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Thursday, April 30, 2020

Memoirs (1) - Visit to the ER


I am aware I haven't written in a long while, I have considered taking down my blog or perhaps "re-branding" but more on that later. I haven't been able to write for a while and I think I just uncovered why. Vulnerability has been one of my major drivers. The first time I picked up my pen to write was to replicate my emotions on paper or perhaps give words to my silent moans. I have been thought to leave parts of myself out of many conversations in other areas of my life, but writing?  this is the place where I bring it all, unhindered. So I haven't been able to write because my vulnerability was compromised by a lot of experiences I haven't been able to talk about but I'll start with one.


Next week will mark a year since I was taken to the ER for suicidal ideations and I think for a while, I blocked that experience out of my mind. I write this now, as a memoir.

Therapist: I have called an ambulance to pick you up as I do not think you are safe to be by yourself. They'll take you in and probably suggest in-patient treatment, they'll be in a better position to give you the kind of care you need.

*Emergency room

Smells weird in here. I take off my clothes, change into a paper outfit, and lay on a bed of stone while I await my fate. A nurse comes in to take vitals and ask a myriad of questions. I really just want to sleep, I don't want my brain awake for this.

Social worker/Psychiatrist assistant: I will now ask you a bunch of questions, try to answer to the best of your ability. Have you now or in the last 2 weeks thought of harming yourself...

The questions seem to be unending, I am now on auto-pilot. My mind drifts for a quick second to the amount of work I have to do and then I begin to wonder: "how much is it going to cost to have me in here?" I secretly start to loathe my therapist for sending me here, Lord knows I'm about to drown in medical bills.

Social worker/Psychiatrist assistant: I am going to go over these responses with the psychiatrist and he will provide some recommendations on treatment. There's a chance you'll be admitted into in-patient and be started on treatment immediately. You won't be allowed to bring your cell phone but you'll have visiting hours...blah blah blah

Starts texting my family to let them know I may be going to prison soon and they won't be able to reach me ('cause, no cell-phone?). I've only been here a couple of hours and it feels like a week already. I am exhausted, mentally. Tears of exhaustion flow down my cheeks. I just need my brain to work, every minute of every day, for the rest of my life. Can anyone fix that for me? The social worker (or something like that) leaves for what seems like an eternity and returns with a verdict.

Social worker/Psychiatrist assistant: Your diagnosis is acute depression and the psychiatrist has recommended in-patient for a couple of days. However, you can also choose an out-patient option...blah blah blah. What do you think?

Umm, I don't know. I am still really really tired. My brain is sick and I have had to answer a gazillion questions... you know what? Take me in. It seems like the fastest route to getting better. Scary but fast... I remember a friend who's been there before. I text her. "hey girl, how much did it cost you to go in-patient?"

Friend: A lot, lol. Why what's up?

I'm at the ER.

Friend: On my way.

I remember some of the scary stories my friend told me after being back from in-patient. How everyone is basically treated the same despite having varying diagnoses. I start to re-think my decision. Plus, insurance may not cover it (What? this is a health issue, a dangerous one). Sighs. Okay, I change my mind. I wanna go home.

Social worker/Psychiatrist assistant: You will need to sign an AMA (Against Medical Advice) before we release you. We will also provide a list of outpatient resources for you as a follow up for long term treatment. Oh and also, you have to answer a bunch of questions promising the next time you feel like killing yourself, you'll call the ER.

I worked out of the ER that day, with a lot of medical bills and a scary realization that while "mental health" may be a buzz word everyone now throws around it has now become some type of nemesis for me. I signed an AMA that day and took full responsibility for my mental health, I swore "an oath" to that medical practitioner but mostly to myself that I will do whatever it takes to stay sane. It's been almost a year and I am still on that journey. I have had other diagnoses since then and there's a lot to uncover. Most times it's a lonely journey but sometimes someone comes along to say "I get it".

*Recent time*

Me: Am I going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life?

Therapist: Probably, many people do but we can help you learn to live with it.









5 comments:

  1. I read this, and I nearly cried but held back. To think today, I was reminding myself of how depressed I was this time last year and how much things have changed around me improving my mental health. The support system, the new friends, the peace, the growth. I can’t really explain how I got better but I know it was God! 100%. (Okay now, I am crying).

    I remember the. My favorite line was “God, I know you love me, but I don’t feel it”. I was desperate to be fine, I prayed to be fine, I cried unto God but I only got more depressed. It was so difficult to explain to people because they will try to point out reasons why I should be happy (like I couldn’t see the reasons already).

    I was trying so hard to be happy but got sadder!. and this broke me, it broke so bad because I knew I was trying and I just couldn’t understand why I was not as happy as I tried to be.

    a year now, and I thank God. I look back and I can boldly say that he was there all along, I couldn’t feel him but he was there. It does get better!, It will get better, You will get better! You will look back and be amazed at your restoration. Hang in there and keep pushing ��

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    1. Toyin,
      Thank you so so much for sharing your story and for such kind words! I resonate so much with most of the things you said and it does get better! Experiencing God in the middle of mental battles is definitely different but it gives a whole new meaning to dependence. Thank you for reading and I hope you continue to be filled with joy!

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  3. Thank you for being so vulnerable Moyo. It is so hard to be transparent when it comes to mental health struggles, but I’ve learned that it provides an opportunity for friends and loved ones to pray with you and for you, which is so powerful. I am praying for you now that God would surround you with a strong support system where you’re at, and that he would give you peace in the midst of the battle. Your courage in seeking the help you need and fighting for your health is so inspiring to me. ❤️
    Love and miss you,
    Casey

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    1. Casey!!!

      It is so good to hear from you! Thank you so much and I hope you are well! <3

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