Five years ago today I was transported to a hospital for a suicide attempt.
I was hospitalized for approximately five days as the doctor at the hospital suggested. I was diagnosed with bipolar within five minutes of seeing the hospitals on duty doctor and prescribed several different medications.
I was placed in the geriatric unit as the “adult section” was at capacity. The first two nights I was placed in a room by myself and refused the prescribed medicine. I gave into taking the prescribed medicine within a 24 hour period, because I didn’t know how else to manage myself.
I documented my stay with a journal each day which I still have in my posession today.
During my hospital stay I was without my cell phone or any way to communicate with the outside world unless someone came to visit or a community phone which all the patients used during specific times.
I wrote rhyme, short stories, short term goals and long term goals, what and whom I was grateful for and I prayed. I took showers often and even exercised in my room. I knew these coping strategies helped me in the past, so I continued to do them there.
The hospital would allow one short outdoor break each day in a courtyard.
Snack time was always popular. I would grab an ice cream and a small bag of cookies to dunk in my ice cream. Healthy food choices were unavailable and did the best I could with what was available.
There was a community area in the center of all the patient’s rooms to converse with other patients, color or wander around to pass the time. A separate room for television viewing, (there were no TVs in patients rooms) as I recall either the news or crime shows played all day.
While other patients were swapping meds, I was interviewing nurses.
At the time of admission, I had my own radio show, a mother of four and was doing my very best to move forward after filing for divorce and I wanted/needed to learn what signs to be aware of for myself so I could let those that loved me and cared about me know how I needed to be loved and cared for so I could continue becoming the best version of myself and then share my knowledge with others.
The day I was released I decided to move forward with my weekly Tuesday night show How to Cope With Anxiety and Depression, I shared what I had learned and what I knew to help me at the time. Since I’d interviewed the nurses, had interaction with other people doing their best to cope with their own mental illness diagnosis during my stay and I had had my own experiences, I figured it would be the perfect time to discuss mental health awareness.
I assure you, me doing a live internet radio show broadcast the day I was released from the hospital with a brand new mental health diagnosis was no easy task. I used what courage I had in me at the time as I felt I owed it to my radio show listeners to show up and more importantly myself.
I’d been in and out of therapy since I was about ten years of age due to childhood trauma and diagnosed in the past with anxiety, depression, then severe depression in my twenties and thirties, then bipolar in my early 40’s and now I have the diagnosis of PTSD at 45 and am using medical marijuana to manage myself. I no longer take all the prescribed psychiatric medications that the doctors have put me on over the years and haven’t in over four years, nor do I intend to.
The reason why I attempted suicide wasn’t to kill myself. It was to try to ease my emotional pain from year’s of not learning how to manage myself. I was given medication to be controlled not helped.
I believe I was diagnosed bipolar, to be prescribed.
If you know what emotional pain feels like you know it is even more of a challenge to manage even more so than physical pain. I learned, the environments in which we place ourselves in and whom we surround ourselves with, will make a difference with how healthy we are.
I was carrying around with me everyone’s opinion and judgment of me, other people’s choices, generational trauma and the list at the time went on and on.
I was 41 at the time and somehow managed to get that far in life with no idea how to manage my feelings and understand the difference between my subconscious thoughts and my conscious thoughts and forget about living in the present moment, I didn’t even know what was that was even about despite therapy and every prescribed medication I ever received and the side effects that came with them, so I learned.
The coping strategies I used and still use today are in my 2nd book of poetry Welcome to My Bipolar Mind.
I was completely sober at the time I wrote my 2nd book. No alcohol, no drugs prescribed or otherwise, nor caffeine. I helped myself holistically.
I’m grateful the suicide attempt wasn’t successful and I am grateful for the experience to be able to share with you.
Imagine what a world we would live in if everyone was encouraged to learn healthy coping strategies verse being programmed and conditioned to think a pill will solve all our worldly problems and how it could impact our future as well as our children’s future in a healthy way.