard from several established preschools in the area that their enrollment was down and even got a call from somebody else trying to get started wondering if I had a waiting list that she could maybe take students from. The local schools began and I didn't have a single student. I kept hoping people would call and that maybe I could just start late. It never happened. Another disappointment!
In September my dad had an accident while driving truck. He lost his job over it even though he had done everything right and there had been minimal damage to the truck. So there we were nobody had a job and we didn't know how we were going to pay the bills or rent. We started applying for jobs both in the Bountiful area and in Carbon and Emery Counties. I kept hearing that I wasn't qualified for one reason or another or I would find out they had hired somebody and I hadn't even had an interview.
As the next two months went by I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper into a pit of depression. As a family we decided to pray about whether to stay in Davis or Salt Lake County or to Move home to Carbon/Emery. Dad and I both wanted to come home to where we were raised and Mom wasn't sure. (In reality she would have preferred going back to Nevada.) I was getting more and more depressed and stressed out about not knowing what to do or how I was going to pay my bills that I was getting further and further behind on paying.
I had been seeing a counselor through all of this on a weekly basis. She was doing everything she could to help me and I felt like she truly cared about me. The week of Halloween she had given me an assignment to put together a box of things I could use to cope when things got too overwhelming. Halloween night I had nothing to do and so I decided to run to Walmart to find a few items to fill my box. I had been feeling pretty down before I left and thought getting out of the house might help.
As I walked around the store I felt myself getting more and more overwhelmed. I felt a panic attack coming on but felt completely helpless and couldn't think of any of the coping skills I had learned. I don't remember paying for my stuff but apparently I had because I had a receipt. I just remember finding myself in the car and not knowing what to do. All of a sudden I had a strong feeling to go see my counselor. Her office was just up the street a block or so.
I was crying almost uncontrollably by the time I went inside. She was with another client but when she saw me she told me to sit down and wait. I honestly don't remember much about what was said but I remember sitting on the floor of the office with another girl and drawing pictures. Eventually the girl left and I remember my counselor asking if she needed to call the cops to take me to the hospital. A couple of police officers came and I was given the option to have them follow or take me home or follow or take me to the hospital. I didn't feel like I could drive and I also didn't feel safe to go home. I felt like I might hurt myself or even attempt suicide.
I rode in the cop car to the hospital where I was taken into the emergency room but I don't recall much of what happened. I was told that I could voluntarily admit myself into the pshych unit or go home but that I would probably be better off in the psych unit. It was now after midnight. A security officer escorted me up to the psych unit where I checked myself in and was able to call my parents and tell them where I was. It hadn't really occurred to me til then that they were probably worried because I hadn't gone home.
I don't really remember much about the next day or two other than crying and sleeping a lot. Eventually I was talked into joining the group therapy sessions. They preferred that I eat my meals with the group as well. I don't remember much about the other people who were there either patients or therapists. At first I kept pretty much to myself and just listened and observed. Eventually I started making comments and participating and even getting to know some of the people. I really enjoyed the music therapy and even had fun playing some of the games.
A couple of days after I arrived I met with a social worker and once or twice a week or more I would meet with a phychiatrist. Most of my meds were changed and everyday I was encouraged to set goals and work toward going home.
One of the first times I was asked to share what had led me to be there I started to explain the stress that I had been under over unemployment and not knowing where I was going to live when I got out. I was told by the social worker that anyone would be stressed in that situation and was made to feel like it wasn't a legitimate reason to be there. Several times during my stay she would say things to me or others that was almost belittling. I sometimes wondered how she kept her job.
Most people that checked into that program stayed for four to seven days. Each time I was asked if I felt ready to leave I would panic. I didn't feel ready to face the problems that were still waiting for me when I went home. Mom and Dad would come to visit every evening. Eventually I told them that I needed to know what to expect especially concerning whether or not we were going to move. They eventually, after much prayer and fasting, decided that we needed to come back to Emery County. After this decision was made I started feeling a little better.
I continued with therapy and learned a lot of coping skills and a lot about the thoughts and feelings I had been having. After about a week and a half I started to feel like I could return home. After a final meeting with the psychiatrist and a different social worker and setting up doctor appointments and counseling sessions, I was finally released after twelve days.
I returned home but didn't feel like I could really face people. In some ways I was embarrassed but mostly I just wasn't ready to talk about what had happened. It was determined that I had had a minor mental breakdown and I needed time to recover. I went home and started packing to get ready to move. I t was good to stay busy and I didn't have a lot of time to dwell n the problems that were still there. We made a few trips to Emery County to look for a place to live and to look for jobs. I was kind of hoping maybe I could go back to work at the grocery store but would see what happened.
The weekend and days before Thanksgiving we made the move to Castle Dale, Utah. We were home! I didn't know what was going to happen but I felt better just knowing I was back near friends and family. A few weeks after we moved into our new ward I was called to serve in the nursery. I was excited to be working with the young children. I didn't find a job and neither did Dad but in some ways that was a good thing. Dad took early retirement and was available when my 88-year-old grandpa broke his leg and was laid up for several months. I started seeing a different counselor and started going back to physical therapy for my neck and arm. Things weren't the greatest but for a while they were good.