My Journey With Depression:Rock Bottom
The beauty of hitting rock bottom is there's nowhere else to fall. The beginning of my rock bottom was walking into an ER and telling the clerk I just tried to commit suicide. I was immediately considered a 5150. In case you don’t know, a 5150 is a California law code for individuals who present a danger to themselves or others due to signs of mental illness. They kept me in the ER while they searched for a psychiatric hospital to transfer me to. The moment they assigned a police officer to guard my every move is when shit got real. Luckily I have the sweetest husband in the world who loves me with all his precious heart and stayed with me the entire time. I have to take a moment out to acknowledge the type of love and bond my husband and I share. As we slept together on this narrow hospital bed in the hallway of the ER with a police office guarding me; we still somehow found ways to make each other laugh in between the tears of sadness and shock. He was the only thing in the world keeping me together.
It took almost two days waiting in the ER to find me a psychiatric hospital. The nurses tried their best to find a place that wasn't so…lets say, “manic”. Based on their reactions and the yelp reviews I knew my next destination wasn’t going to be pleasant. As they began to push me out on the gurney into the ambulance my heart started to race. This was the first moment of being separated from my husband. The two EMTs were cool. I can’t remember the conversations but I do remember making them laugh. They gave me warning of the intensity of the hospital they were transferring me to but assured that the facilitators were all supportive and kind.
We arrive. My heart begins to beat faster and hands start to tremble. I do my best not to cry and fought with all my might to keep cool. If only I could remember his name but the facilitator who checked me in was a sweet and funny jerk. Within moments he was giving me shit and making me laugh. Although the introduction was pleasant, the further I walked into the facility the more disturbed I became. I knew at this moment I had finally arrived at my rock bottom.
This place was fucking awful and was everything most people think of when it comes to a psychiatric ward. It was filthy and unsanitary. Luckily I was able to get one of the few rooms they had. Everyone else was spread out on top of cots laying on the dirty floor. The showers were disgusting and once during my stay the clothes they gave me smelled like feces. They passed out sedatives like it was candy. I definitely indulged, they were my warm dark blanket to put over my head so that I didn't have to face my reality. The only thing that got me through those three dreadful nights was a note my husband wrote with his cell number and message “I love you”.
When I think back on my three days there the first thing that comes to mind were the other patients. Yes, I was struggling with depression and tried to commit suicide but some of these souls were much further down the black hole of despair than me. That experience deepened my empathy for those who are suffering with schizophrenia, bipolar 1, and dealing with a mental illness while homeless. I wish I can go back there and tell them I found a door that led out of that dark cave into the light. I want to lead a rescue mission guiding them through all the twists and turns that lead me to where I am now. All I can do is pray that they will find their way. Those faces will always have a place in my heart.
After being in the psychiatric hospital for three dreary nights I was then moved into a recovery center where I stayed for three weeks. I’ll never forget the feeling I had when I walked in. It was like night and day compared to the psych ward. The moment I was greeted by a fellow inpatient and was given a tour,
I knew this was exactly where I needed to be.
This was the beginning of my healing.
To be continued....