Do you know what.
If I can get this out there to save someone, to break the stigma then I’m willing to bare my soul. I will sacrifice my privacy, my deepest most personal thoughts to try and save myself.
Two months ago I reached a crisis point, I sat in my lounge having run errands with 4 young children and the tipping point was my almost three year old taking my newborns milk tubs and emptying out the powder in the garden.
No pharmacy stocked his milk within a 30mile radius and I had stupidly let myself in my brain fog newborn haze, run out.
I cried. No, I sobbed I fell to the floor that was now covered in powdered toddler feet and I cried out “I just can’t do this any more.” And by “this” I meant life, I meant, parenting, a fiancé, a friend, a daughter…existing.
In my haze of despair, my fleeting moods I went to the cupboard and I downed some paracetamol. I knew this wasn’t the answer, I even knew downing the amount I did would do nothing but slowly, painfully eat my liver up and kill me. But hell, I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be breathing.
A panic surged through and I thought what have I done?! The days leading up to this I had been having regular input with my perinatal nurse and the home treatment team to Monitor my ever depleting mood. I reached for my phone and I emailed my nurse I told her what I had done and she text me, told me she needed to see me right away – she was coming over. Reluctantly I obliged , to my house she came where she took my newborn from my arms and fed him for me whilst I sorted myself out.
She calmly told me there was a bed on the mother and baby unit there waiting for me. I needed to decide there and then to voluntarily go other wise the bed would go to another needing mother and baby. She also tried to let me know gently, that, if I didn’t go the mental health act would be used on me meaning I would likely be put on a section 5(2) pending further assessment for a section 2, or, 3. They clearly knew my struggle and knew I was in crisis. I was to and fro about going to the unit, I felt like I’d failed at everything possible. But I had to go.
The most painful and embarrassing conversation was yet to come. It was with my partner of 6 years. He needed to be aware of what I’d been shielding from him, he needed to know how serious it was, and as he has joint parental responsibility for our children he needed to be in agreement that our youngeSt, Jasper, was allowed to be put in hospital with me. Steven had the conversation with my nurse and he agreed this was the best route for me, my nurse left and I began to pack up my belongings with my newborn and took enough things to see me through.
Steven and I didn’t say a word on the journey. My head was in turmoil. He dropped us off, helped with my belongings and then left. I watched as the door closed and locked behind him, this was one way, there was no way out now, I was not walking out that door, I simply wasn’t allowed to.
As the staff searched me, my belongings, everything I sat in a daze, was this happening? It was. I felt like a prisoner. Felt like I’d done something terrible, committed a crime. But the only thing I was guilty of, was not being true to my feelings. My inner most, and most important feelings sooner. Blood tests were taken to determine the damage, and it was later revealed it was okay. I had survived – this time.
For 5 weeks I stayed an inpatient, attending therapies, talking. I cried, I laughed. I really laughed. And I also flipped my lid, destroyed the lounge and punched the fence so hard my hand turned purple. I went through every emotion possible as I slowly picked away at the scab holding my life together. The blood oozing out from underneath, revealing the extent of the damage. I am a broken woman.
As the medication increased the moods lifted, I started to take leave and spend time with my family, day leave turned to night leave and I felt on top of the world. Nothing could steal my thunder now. Could it?
The leave had been stressful, my daughter had undergone major surgery and it sparked emotions and memories that had been unearthed but not yet dealt with, it set off a fire, a pain, a struggle and I declined. One Sunday morning I found myself marvelling at how well I’d done, my house, my children my everything was A game. It was all good, but a saddening feeling crept in, like an old friend, the Pitt of my stomach began to gnaw and it then spread to my chest and heart. This emptiness was familiar, it was sleeping in to my veins, eating my smile pulling down the mask that I’d been wearing. My patience wore thin, my smiles thinner and I reached for the only thing I knew. Pills.
Like a release the impulse was so intense, 10 pills, 20pills…. more what else could I down!! Until I stopped took and breath and thought, “let the show begin”. I didn’t know what the next few hours, days would bring. I thought it would do bugger All. Thought it was pointless me doing it any way because it wouldn’t work. But I was wrong.
The next couple of days past and I still felt okay. My depressive fog was thickening and I confided then admitted to my nurse I’d overdosed. She came round to see me, she said she was concerned, said I needed to go to the doctor but I declined. I wanted it to work. I wanted this to kill me. I didn’t want to be me any more.
Later that evening my nurse came back round and insisted in the best interest of my children she needed to inform people. It wasn’t a question it was her informing me, informing me whilst she was on her way home. How fucking convenient….
As the hours passed me waiting for Steven to return me to the inpatient ward that I was currently on leave from called me. It was a nurse I trusted. She left me a voice email to call back ASAP. I called back and another nurse answered and I quickly hung up.
I cautiously pressed redial and got through to the nurse. She was so lovely. She empathised me with, what was going on? What had I done? How many? When? And I told her, like a blade to my vein it cut and I poured my emotion out. Everything.
I had to go to a&e. But first I had to go back to the ward and then I’d go to the hospital escorted by staff.
The night shift had started and I was taken to a&e. I was poked, I was prodded and endless needles shoved in to me. This went on until about 1am, viles of blood taken, a lovely doctor came in to deliver the news. It was not good.
The preliminary results were in and showed a lot of abnormal readings that told them my liver was not happy. I needed treatment straight away, I was hooked up to an antidote and this ran continuously for three days. It made me want to vomit. It made it hard to breathe and my stomach was in knots.
Was I allowed any thing for the side effects ? No. I’d upset my stomach and liver so much that food was all I could have. How fucking cruel. But hey, ain’t karma a bitch!
Bloods were taken periodically to see if the NAC treatment needed to be stopped, but it only needed increasing until finally, finally, the doctors said my levels were Stable enough to go back to the mental health unit. Her words were “your liver is still not back to normal, but with time it will be. Do NOT take paracetamol for the foreseeable future..”. Even taking a couple here or there is going to drive my liver nuts, it will not be able to process it.
I’ve finally been discharged after almost 9 weeks as an inpatient. I’m not where I want to be, the road is long, but, I’ll get there.
I can’t thank the nurses and staff on Rainbow unit enough. They were life savers. In the 24 hours when they had to sit by my bedside constantly for 4 days, entertaining me, keeping me company. Truly can’t thank them enough.
Suicide isn’t the answer.