The Stay

November 2019. One of the worst days. A turning point.

Some of the details are muddled but others have yet to be erased in my mind. Crying in the hospital parking lot pleading to go home. Crying “I won’t do it. I’m not going in there.” Being driven back home only to curl up and cry on the bathroom floor. The desperation in my being as I told my husband to take the kids away, that this was an emergency. The hole in the bedroom door is a reminder of the intensity of those moments.

After dropping off the kids my husband drove me into the big town and took me to the emergency room. They asked me why I was there and I had to say it- right in the open. Suicidal thoughts. It still stings. From there I was told to go over to a different building for mental health. I had to undress in front of two nurses. They gave me a hospital gown and the same panties they give you in the hospital after having your babies. No bra. Next I was being taken to my room. Only I didn’t know that my room would have a roommate and that I would be in a sort of dorms with other people- men and women. I could not have felt more naked. With nothing to do I sat at a table in the common area. After forever someone talked to me. The other patients were so kind and it felt so good to be completely understood.

The next five days were restorative. Sleep. Uninterrupted showers-except for the safety checks. Puzzles. Therapy sessions. So many people asking and genuinely wanting to know how I was doing. Food. Coloring. Conversations.

I am forever grateful for that experience. The people I met. The progress I made. It was a huge leap forward. The blunt honesty. Without accepting the reality of my illness- severe depression- there is little room for healing. I’m starting by writing it here and hopefully one day I will be able to say it out loud. I have to believe that I can Survive all this and be able to live a fulfilling life with this illness. I have to believe that there is a purpose for this suffering. Maybe one purpose to it all will be helping someone else. So if your reading this now and your that someone…Know that you are not alone. The darkness does not have to win. You can prevail.

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