I had one attempt of suicide at age 18. Took a whole bottle of aspirin. My parent’s didn’t take me to the hospital, but had me drink lot’s of coffee, hoping it would sober me up. After that, it was never spoken of again. Everything was focused on my Dad’s bi-polar depression/anxiety issues;so I learned to take care of myself the best way I knew how.
Later on in life I started to drink. Drinking helped numb me and make me forget about the abuse I suffered from my family. I kept it mostly under control. But I couldn’t seem to relieve the pain I felt inside. I went through my divorce and tried to get physically fit and eat better, but I was still drinking to numb myself; it was what got me through the day.
It was during a horrible relationship after my divorce that I was taking antidepressants and drinking that sent me spirally down. I felt I didn't have anything to live for, so I sliced my wrist in a drunken stupor. My ex-boyfriend happened to get my drunk text and he called 911... 5 minutes later the cavalry was there, at my door. With only a minor cut, I was cuffed and shoved in the back of the Sheriff’s rig and whisked off to the nearest mental hospital to sober up.
5150 they call it here. The scariest 72+ hours of my life. Locked away with what seemed to be no rights and monitored 24/7. They had the power, the psychologist specifically, after only seeing you for 10 minutes, to judge you to be fit to leave or to stay. Most were made to stay. In my judgement it was for the insurance money, but who knows. All I do know is I was so scared and so alone and so full of shame. I have never felt such fear and could not react to it. The experience changed my life. When I did walk out, I couldn’t wait to get in my car and drive away as fast as I could. I was afraid they would come grab me and drag me back inside. I felt like a total criminal and not a sick individual who needed more help then painting pictures, lining up and walking single file to lunch, and forced to participate in physical activities. I just wanted to sleep and recover from all the alcohol I’d drank and to feel safe.
I've drank a few more times after my hospital stay, but finally gave it up for good a few months ago. Since I've stopped drinking, I’m been more aware of my feelings, my surroundings, and most importantly, my life. This has brought me a lot of joy.., to be this ‘awake’. The depression still sneaks up on me. It’s a deep dark hole that consumes me and is very difficult to escape at times. It’s an everyday struggle. Antidepressants don’t work for me, so I’ve started on herbs and a better vitamin regiment. I’m learning to love myself and accept myself as I am, but it’s a process that changes everyday. It all leads back to awareness and knowing I can only do the best I can and that is good enough. I do hope someday I’m healthy enough to help others that suffer from depression. It’s an illness that desperately needs more exposure and help in finding ways to support those who suffer from it.