Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hoping for Hope (Part 1)

I came very close to the end a couple Saturdays ago.  I had been keeping this little notebook for a few weeks.  It was a cute miniature composition book with birds and plants on the cover, but I took a sharpie marker to it, making it black with red pages because I wanted it to look like it was bleeding.  My soul was bleeding.  I filled those little pages with very detailed descriptions of methods with materials, and to-do lists for each one.  I highlighted the ones I felt were the most realistic and achievable.  I bought an e-book about ways to kill yourself.  It was mostly intended for people nearing the end of their lives who wanted to end their suffering and die with dignity.  I'm embarrassed about how engrossed and obsessed I got with this book.  I read it over and over, taking notes and looking for supplies online.  I took copious notes in my little composition notebook.  I also filled this  little book with "inspirational" quotes on why I should do it and how much better off the world would be without someone like me.  I overdosed last year on so many sleeping pills and failed.  Well, I changed my mind and told my girlfriend before I passed out.  This time I wanted to be more prepared and successful, so I kept a journal about it.
on a bus stop, wanting to die

I was very organized and methodical about the whole thing.  When I started actually purchasing supplies and checking off parts of my to-do lists, something in me snapped for just a second.  A voice from way back in a dark, forgotten, dusty corner of my mind started screaming at me that this was crazy that I needed to do something.  The voice wanted me to try to keep going.  And for a brief moment, this voice won.  I texted a friend to come get me and take me to UCLA, but she was sleeping so I went and sat at the bus stop by my house, with my little alley cat friend sitting with me.  I was feeling scared and alone, so I asked Melody to come sit with me.  She came and sat with me, and then asked me if she could take me to the ER.  She took me and stayed with me for hours in the ER.  We spent the hours on the gurney just behind the door to the waiting room, joking, laughing, wiping my tears, and even trying to wipe my nose for me (I won't let her do that.  No!).  I was watched by a security guard the whole time because once you tell them you are suicidal they put you on a 5150.  They wheeled me up to my room and this is when Melody hugged me, told me she loved me, and left.  She kept me calm for hours in the ER.  I probably would have changed my mind and tried to escape if I hadn't had her there for me.

I spent 11 days in the hospital and the doctors were thinking about keeping me until next Wednesday.  They had a hearing and put me on an additional 14 day hold, or a 5250, so they could have kept me against my will until next Wednesday if they wanted to.  And a great deal of it was very much against my will.

I was desperate and in a very desperate place.  I tried something stupid while in the hospital.  I've lied to everyone about it.  The nurses, the doctors, Melody (sorry), myself.  I felt I had made a huge mistake a day after I checked myself in.  They only had room for me in the Eating Disorder Unit.  I was on a unit obsessed with weight and I already wanted to die.  They were trying to move me, but had to wait until a bed opened up on a different unit.  The room itself was nice.  I had my own room the whole time.  My room had a TV and it's own bathroom with a shower.  But I also did not get any sort of treatment or intervention for the two whole days I was on that unit.  No change in my meds.  No therapy.  No help.  Practically no attention whatsoever.  I was put in a little white room and left there with only my thoughts to keep me company.  And my mind raced with thoughts about dying and how I could do it.  I took my flat bed sheet, tied it in a loop at one end, and then tied a large knot on the other.  I brought a little chair and the sheet into the bathroom with me.  Stood on the chair and threw the knotted part of the sheet over the door making sure the loop was high enough.  I smoothed the top over the door until I could close the it most of the way.  Then I put it over my neck, and I gently scooted the chair away and stepped off.  The pain was so much more than I imagined it would be, but it only lasted a split second because the door opened and I fell to the floor and sobbed for hours, not even bothering to remove the sheet from my neck.  Not one nurse checked on me while this was happening or for the hours I spent crying on the floor.  Truthfully I have no idea how long any of this took because I did not have a clock and it feels like I was in a whole other world.

When I finally got up, I took my sheet with me and shoved it under my pillow and cried until I passed out.  I woke up to a nurse asking me a million frenzied questions.  My eyes were swollen and crusty from crying so I had to rub them and pull down on the skin on my cheeks to pull my crusted eyelids apart.  She kept asking me what I was planning to do with my sheet.  I just kept saying "What sheet?"  and "Why did you look under my pillow while I was sleeping?"  That creeped me out beyond belief, but she said the knotted part fell out of my pillow and she pulled to see the rest of it.

This was such a stupid thing to do, in more ways than one.  I seriously freaked the nurses out.  She locked my bathroom door and kept my bedroom door open.  I was so exhausted, but my room was right next to the entrance and exit for the unit and the nurses station were the nurses were loud and talkative.  They celebrated someone's new pregnancy or new engagement, I'm not sure, while I sobbed on a bed 15 feet away.  I was moved to a new unit at the end of the next day.  The new unit was quite a different place.