“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt; April 23, 1910
I should have written this post a few days ago, right after I got out of the hospital. Things were a lot clearer, like feelings, my actual thoughts at the time, but a lot seems like it has faded since then. Even the names of a few have hidden themselves from quick recall.
This may not be an easy post for some to read. Mental health issues tend to bring up intense emotions, whether pro or against, understanding or disgust, whatever, but continuing to buy into the opinions of others about mental health is what keeps so many of those that deal with mental illness suffering in quiet, and sometimes taking their life in silence. I, too, could be a statistic. I am grateful I am not.
On Friday, June 15, 2018, I went into the hospital after having a complete breakdown and slitting my wrist. I am not sure what exactly set it off – whether it is the stress of having no idea how I’m going to make money since my back, hips, knees, wrists, hands, fingers are so damaged that I am no longer able to do what I make money at without severe levels of pain, the fluctuating finances, the stress of being at Lance’s brother’s place – but, when I saw the blood gushing from my arm, bringing home the fact that I had just slit my wrist, I was not only terrified but mad. I was pissed that I had done it and that I was now having to face the fact that it was way past time to do something about the mental space I had been lying to myself about living in.
After spending a night at Evergreen Hospital, I went to Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital, where I spent just over a week. I have realized, again, that I am too capable of talking my way around mental health professionals. Once I realized I was doing that once again, I had a talk with myself and throw all in. I would like to say that all the talk around shenanigans ended right then, or at least didn’t show up much, but that is not what happened, unfortunately. I made a bit of progress, and I am feeling a lot better, but I think I got home sick, started thinking about the different things that were already scheduled to happen coming up, and talked the loop toward getting home. I am ok enough, I believe, to be home, but I think I could have gained a lot more benefit if I had stayed a bit longer. My husband and my puppies are such an integral part of my day-to-day and I was miserable without them.
My wonderful husband visited me about every other day, which was perfect in my mind. This beautiful man would come and hang out with his wife (me) for about an hour then go out to the van, get the puppies, and walk around to the back of the building and throw the ball and disc for the dogs so I could watch them play. I had asked him, once, if he would be willing to play with the dogs so I could at least watch them play since I couldn’t be with them. Lance faithfully did so every time he came to visit, even when I knew he didn’t really feel like it. As an added bonus, others on the unit started watching Lance and the dogs playing and benefited from it, so started asking for him. I am certain we were quite the sight – three large windows with people looking out of them, smiles on their faces and in their eyes. What a gift to see.
So, this all means I’m back on meds, something I didn’t want to do but had to become willing. Will I be on them forever? Possibly. We shall see how things go and how I’m feeling. I’ll be seeing someone for a bit, but I have other methods of healing I utilize that the therapists at the hospital agreed would be beneficial to me and my mental health. I have such faith in the powers of Holotropic Breathwork and the Choose Again 6 Step Process (go to YouTube and search “choose again 6 step”). They have provided me with so much healing, processed through so many things that have been huge barriers to my forward movement.
How can I still have faith in these spiritual methods when I had a breakdown anyway? Easy. I wasn’t taking care of myself, wasn’t going to the healing circles, hadn’t been to Holotropic Breathwork for quite a while. There was one scheduled for the Sunday after I went in, if only I could have held on. But breakdowns happen when they happen. You can’t ‘schedule them in.’
So, what did I learn? A few things. My diagnosis still comes back as bipolar, this time 2 instead of 1, ADD, the second class of psychosis, and a high likelihood of borderline personality disorder. Thankfully the meds “cocktail” they have me on this time around is minimal, and the plan is to get me back to no meds if possible. I would really love to see a naturopath for this but that requires money I don’t have to spend. Oh well. Progress, at least.
I came out of the hospital with a new-found sense of purpose. I am not going to clean anymore. It stresses me out too much and I firmly believe the 3 day clean I did right before going in to the hospital contributed to the breakdown. My body has already said no to the cleaning, LOUDLY. Construction is out. Pretty much all the things I know how to do really, really well are out. SO how am I going to make money? I have no idea. I would have my medical scribe certification by now if I hadn’t of had to drop out of school. That’s only a touch painful. Not having a backup skill to fall back on is the super painful spot. I’ve connected with a few of the remote working rv-ers groups and am preparing to pick their brains and hopefully find a financially ok (at least) future.