It’s story time with yours truly. I haven’t posted a blog in a while, but I have something to share with you all. I did make a post about some of this, but I’m going to delve into the details here!
The last blog I wrote was right after I finished the outpatient programs I was attending, and I discharged from that at the end of October. It’s now the end of the year and I’m going to update you on the rest of the year and do my year-end recap!
I guess I’m just going to jump right into the deep end…
For starters, I was admitted to an inpatient facility the night before Thanksgiving. When I say I was WRECKED, I mean it. I was so scared and worried and anxious. I should’ve known I was being admitted, but I didn’t. Let me back up a little bit…
The night before I was admitted, I was having a rough time. I was having a LOT of feelings and I was just overall a mess. On my drive home that night, I made a plan to hurt myself. A serious plan. I was so unhappy, and I was hurting. I thought the only way to not feel that anymore was to take my life.
While this was going on, I was messaging a close friend of mine and telling her that I was going home to hurt myself. She told me to call my T or go to a hospital, or drive to the treatment center and I refused. I wasn’t going to get professional help because I didn’t think it was really an option for me. Aside from that, I didn’t think anyone cared.
After talking with my friend, I decided that I would tell my psychiatrist what happened the next day. Normally, I wouldn’t do this, but Cat really wanted me to tell her and I thought it might be important because something could be wrong with my medication. I knew that if I told my T, she would just tell me to tell my pdoc anyway.
I called pdoc the next day. I told her what happened, my plans, everything. She told me that she needed to talk to her boss and she would call me back. When she called back, she told me that I needed to have an assessment done. At first, I thought she just meant that she wanted to see me in person, but I later realized that she meant I needed to go to the inpatient side for a full assessment. I had done this before, so I wasn’t too worried. I kept telling Cat that I was afraid of going inpatient and I didn’t want to go, but I really didn’t think it would happen. I wasn’t suicidal – I just had a bad night.
I called the assessment people to schedule my assessment and once I told them who referred me over, she said my pdoc had already talked to them and they would be expecting me around 7pm. I was kind of relieved knowing that my pdoc had been involved. It gave me some sort of comfort knowing that she had already spoken to them about me.
After work, I made my way to OS with the impression that I would be there for about an hour, and then I would head home. If they offered inpatient, I would just decline like I did last time. I didn’t have an active plan to hurt myself anymore, so I didn’t think they could force me to stay.
I walked in and got checked in. The check in process was just like last time, only this time, they had me put my wallet and phone in a plastic bin instead of a locker. I thought that was odd, but I didn’t think too much of it. They took my vitals and made me do a breathalyzer. I saw the same bearded lady that I saw last time I was there.
They finally called me back to the small, cold, empty, quiet room. There was nothing to do there but wait. When the assessment lady finally came in, we got started. What I thought was interesting is that this was the first time anyone has ever been concerned about my ED. I’m too heavy to be really sick so people usually don’t pay much attention to those facts. Anyway, we did the assessment with all of the same questions as last time. I told her I didn’t have a plan, I wasn’t suicidal, I just had a bad night. At the end of my assessment, she tells me that my pdoc sent over an EOD (Emergency Order of Detainment) and I would be staying. My heart dropped. There was no leaving now. I didn’t know what time it was, I was cold, tired, hungry, scared, and I just wanted to go home. I cried for a bit after she left. Then I waited in the room.
A while later, the same assessment lady came back to check on me. She brought me a blanket and offered me some food. I was hungry, but I was too upset to eat. I took the scratchy blanket and made myself a bed out of the chairs. I was so tired. I finally asked what time it was, and she said it was around 11:00pm. I had already been waiting for over 3 hours. She left and I went back to my solitude. A while later, a man came in to go over documentation with me. I signed some papers and he left. A while after that, another lady came in and I liked her a lot. She asked me more questions. I don’t remember everything she asked because I was still in a state of shock about having to be admitted and I was exhausted. After meeting with her, she disappeared to go collect my belongings.
When she came back, she was holding the plastic bin that contained everything I brought in with me – that means it had my phone and wallet inside. She walked me down a long hallway through some doors until we got “on the unit.” I sat down in a chair and met two more nurses. They let me use my phone to get phone numbers off of it and I quickly responded to Cat to let her know I was being admitted. It was almost 1am.
The nurse gave me some medicine for anxiety and something to help me sleep. I signed some more papers and then was taken into my room. I didn’t have a roommate yet. Once we were in the room, I had to do a skin check. They made me take off my shoes and skirt and then she scribbled down a drawing of the cuts and scars on my thighs. I put my skirt back on and proceeded to take off my shirt. They marked down my tattoo and let me get dressed, but not before telling me that they had to lock my bra up with my phone and wallet under my bed because it had an underwire in it.
I was still wearing my work clothes when I finally laid down to go to sleep. The mattress was uncomfortable, the blanket was scratchy, and the bed was small. I wanted to go home.
During the night (morning?) I ended up with a roommate that spent the entire night in the bathroom throwing up. The next morning, they woke me up at 7:30am for breakfast. I walked out of my room still in my work clothes from the day before with no bra. I was very overdressed compared to everyone else there, but I had no clothes yet. I was quiet and kept to myself the first couple of days.
I spoke with a therapist and she told me that the EOD meant that I had to stay for 5 business - days not counting weekends or holidays. I cried again. I just wanted to go home.
After leaving group that morning, I walked back toward my room to see my pdoc behind the nurses’ station. I was so mad at her for having me admitted. She was talking to another patient and when she finished, she called me over. She asked how I was doing, and I told her that I was mad at her and she said she understood. She went on to say that my safety was important and things like that. I started to cry when she was telling me how lucky I was to be alive and how happy she was to see me alive. It was in that moment that I realized how much she truly cared. She started to cry too, telling me how much of a blessing it was for me to be sitting in front of her.
