When I Hit Rock Bottom

About two years ago, I felt great. I was taking two HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes a week and when I wasn’t doing that I was training to run a 5K, a feat for me because I hate running. I felt so strong, so energetic and proud of myself. I was doing hard things, things I didn’t think I could do. I was a role model to my kids.

In June 2017 I ran the 5K. I was happy. A couple weeks later I started to feel bad. I wasn’t sick but I started to lose momentum with my workouts. Things that were once easy or doable became hard. Waking up in the morning was hard. I didn’t know what was going on. I knew I had depression but I was doing so well. It had been well over a year since I had Eli, it couldn’t be postpartum depression – I was over that.

I took whatever energy I could muster and put it toward the kids, which meant I suffered more. Showers seemed near impossible. I stopped working out. I just wasn’t myself.

In October, I hit rock bottom. I had suicidal thoughts. I was crying at every little thing. I felt anxious all the time and my marriage was suffering. Thankfully, my mother in law was helping with the kids.

During a school break, we took the kids up to my parents’ house. I had also made an appointment with a new psychiatrist who specialized in women’s mental health in Southlake. My then current pyschiatrist wasn’t cutting it. While my parents’ and the kids were at my parents’ lake house, my husband and I got into a huge fight and I just lost it. I was sobbing uncontrollably and suicidal. This next part is hard – I knew where some hydocodone was and I had a plan to take some but I didn’t want my mom to find my body. I called my best friend and she urged me to go to the ER.

I waiting for hours at the ER for them to transfer me to a psychiatric hospital. Around midnight, hours after I’d arrived, I was taken by ambulance to a psych ward at another hospital. I was there two and a half days. The psychiatrist there was a total dick. He wouldn’t release me until he “talked to my husband about my illness” and didn’t listen to anything I said. Because I had an appointment with the psychiatrist in Southlake, he ended up letting me go after talking to my husband of course.

When I met with Dr. Johnson, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. She diagnosed me with Major Depressive Disorder, PMDD, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety. My old doctors just said I was depressed and never spent more than 15 minutes with me. Dr. Johnson spent more than an hour talking to me. She put me on medications I had never heard of, that my doctors never mentioned, and I left the office crying tears of happiness.

I did get better, I’m better than I was that awful October but I’m treatment resistant, so medication can only go so far for me. That’s why I try alternative treatments like TMS, ketamine infusions and soon the ketamine nasal spray. Right now, I’m definitely not suicidal but I have to struggle though days, some more than others.

If you’re suicidal, please go to the nearest ER or tell your doctor – any doctor. There is help and it does get better. You can also call the suicide hotline at 1-800-273-8255. Someone is there 24 hours a day to help you.

Thanks for listening. This blog was a hard one to write.

 

4 thoughts on “When I Hit Rock Bottom

  1. Thank you for sharing this. You are incredibly brave and I am so proud of you. Telling your story helps people understand the bigger picture behind mental illness, like the obstacles a person faces when for no apparent reason their mental health starts to decline. For the person experiencing it, it can be so confusing leaving them to ask, “Am I going crazy?” The answer of course is, “No, you are not.” It takes finding a professional that knows what is going on, to explain to you what is happening, and then to help you by finding ways to treat whatever mental illness you are experiencing. These are things that you, your friends, your family, your spouse, etc… are just not aware of because they have either never experienced it themselves or do not know anyone who has because of the stigma behind openly talking about mental health issues. You are helping to change that and I am grateful for your candidness on the topic. You are not alone in this struggle. I am so glad you are writing again. Much love, J.

  2. Your experience in the ER is not an uncommon one. I had a similar experience. At my most suicidal moment, I had my parents take me to Parkland ER. I went to Parkland because I didn’t have health insurance. At the time I was unemployed due to walking out on my job a few days earlier while having what can only be described as a mental breakdown. I left an entire hotel unattended, but not before making a desperate call to my boss to have someone come in as soon as possible. The ER sent me directly to the Psych Examination Ward. There I spent countless hours just waiting with about 15 other people in a room while being monitored so that I would not hurt myself. By the time I finally saw the attending Psychiatrist I was completely deflated as a human being. I didn’t have the energy or willpower to move much less hurt myself. I was also disenchanted with the reality of what committing yourself would be like. I expected immediate help. I expected to be seen by the Psychiatrist right away, to receive medication to relieve my symptoms of despair, and to follow that by seeing a Psychologist to talk to. I came to realize that this process was not going to be quick one. So I gathered what little strength was left in me, took the prescription the psychiatrist wrote for me to get filled, and left with at least the comfort of my parents being there. The prescription got filled, and I was able to wade through the months that followed. It was a really long time before I experienced my next breakthrough from MDD, which was being prescribed Vyvanse (like Adderall). I was surprised to be prescribed a medication closely related to one that is known to be taken mostly by children with ADHD. It turns out, it was just what my body needed to feel somewhat normal and active again. It’s important to understand with mental illness that there is no one quick-fix for everyone. Everyone’s body chemistry is different from others and what works on one person does not necessarily work for all. Thanks for inspiring me to share a little bit of my journey. Love, J.

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