** I can’t tell the story of the last two months in just one post so this is the beginning of a few posts …
The last time I posted about my journey with love was the day before I did something unthinkable. I wrote that last post so broken and on my knees with depression that although I was trying desperately to see a future I could see nothing but black. I said repeatedly in that post that anyone who survives a day of depression is a hero – And I said that if you are someone who lives with depression:
“You are probably one of the strongest people on the planet!!!!!”
I meant every word of what I wrote but despite all my best efforts after five years of being constantly beaten down and harassed by the black dog I had fallen into a place so dark that I couldn’t go on. Yet I was still (even on the day I did the unthinkable) trying so hard to convince myself but most importantly to convince everyone else I was OK, but I sat down on that Sunday afternoon and I snapped. I took a significant overdose of my medication and fell into a deep coma. My husband found me in time, but it wasn’t plain sailing he wasn’t given words of “It’ll be OK” at the hospital – I was on a ventilator and for many days no one knew if I would live and if I lived would I have organ damage, if I lived would I be neurologically damaged. For those who sat with me it was not a pretty sight I was agitated and distressed so much so it meant that I had to be restrained in my bed. After six days I began to come around and to everyones relief I was alive, my organs were OK and it seemed I was neurologically sound.
It took sometime for me to become aware of what had happened. But as I came back into consciousness I realized something utterly extraordinary I was not under the dark cloud, nor was I being harassed by the black dog or beaten into a place of hell instead I was calm, I was thinking quite clearly and I was to my shock eternally grateful to be alive.
It would be lovely to paint a picture of a woman beset with joy for her life and running into the hills to the sound of music but it doesn’t go quite like that because when you make a significant attempt to kill yourself not only do you stir up your own life but you plunge all those people who love you into a whirlpool and that is one heck of a lot of fall out.
When you get to a place where you are actively taking your life you are not functioning at a level of “normal” reasoning however I was still an adult, I was still a wife, a mother, daughter, sister and friend and I made that decision to take an overdose and I have to own that decision and that is utterly horrendous thing to own because I very nearly made my children motherless, my husband a widower, my mother and step father daughter-less, my brothers sister-less and rendered my friendships void. Guilt would be an easy place to go but where the hell would it get me? Nowhere! Instead I had to sit and take it on.
After eight days I was transferred from ITU to a psychiatry ward and as I talked to the psychiatrist for the first time I began to absorb the enormity of what I had done. Those first few days were so odd I was still very sick, weak and confused (I had a lot of medication still causing through my veins leaving me a little strange and disorientated) but I was also obscenely glad to be alive and how on earth could that be because I had been so ready to go.
So there I was grateful to be alive and also aware that I had come to a place where everything was and had to be different because the moment I chose to take an overdose I could not turn back. The place I landed was a miracle, a place that had the potential for release from suffering, a calm had been given for me to discern how I was to proceed I had to figure “it” out and the stark but ultimately loving place that was my psychiatry ward was the place for me to do it because a group of highly skilled professionals were not going to let me hurt myself and were very willing to help me face my new prospects. During many long hours of sitting in quietness it became clearer that my relationships had to change – relationships that had been put under unimaginable strain but were still if by a thread miraculously hanging on, my self harming habits of cutting and disordered eating had to stop, I had to accept that I was misusing alcohol. I had to face that my hiding away physically and emotionally had to stop and that I needed people, I need friends. And I had to stop pretending I was OK when I wasn’t, I had to stop putting on a “happy” front and face reality rather than cover it up. Somehow my life had been given back to me not just as it had been before but instead I had been given some clarity to consider how I was going to carry on and renew my life.
I knew very clearly what had to stop and what had to change yet why hadn’t I been able to see these things before? Quite simply I was blinded, blinded and shekled to my traumatized past. I held on so tightly to my past that I thought I would have control over it but instead all it had done was control me, twist me, torment me, harass me, torture me and terrifyingly it nearly destroyed me and in doing so my past would have destroyed not just my life but the lives of my children, my husband, my mother and stepfather, my brothers and my friends. I will never forget sitting opposite my psychiatrist and saying
“I have to let go of my past, its time to let it go, I want to let it go”
and paradoxically like someone who has to let a family member go into the arms of death I had to let my haunted past go there too, allow my past to rest in peace.
As I said at the beginning of this post I can’t write in one go the enormity of the last eight weeks so I’ll draw this part to a close with this;
I haven’t talked about the big piece, the God piece … Those first few days after I came out of the coma I was quite scared of facing God – I had no idea what to say to my maker as I had frankly run screaming from him and plunged myself into oblivion, I could have very easily get all tangled up in the sin of suicide and how I was ever to return to him. I admit I had no clue as to how to face my Love but as the days passed and I lay thinking about the future, my real live future, this future that I was frankly becoming excited about I also became very aware of God. He had never left me – not for one moment had he left me! One night as I lay in my hospital bed I became aware that my hands were lying open and I felt the sensation of something being placed into my hands, I wasn’t scared instead I knew very instinctually that God had placed my life back into my hands and that God knew I was ready and because he knew I was ready I somehow trusted that I really was ready to take back my life, myself. And that night with an overwhelming sense of love I slipped into a calm sleep. Now every morning that I wake is a new day of joys and yes of course challenges and as I am now unloading the past I can walk more freely and journey on with Love xxx