This is a hard post to write, as it has been a hard time in the past few days. I feel the need to warn you that this could well be a triggering post, as it concerns suicidal thoughts and mentions of overdosing. I want to write it down though, as the more people who share their experiences with mental health problems, the more recognition the field will get, and hopefully, in parallel to this, treatment options will improve.
I have been hospitalised, twice, in both cases due to overdoses. My mind created a reaction from me totally out of proportion to the actual situation. As I am still in a fragile state of mind about it I will be brief on some details. It all kicked off on a weekday afternoon.
I had come back to my parents house for a few hours knowing only my Mother would be home. I knew in my head I was still too angry to confront or talk to my Father, but then he unexpectedly came back and forced himself into my room…we argued.
I ran for it
I decided that was it, I could not escape my body but I could let my mind escape…I had an excess of 60/70 prescription tablets on me and a one track mind. I called CMHT to try gain some perspective, for someone to talk to, to calm me down, but instead got someone telling me that they had been considering letting me go from CMHT because they believed I did not want their support. That was my last safety rope being severed.
I continued running
I ended up in gardens nearby, sat on a bench, and laid out all the pills in front of me. They took up half the bench. I sat and stared at them. Several dog walkers went past, looked at me, and kept walking. One pill at a time, I started to escape.
A random thought.. I was ment to be meeting the friend whom I was staying the nights at for dinner. I sent a brief text telling her it was off. She sensed something was wrong, and I told her where I was. Cue a taxi, an A&E admission, tests, ECGs, Doctors, Nurses, hospital beds, charcoal, bright lights.. a whirlwind of activity and commotion that I only had brief snapshots of in my head, blurred and distorted.
The next day I felt numb…I was on a ward, in hospital pyjamas, not wanting to think about anything. It was a waiting game..3 hours then a Doctor…3 hours then a psychiatrist… 3 hours then the crisis team. I broke down with the crisis team, in tears, I could not think, I could not explain, I was scared and felt like I was disappointing them, not being able to pinpoint what support I needed, what I wanted from them… I had no idea. They told me I could call them whenever, or my CPN (who they knew I did not get on with) and to wait for my psychiatrist appointment later in the week. They left me alone, crying my eyes out. I packed up my stuff.
And I ran.
I sat outside the hospital for a while, in a distraught state… many people passed me but no one bothered to stop and see if I was OK. Eventually I called my friend, and she helped me back to hers. Then I got a text from my Mother. She seemed angry in the text, at me, how I had upset my Father, and seemed to suggest I get my stuff and leave the house permanently. I could not cope, my mind became a burning hot fire that blinded me, and I knew it was time to end it. I wanted gone from this world.
So I ran
I went to a pharmacy.. they would only give me one packet of sleeping pills, but that was better than nothing. I brought them and headed out to some open space and proceeded to talk all 20 tablets in less than a minute. My friend called. I told her the situation. I ended back up in A&E. Cue: A&E admission, tests, ECGs, Doctors, Nurses, hospital beds, bright lights. I was told if I left they would call the police. To put it bluntly I was shit scared and very sick. I woke up on another ward, and I knew I was back. The rational, normal version of me was present again.
It felt like for the past few days my mind had been hijacked, taken over by this powerful, all-encompassing presence which had finally had enough with me, and had gone like a puff of smoke. All day I was shattered and I pottered round my room waiting for various people to come in and asses me. Thankfully I was seen late afternoon by some really nice psychologists who were understanding and kind. My Mother was with me when I was discharged and I went home.
I’ve often thought that I have the wrong body for my mind, this I came to peace with realising I am transgender. However, after all I put my body through recently, I also had the thought that I have the wrong mind for my body. It takes all the hits my mind throws at it, and it stays functioning and ticks over consistently. How on earth does it cope coupled to this head? Anyway, for now, both are in normality and trying to rest.
I hope from this post that the reader, yourself, can see and understand how mental health crisises are not a choice, the episodes can be violent, destructive, and from my experience, coming out of them is absolutely terrifying.