I woke up in a hospital, not the kind with private rooms and nice nurses that bring you medication. This one had a person watching every move I made. I was allowed a pillow but no blanket, shoes but no shoelaces and bathroom privileges but no privacy. My mind had officially created a battlefield in my life.
Over the next few years this string of events would happen so many times that I don’t know the number of admissions I had. Each time I would get asked, “what happened right before you hurt yourself that made you want to die?”. My answer was always the same…”nothing”.
No one believed that answer but it was as true as anything. “Nothing” had happened but nothing I could do would convince them. I had no big plan for my destruction and the thought of hurting myself was just a passing thought in my mind. A thought that I acted upon time and again. I was trapped and my mind was my enemy. The people that were supposed to help didn’t believe me and a vicious cycle had begun.
My Mind Played the Game
I couldn’t handle the outside world and that hospital was a place where every decision was made for me. I got up and went to bed when they told me, I ate when they said to, I bathed when my name was on the schedule. Every single decision was made for me and to be honest, that is exactly what I needed.
But when your mind is as messed up as mine was, you learn to turn away from the things that help. I learned to play the system. I knew how to start behaving when I wanted to leave and I knew all of the right things to say to get a Doctor to agree. That hospital became a revolving door in my life.
Each time I got out of the hospital I would do the exact same things. I would medicate with alcohol and party until I was so exhausted that I was mentally weak again. Then a familiar thought would pass across my mind…a thought that I acted on because it was like a drug to me. I would soon find myself having my stomach pumped and then going back to the safe place again.
What was Next?
My life was a shambles and even though the pain and anger of my past had led me here, I knew the blame was all on me. I didn’t know how to stop the vicious cycle from continuing. I didn’t know how to silence that thought in my mind so it continued to play out this exact way.
The decisions I was making in life were destructive and it was clear to everyone but me that I needed more help than that revolving door was giving me. Finally, I moved back home to North Carolina and I tried to live among the demons of my past. This move was a double edged sword because on one hand I needed my mom and sister but in the other hand lay the memories of a shattered little girl.
I went to work that afternoon in a really good mood. Then I went to supper at a fast food restaurant. While in the bathroom, that flash of thought ran through my mind again. Then I swallowed both bottles of my medication and went back to work. I heard the sirens and saw the flashing lights of the ambulance as it approached. I remember being fastened to the stretcher.
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