Numb, exhausted and grief stricken. I’m shown to my room and suddenly, it hits me. I can’t do this. Dread, fear strikes my heart and I begin to panic… “I can’t do this!” “I don’t want to be here! I want to go home. I want my husband. I suddenly miss him like crazy. A pit in my stomach grows ten feet wide… I want to live… I swear… Just let me go!”
I managed through the weekend. Our five year anniversary. Mostly present. Appearing happy. Mostly engaged. The Nothing on my heels. “I will not faulter… I will not fall… I must keep living.”, my will to continue kept me going as the blackness slowly crept under my skin, over my eyelids, dripping over my head… Skin…. Soul.
Monday. Four nights have passed since my psychiatrist asked me to increase my Cymbalta and continue to titrate off of the Effexor. One day after our five year anniversary. The blackness is not a choice. It breathes through me. I shuffle, zombie through the hospital to the check in desk. I must decide… Do I lie? Do I say, “I’m ok, I can make it? I can do this.”? Or, do I truthfully let go? Let the blackness, take the rest of me… “I’ll be safe here”, my heart whispers as I walk down the bright, familiar clinical hallway. All of my doctors are located within a military hospital.
I sit in the waiting area. Silent. I can’t move. I feel like I’ve lost my mind. What the hell happened to me??? My mind, body, spirit collide and at once decide I should be admitted in to the psychiatric ward. And at once, I feel worry in my belly. “Ignore it… Your reactions aren’t to be trusted.” I think to myself.
My psychiatrist meets me at my chair in the waiting area, her round, innocent face takes a moment to adjust to my visage. Her brows knit and she ushers me back to her office.
“It looks like you’re not doing well…” She says, softly. Her chair facing mine. Tears fall from my eyes. Numb. Black. Worry takes over my soul. Like a thousand other times… What will my husband think? Will he leave me? If he does, I can finally end it without worry. “End my life” my mind says quietly. Wordless. My psychiatrist is talking… What is she saying? “Is it time to admit you?…. It’s not a failure… You are brave for doing this.” “What will happen?” I whisper to her. “Well, you’ll check in and get into some comfy jammies and then you can just relax.” I love jammies. The thought of fleece jammies gives me hope. “It will be a good thing… Couple days… Get your meds straight.”
“It will be a good thing… Couple days… Get your meds straight.”
My mind relaxes. It sounds like what I need… My mind envisions a sweet, warm sedation, my medicine is adjusted while I sleep. I need sleep. I need to stop thinking, worrying. The black will go away. The nothing will not touch me in there In my jammies, in a safe place.
I am running on autopilot now. My husband has the week off. He can take care of the dogs while I’m gone. He’s fishing now. I send a text to his parents. “Please watch over your boy while I care for myself.” My husband will later ask me why I didn’t contact him. He wasn’t aware that anything was wrong. Did I try anything? What is going on? He’s confused… I am confused as to why he’s confused.
My doctor hands me multiple papers to sign. She takes my vitals and soon, we slowly walk through the vast, bright, military hospital to the place that was promised to help me through this terrible time. To take away the blackness. A quiet stroll, she shuffles, I limp; past many patients and visitors. “Just a stroll to the psych ward”, I think to myself.
I hadn’t thought it through.