I didn’t stay mad at her. I know she saved my life that day – how could I stay mad? I needed the help more than I realized.
My sister finally brought me some clothes and I was able to take a shower and change into something comfortable. I went to bed early that night. It had been a long day and I was ready for it to be tomorrow.
Every day had a schedule laid out for our activities. Meal times, group times, smoke breaks, personal time, visitation… it was all scheduled. The best part was that visitation had to be done over Zoom, so I got to see Cat twice while I was there. The second time we spoke, I broke down in tears again simply because I wasn’t read to say goodbye to her. I missed her and I missed talking to her and I wanted to leave that place so badly. I couldn’t help but cry. I went to bed early that night too.
I made a couple friends while I was there and I’m overall grateful for my experience. As much as I wanted to leave, I’m glad I went. Even if it was against my will, I’m glad I got that help.
I was released 2 days before I was supposed to be released because I was doing well, and my doctor saw no reason to hold me there. I was there for a total of 7 days.
After I was released, I reached out to my T to tell her when I would be back in session and she had already cancelled my appointments and filled my spot for the next 2 weeks. I mean, I guess I understand, but did she really think I would be there for 3 weeks??? I was devastated. Here I am, fresh out of inpatient, and no therapy for the next 3 weeks. And she wasn’t going to make room for me.
I had an issue with one of my meds the next day and had to call my pdoc again. When I was on the phone with her, I told her about my T cancelling on me and she was immediately worried about me. She helped me get intake scheduled so I could do the IOP again and now I’m still doing that! I love my new IOP T – she’s incredible. But, let me not get ahead of myself.
I finally got in to see my T on December 17th. This would be my first time to see her since going inpatient, so I knew we had a lot to talk about. I was so looking forward to seeing her, but I was also very nervous. I kept thinking she would tell me that she couldn’t see me anymore. I don’t know why I felt that way, but I did. I even told Cat that I thought that might happen. She didn’t see any reason for that, and we chalked it up to my own anxiety.
I walked into T and she says we have a lot of catching up to do, and she wasn’t wrong. She asked me about inpatient – what happened, why I was admitted, all of that. So, I told her what happened. After that, she says she needs to talk to me about something and that it’s going to make me mad. I was a bit confused because I don’t really get “mad” very often.
I listened carefully as she spoke.
I was right. She was telling me to find a new T. She said that she didn’t have the knowledge to help me anymore. Yes, I know that’s ethical, but it still hurt a lot. She was saying that if I could find someone to do DBT with me, that I could also see her, but I wasn’t doing that. It was too complicated and, frankly, I didn’t want to see her if she didn’t want to see me. She never made me a priority, she was never there outside of session, and I don’t know that she knows much outside of EMDR. I cried and cried and cried. I think that was the most I’ve ever cried during session before. She was wrong though – I wasn’t mad. I was so unbelievably hurt. I had been seeing her for nearly two years and she just decided to drop me RIGHT AFTER I tried to kill myself. I was heartbroken.
In that moment, I decided that I wasn’t going to do therapy anymore – I was done. Except that wasn’t really an option. She made me sign a contract saying that I would find a new T.
I was so stressed. I didn’t even know where to begin looking for another T. I was scared I wouldn’t like them, or the scheduling wouldn’t work. It took me WEEKS to get warmed up to this T and I finally felt safe and now I had to look for someone new.
I hopped on Psychology Today (great tool if you need a T!) and put in the criteria of what I needed and wanted in a therapist. I did some refining of my searches and then, she popped up. The T I worked with in IOP the first time was in there. I immediately sent her a message to see if she was accepting new clients. I had tried this with her before and it didn’t work out, but I was trying again. I’ve worked with her before, so I know I like her, and I trust her already.
That night while I was at IOP on break, I saw that I had a missed call from an unknown number and a voicemail. I hoped it was her. I listened to the voicemail and it was K! I was so happy to hear from her. I called her back and she got me on her schedule to see me on January 7th. I would’ve loved something sooner, but I was willing to take this.
I have some concerns and worries. I’m still a little bruised over what happened with my last T and I don’t want that to happen again. I’m worried that I will bring too much to the table and she won’t be able to help me either. My current IOP T wants me to see someone that can help with my ED and I don’t know if K has experience with that. I just have to ask when I see her.
I’m also not thrilled that I have to meet with her over Zoom. I realize that’s kind of the norm nowadays, but my last T never closed down during COVID and I was able to see her in person every time. I much prefer in-person versus tele-health. As I’m sure most people do.
All in all, I’m looking forward to starting with K next week and seeing how that goes. I just talked to my IOP T last night and she wants me to stay in IOP until after I meet with K and see if it will be a good fit.
As I wrap up this blog, I’d like to take just a minute to recap 2020 and what a year it’s been. I know a lot of people would vote that this year has been horrible to them, but I don’t feel that way. Don’t get me wrong, I endured my fair share of heartbreak and sorrow this year, but I also grew a lot. I learned a lot.
This year was a huge turning point in my life, and I am grateful for the opportunity to begin to find my own path and find my own way.
I moved out on my own, I moved churches (which was a HUGE deal for me), I endured 2 rapes, I made new friends, I lost family, I gained fictive kin (a second family), I survived COVID, I survived a suicide attempt, I got the mental help that I needed, and I lost my T, but I gained a new one.
All in all, I think this year was a year of growth and realization. I am thankful for the life lessons I learned and the opportunities I had to find myself.
Here’s to hoping 2021 is even better.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!