I have just realized that it has been almost a year since I had my breakdown..
I thought about this today as I was baking my banana apple muffins, and my best friend was cooking her apple crisp.
I thought of it as I held my amazing new little "neice" in my arms and felt particularly thankful that that day back in January I didn't do what I had so desperately wanted to do...
And in reminiscing upon that, I have decided that I am now going to share my story.
I am not looking for sympathy, or pity. I am not looking for words of understanding. What I am looking for is a way to help another...someone who feels the way that I felt back then, the way that I still feel sometimes now.
Dealing with such a burden is like juggling glass balls. You never know when you are going to drop one and have them all shatter soon thereafter...
Back in January of 09...the last week to be exact, I had what has been classified as a nervous breakdown. It all began on a Sunday, and it "ended" the following Monday...
I awoke that day like any other normal day. I usually overthink too much to begin with, but for whatever reason may be, I was not able to shut my mind off. My husband was getting ready to transfer, without us. My oldest daughter was going into high school. My middle daughter was going to junior high. My son had ADHD and I was fighting with our insurance to get him properly diagnosed. Christmas had come and gone, New years had come and gone. I felt like my life was passing me by, and I was no longer a part of it.
In this particular week, things went from bad to worse. I was watching my two neices then, full time. Overstressed, and without resources, I guess that everything finally caught up to me.
I would go to "bed", and instead of sleeping, would lay there, eyes wide open. Things would just run through my head. What if's that I had no control over. I have always been a very skeptical person, but this was ridiculous! When I would sleep, I would have HORRIBLE nightmares of things that are never going to happen, worst case scenarios that you read about and think, thank you God for keeping me safe. Things that are unimaginable, but nonetheless had invaded my dreams. My husband was right next to me, and more than once, I would wake in a terror induced sweat that I couldn't come down from. So, I would go downstairs, and I would just lay on the couch until day was to come again.
And every day, my neices were dropped off. And everyday, I tried to act like nothing was going on.
I would eat, I would throw it up.
I would sit, and my heart would start to pound.
I would go to the grocery store, and after an hour of shopping, leave me cart in the middle of the store full of food because my world was spinning, and I had no way to stop it.
I would cry at the drop of a hat.
I tried to surround myself with my loved ones, I thought that would help. I tried to keep a smile on my face, even though inside, I was crumbling like the twin towers.
I didn't have the energy to face this horrible, awful pain, and yet, it wouldn't leave me alone. It was like a silent monster, just growing and growing.....eating me alive.
That Thursday, I was with my best friend all day long...she went home at 7 that night. We had eaten dinner together, and my husband wasn't home from work yet.
When she left, the kids went up to shower and get ready for school the next day, and what came next can only be described as rock bottom. My own personal hell.
My heart pounding. My head spinnning. My palms sweaty..my throat closing in, the room spinning and then swallowing me like a big black hole.
I called my sister in law...sobbing. I didn't make sense to me, much less to her. She was completely taken aback, but as supportive as she could be.. But I didn't know who else to call, who else wouldn't immediatley jump to a conclusion, or worse not listen and just offer their own opinion. (love you J) (we agreed that I would go to the doctor the next day)
I vomited three more times before my husband walked through the door. When he finally did, I could see the concern written all over his face, but there were no words. I could offer him NO comfort that everything would be ok, because it wasn't. And I didn't know if it would be.
I WANTED TO DIE.
I wanted to STOP feeling this everlasting pain in my heart, in my head...directly into my soul.
I wanted to STOP crying, to feel SOME joy, some relief...I was EXHAUSTED.
Emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually...everything felt like it was an effort, even breathing.....and that scared the living hell out of me.
I called my doctor's office the next morning. I asked for an appointment, and when the receptionist asked for what....I couldn't even get the words out. All I could say was,"I need help before I do something that I cannot take back." Something must have told her that this was serious enough, and I was in within an hour or so.
My nurse took my blood pressure, through the roof.
I know I looked like hell, I was working off of four hours of sleep.
I know that I was discombobulated, I know that I looked and sounded like a crazy person....BUT I also know that I have been blessed, and fortunate enough to find a practice that consists of THE most caring people in the healthcare profession.
When I started to tell my nurse what had been going on, the tears FLOWED...I could not stop them, I did not WANT to stop them. To finally speak about it, I felt empowered, like I had somehow taken back a little bit of the control.
