Brain Filter note: This post, originally from our main site, marked the beginning of our return to life after a long, dark period. Pay heed to the trigger warning. If you can’t bring yourself to read this post, we understand. But please, reach out. Whether you or someone you love suffers from a mental illness, help is available — help to cope, help to understand, help to survive. Reach out. And always remember, we love you.
Trigger Warning: I am going to talk about my experiences with mental illness and suicide. If these things upset you too much, I hope you will skip this post but
stick around the site head to our food site. Our recipes and stories are generally much more palatable.
It really has been over a year since we posted an entry. Wow. A lot has happened. The blog got wiped out during a design change and had to be rebuilt. The boy got old and moved out. We’ve gotten out of the chicken business. We’ve gained and lost pets.
But none of those things are the real reason we haven’t written.
I’ve written before about being bipolar, but then I focused mainly on the manic side of things. For the past 18 months or so, I’ve been fighting the other side, the depression. We’re all familiar with depression. I think we all experience it to some degree at some point in our lives.
But the depression I’ve dealt with has been irrational and unceasing. It took over our lives and almost cost me mine. I took a handful of pills back in March and spent 9 days in a mental hospital getting my head back on straight. I came out of that feeling better for a while, but the depression wasn’t done with me.
I don’t remember doing it, so I don’t know what I was thinking or feeling. I don’t even remember the days leading up to it, but on July 9, Paul and I had an argument, and I guess I went down the rabbit hole. I took 5 bottles of pills while Paul was out to lunch cooling off. He found me unconscious on the kitchen floor. I ended up being in a coma for 5 days.
I shouldn’t be writing this now. The doctors didn’t expect me to come out of that coma. They had started talking to Paul about long-term care options. But I did wake up. It hasn’t been easy. I spent 23 days more in the hospital, some of it in a medically induced coma, the rest relearning how to communicate, how to use my left hand, getting back my memories. I still have a trach in my throat, so I still can’t actually talk.
Paul stood by me through all of it. In that whole 28 days, he only came home 5 times. He’s been my rock. While I would completely understand if he were angry with me, he’s never once blamed me. In the larger scope of things, he’s been a saint. My depression has cost us dearly. Our fourth book is never going to happen because of me. I’ve cost him job opportunities because neither of us trusts me to be alone. And I can only imagine the emotional hell I’ve put him through.
I’m not writing about this now in search of sympathy. I’m writing about it because depression is dangerous. Suicide claims more lives than murder even though we don’t hear about it in the news. People who try suicide once are more likely to try again. I tried for the first time when I was 19. This was my 6th attempt.
Am I ok now? Yes and no. I’m not suicidal now. But I have had some emotional instability since I’ve been home. I’ve completely changed the medication I take, and I can tell a difference. But I wouldn’t say that I’m out of the woods just yet. And there’s the trach. I’ve been back in the hospital to get scar tissue in my throat removed, but I’m still weeks away from being rid of it and able to breathe and talk normally again.
Watch the people you love for signs of depression and get them help when they need it. There shouldn’t be a stigma to needing help sometimes, but people can’t always ask for themselves. When someone is depressed, sometimes they don’t realize how bad things are from the inside, and things can get very bad very quickly. Making that offer can make all the difference in the world.
And while we’ve never asked for donations before, I’m asking now. If you’ve got money sitting around doing nothing, we could really use it. Please consider visiting my GoFundMe site. Thank you.