April 7, 2014: I wonder if I’ll ever be happy. I don’t think so. And that’s why I prefer to just go to sleep and never wake up.
Exactly a year ago, on April 8th, I voluntarily spent a week at a psychiatric ward. My diary entry the night before described suicidal thoughts, although not in extreme detail, and it ended with the sentence above. I didn’t have a step by step plan of what I wanted to do, just a general idea, and I had the tools and was more than willing to pull the plug on myself just to make the pain go away. I’m the type of person who can’t plan things to an extreme, or else I’ll never get around to doing them because I get stuck over-analyzing. It’s proven to be of use at times, though, and last year, ironically, it was useful as I ended up in the psych ward instead of….well, you know.
I flipped a few pages of my old diary to see what I had written after being discharged, and I came across the picture they took of me upon admission to the psych ward. I remember one of the nurses asking me if I wanted it on the day of my discharge, and without losing a beat I said yes. I wanted to see my progress. I’d seen dead bodies before. I’d been to funerals and took Gross Anatomy first year of medical school. However, nothing had prepared me for what I saw in that picture the first time I got around to seeing it. My face was pudgy from all the weight I had gained, my eyebrows lopsided, not a single trace of a smile was evident, and finally, my eyes were completely empty. There was no life there. I had never seen a dead person before.
And so, here I am, a year later, after encountering many bumps in my road to recovery and making a few leaps in the right direction. I have many moments where I have the wind knocked out of me again and again, but in general it’s been a decent climb uphill. I’ve come to accept having a diagnosis of severe major depressive disorder without psychotic features, recurrent. I don’t fight it anymore, but in my case that’s proven to be key in my recovery. Fighting it only kept me falling again and again in the vicious cycle. It’s a part of my life. I might have to deal with it more than I’ve already had to or I might get lucky and it’s the last I’ll see of this. I’ll just keep trudging on. It doesn’t stop me either way.
Meanwhile, I lost the Borderline label, saw my eating disordered tendencies turn into a full-blown eating disorder, and finally realized my suspicions of having been abused as a teen were more than just suspicions, they were fact. I feel like I’ve lived so much in so little time. Seriously, I feel older, and tired (but I think that’s just because my sleep sucks and I’m exhausted right now!).
Honestly, it’s been an interesting stage in my life, and as weird as this sounds I don’t think I would trade it for any other thing, ever. I spent 2 years just revving my engines alongside M, and now with R and G I feel almost like a seasoned veteran. Like I said, that’s not to say I don’t have my moments, like my crying yesterday with G (more on that later), but I think I’m finally finding a sense of who I am. I finally feel like I’m on firm, fertile soil again. I’m starting to get a sense of who that 15-going-on-16 year-old girl was, and trying to continue the life she wanted and deserved. And I’m excited to finally be able to make that life a reality. I’m scared, of course, but excited.
And so, today, I wanted to let you all know that in spite of my blog being mostly made up of the downs in this up-and-down journey, I don’t feel dead anymore. I have big dreams for the future and I’m in love with medicine again. So far I feel incredibly comfortable in my decision to specialize in psychiatry, so we’ll see if I actually get to become a psychiatrist in the near future. I think that 15-going-on-16 year-old girl deserves it.
I feel like I’m finally surfing those ups-and-downs in an acceptable manner. Sure, I’m still on Prozac, and I’m still having weekly therapy, but if a wave crashes down on me again, at least I know how to swim this time around.