She hugged me, she told me it was ok...and offered me a tissue, which of course made me cry even harder.
My doctor came in to see me within a matter of minutes..
In my 45 minute consultation, I just poured out everything that I had been feeling. The feelings of desperation, hopelessness, suffocation, the way my body hurt (another sign of depression), the way that my heart hurt (breaking in pieces at what was coming) the way that I so badly no longer wanted to feel that way, and the things that I had considered doing to STOP feeling that way....I was terrified, and he knew it.
At first, he thought that it was all about Denins leaving, and actually wanted to write me a prescription stating that I had to move with him....but that wasn't all of it.
I had been diagnosed with depression years before. I had already been on medication. I was also diagnosed with Bi-Polar, but for both had not been on meds for a very long time. I didn't have the support I needed in order to make myself better back then...
After receiving all of the information that he needed, I was diagnosed with:
There you have it ladies and gents, I was officially crazy....
He put me on 60 mg of Cymbalta.
I left, and I went to lunch with my aunt.
I took my little pill....AKA Happy Pill.
I ate my lunch.
I felt somewhat better.
Four hours later.....
My SKIN WAS BURNING OFF.
I was TERRIFIED.
I WANTED TO CRAWL OUT OF MY OWN BODY...LEAVE IT SO THAT I DIDN'T FEEL LIKE I WAS ON FIRE...
I came home, and I called my dad. I spoke with him, and I remember laying on my bed saying, "daddy, what is wrong with me? Why am I feeling like this? I feel empty, and lost, and horrible, and my skin"......all the while, I lay there itching to the point where I had scratched open scratches into my arm...rubbed it raw...
I jumped off the bed, suddenly....dad, I have to go....
Pacing..back and forth, back and forth...breath in, breath out...getting dizzy...
My mom calls back, and asks if I need her to come over...mommy, would you please?
My kids weren't home from school yet,but they walked in to their mother completely having checked out of the building...laying in their grandmothers lap.
I laid there for three and a half hours. I woke only in spurts, because I had taken sleeping medecine that the doc had also prescribed. My husband called the doc, he was instructed that I wasn't to take the pills again, as I had a rare reaction to them.
When I would wake, I would find that my son was sitting at my feet, staring at me helplessly. Ten years old.
My daughters had made dinner and cleaned the house.
My husband had come home to rub my feet and ask if I was ok..
I was devestated.
I had wanted a band-aid on my owie, and I was bleeding straight through it.
I laid in my wonderful mothers lap like that, her hand stroking my head over and over again. The smell of her filling my nose, and the peace of having her there enveloping me. I have never needed my mother like that in my adult life....and everyday, I am thankful that I have her now, and I had her then when I did.
I slept on the couch for the next few days. Tried as I might, I was not able to walk up the stairs into my bedroom. The effort was too much.
I returned to the doctor that following Tuesday, and we came to the conclusion that I am a sensitive person...meaning that I have a very low tolerance for medication and the effects that it has on me...
So he began me on 25 mg of Zoloft. And .25 mg of xanax and 250 mg of soma (muscle relaxer to help me sleep)
That was in the first week of February.
I am now on 150 mg of the zoloft.
And I only have to take the xanax on particularly difficult days. They are from the same drug family, and they both help with the anxiety and panic, so these days are much easier than the ones back then.
I knew it was only a matter of time before that happened to me...
before all of my glass balls broke.
I knew that if I didn't get help that my beautiful, bright, loving children....my amazing, loving beautiful husband, my family that I have been blessed with, my friends that have become family to me...I knew that I would no longer be here to share their lives...I knew this because back in that week of January 09, I hit rock bottom, and I wanted to die.
I have chosen to share this because of the fact that people in my position find that they aren't alone when they choose to share what they have experienced. And that is exactly what I have found.....I am not alone. Even when I THOUGHT I was, God was walking beside me, and my friends and family rallied around me.
The thing is....when you are where I have been, where I sometimes still go, it is hard to know that there is someone out there that loves you because all you can think of is this emptiness inside of you. You don't stop to think of the people that it would hurt, of the things that you would miss, of the wonderfulness that truly is life..
I am thankful for each and every day. I try to give back what I recieve. I have found that I am truly truly blessed, and when I forget that, I think back to then....and I know that as long as I remember, I will never be there again.
I will ASK for help.
I will HELP MYSELF.
Most of all, I will love myself, and I will accept what life has to offer with an open heart and an open mind.