I’ve had a shit last few days. It’s not unlike other shit days that have piled up in my life before. I will handle it. But one of the main reasons I’m able to handle these types of days is simple. I once went to The Bin.
Because I was going to kill myself.
Let me tell you my grand plan, The Plan: I had a life insurance policy that does not cover a suicide. I desperately needed the world to be rid of me. So I asked my friend Willow if she had anything for panic attacks. I asked my other friend if she had anything for migraines. On and on, I gathered pills quietly in the bottom of my purse. I needed to take the right combo of pills where I just looked stupid for taking a dangerous combo of pills, not like I killed myself. But I was scared and I didn’t want the girls to find me. I wanted to protect them as much as I could.
My world was falling apart. It had been for a long time and instead of getting help, I white knuckled through. I got up every day, with this cloud of sadness over me and the tears filling me up, keeping me afloat. My world got darker and darker until I couldn’t feel happy. I didn’t feel anything. I faked feeling happy. I knew I should feel certain emotions at certain times so I faked it. Holding a baby? I should probably smile. Friend coming over? I should probably smile. Kids did a great thing? Smile.
My face felt cracked and worn from having to fake a smile.
Those pills called to me in the middle of the night, at work, in line at the gas station. I never had enough time alone to accomplish this. My former Sir was always at the house. I asked him once if he’d help me and he said quietly with pain across his beautiful eyes that he would help me, protect me. He’d do whatever it took for the girls to never know. But then he said he’d never need to. “My life has been rough. You will not leave me with the last memory I have of you, of us as …that. I trust you not to do that to me.”
That should have been the catalyst for me to go to the doctor. Instead it just meant that I couldn’t kill myself at home. I needed a place that the kids would never find me and it would be plausible for me to magically die there. Yes, I know how fucked up this all sounds.
I no longer believe in a Christian God, but I do believe in something more. Whatever it is I believe lead Summer Shanta Shiver to my house one beautiful bright day in November of 2014. She declared a “Summer Day”. The plan was to just get in the car and…go. I didn’t have a conscious thought to kill myself that day, but before I walked out the door with her I remember grabbing my purse full of the pills and having a peaceful feeling. Soon it would be over and Summer would help me.
I had written a journal she read apparently full of red flags and drove over to rescue me. She had no clue what she was getting into.
We went over to Alicia’s house. Richard and Amber were there. The three of them were worried about me. I was so focused on the darkness inside me, that I didn’t realize it had begun to claw it’s way out. People were beginning to see. Maybe they had seen for a while… I don’t know. I was given a warm cup of hot chocolate and a coloring book. I was given the gift of this day to just breathe.
Then I began to cry. I cried for hours. Day turned into night. I couldn’t breathe.
Please help me. I can’t stay. I’m no good. The girls will be better off. I can’t stay. I need to not exist. I have to go. Please. Help. Me.
Wrapped in a blanket, I looked at these people that managed to love me, when I was so unloveable, and I asked them to help me kill myself. I told them I had pills. I told them the plan.
Alicia grabbed my face. Amber gripped my hand. Summer had her arm around me. Richard stood pacing across the floor. It looked like a plan was forming. A great wave of emotion washed over me. Despair. Fear. Relief. Peace.
Alicia said “I’m going to help you. We are going to help you.”
They poured me into a car in the middle of the night. I wind up in a room with a nurse. My Sir had been called and came into the room. I don’t understand what’s happening and I try to take it all back. I’m fine. No. Really… I’m fine.
The girls are going to find out. Don’t you see…. I’m fine.
It is explained to me that the nurse can’t leave and I’m asked about “The Plan”, it is explained to me that I am indeed, not fine. Things are being fed to me in bite sized pieces of information.
Everything else is a blur.
I woke up the next day in The Bin. There was a nurse next to my bed watching me. She asked me about The Plan.
I stayed in The Bin until The Plan was no longer The Plan.
I came home and slowly started to make healthier brain choices.
I don’t know what would have happened to me if Summer, Alicia, Richard, and Amber hadn’t taken me to The Bin. Honestly, I don’t know.
I know that the person wrapped in that blanket sitting on Alicia’s couch, isn’t me. That person would have taken every pill hidden in my purse.
I think in the moment someone ends their life, it isn’t the essence of the person doing it. It’s some other monster. It’s a monster called Depression. Depression is bigger than the person and it just takes over.
I have suffered from depression for as long as I can remember.
As a teen, I stuck my nose in a book. I rarely dated, I didn’t go out. I was made fun of for being sick. My Grandmother’s husband was not a nice man. The list goes on and on to try to find a reason why. I was given Zoloft to deal with my “moods” but the up and down pattern of my brain had already been established. As a young woman, Postpartum Depression got it’s ugly claws into me. By that time my brain was so full of chaos, it was all I could do to get from one day to the next.
After Youngest was born, I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression. Which is a thing worse than “moods” and postpartum. I couldn’t stop to get help,though. Children and a husband depended on me for dinner. I was very very good at being a martyr.
Then the long slow spiral happened. Again, who really knows how or why or even if justifications are needed for a mental illness.
In The Bin, I was diagnosed with Suicidal Depression. I have thought about suicide in a way that indicates it is not mentally productive. Most people will think about suicide and ultimately decide against it, listing the reasons why to stick around. These thoughts happen instantly or over time. Once those same thoughts of suicide occurs to a depressed person, it often becomes an obsessive thought, often romanticized. Then the Depression Monster takes over.
So why did I write this huge personal thing and then share it?
The Depression Monster took my brother away from me. Had it not been for my sister, Summer, reaching out to me when I needed it most, had it not been for Alicia gripping my face, Richard snatching up the phone to get me admitted, Amber to hold my sweaty shaking hands still, had it not been for my children and my husband’s support, had it not been for my family and my friends reaching out the Depression Monster would have gotten me years ago.
As I stated in the beginning, this week has been a difficult one. It is the death anniversary of my brother. I feel like it hits me again. I wake up and purposefully think “Just breathe through today”. My husband and I will finalize our divorce. The timing of it is horrible. I’m way more emotional than I expected to be. My car is in the shop. I don’t know where I’ll find the money for this repair. Little things that add up. I don’t know what I’m going to do to get through. But I know that I do not have a Plan.
The reason I don’t have a Plan is because I had people that loved me to reach out to me. The reason I’m posting is to ask you to reach out to your depressed friends and family before the Depression Monster does. Call your friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Send that text you have been meaning to send. Knock on the door. Check in.
Maybe we can save each other.