Jul 1, 2020
This content contains explicit and sensitive information that may not be suitable for all ages.
A brief intro about myself before we get into the nitty gritty of my story.
My name is Jessica. I am 37, married to the most wonderful man and a mother of two beautiful daughters. I am very sarcastic and my humour can be dark at times. I used to make people comfortable with my situation. I mean, let’s face it — talking about suicide attempts, MHU visits, mania, PTSD and how it manifests isn’t something most people can handle.
My story started years before I was diagnosed. I was always an anxious perfectionist. Always busy cleaning. I always felt that my surroundings weren’t clean or done perfectly. I was agoraphobic at times.
Hence the never feeling clean enough.
I thank my father who was a clean freak himself. Little love was shown by him. Everything had to be done right the first time. I had an uncle that would get drunk and “touchy-feely,” as my aunt would say. I was molested by that man for most of my childhood years. Hence the never feeling clean enough.
I always wonder who I would have been had these men not completely destroyed the me I was supposed to be before I even got a chance.
I spent most of my childhood years with OCD traits; waking up and remaking the bed, not wanting to sit down in case I wrinkled my clothes, showering up to — if not — more than three times a day. Sex became something I could only do when drunk. It still is.
I don’t like to be touched but yet I crave affection.
I struggled for years with anxiety, insomnia, images, feeling insecure, mania, depression. I refused to be a “ victim.” I refused to give in. I went on to college as a mother of two, who had recently left a dick of a man. I wasn’t going to be weak. I never cried, I never showed emotion. It felt unnatural to me.
I soon found the man who would ultimately break me in a million pieces — but it was what I needed. You see, I had glued myself together. I had to be completely broken to be put back together in a way that the pieces would fit properly. In order to do this, I had to find a man who would love me the way I needed to be loved. I slowly felt protected and safe. I began to feel and that is what broke me.
The breaking was not beautiful.
The breaking was not beautiful. I was numb for 32 years of my life. With it came night terrors, panic attacks and major depressive episodes. Sometimes I wanted to die. The feelings were overwhelming and unexpected. After months of pure hell, I agreed to see a psychiatrist just to shut my husband up.
My first appointment was hard. It was like a cleanse but of verbal diarrhea. The vault had been opened and telling someone made it feel true.
I felt like I did something wrong. I was tainted. I was being punished in life. This was my price.
We tried different meds. I would come off one and withdrawal and then have side effects from new meds — there was never any comfort. At times, I wished I had never opened the vault. At times, I hated my husband. In my darkest days, I wanted him to hate me. I wished I had no kids so I could just kill myself without guilt but I would never want to traumatize them for the rest of their lives.
I eventually tried to take my life February 25, 2019. I had taken a bunch of pills. All this time seeking help, I had a dark secret. I was trying to numb myself with pills and alcohol. It was my secret crutch.
I wasn’t getting better, but I made everyone believe I was.
The night of Feb. 25, a co-worker had just passed away. Only she knew my secret. I felt so alone and took at least 60 pills. As my eyes grew heavy and I started to give in, I went on FB for the last time and saw a birthday reminder for my daughter. I could not do this to her. I quickly ran upstairs, began puking up what I could and prayed I would wake up. I did!
That morning I wished her “Happy birthday.” Later on, my husband noticed my face was droopy. I panicked that I had done some permanent damage to myself, so I told him what I did and was brought to MHU. This was when I admitted to being an addict, my pill addiction and my alcohol use. I detoxed in MHU which wasn’t easy.
I got help, went to addictions counselling, and to this day — I remain sober. My pills are still locked up by my husband but it’s a fear I put into him.
All this time seeking help, I had a dark secret.
Fast forward to January 2020. I was having a few normal issues with my teen daughters. I felt stressed. My work had switched me floors and I was a wreck. Days after returning, I began breaking out into full body hives.
I was scared and went to emerge where I was given my first dose of steroids via IV. They said, “You may feel wired so take in the morning.” Days after starting the steroids, I noticed I began crying for no reason and started to feel unstable. I talked with my husband and decided MHU would be best. I was admitted. I had grown to fully trust and respect every decision my psychiatrist said. She was out of town and I was given a male psychiatrist who I did not want to talk to I quickly played it off and a week later when he asked, “Are you ready to go home?” I said, “Yes!” But knew I was not.
Meanwhile, during that week a rage was building. I would hide it as best I could. I had started a new new dose of steroids. They did wonders for hives, but sadly not my head. I asked the doctor if they could be making me feel like this. He said, “No” and I didn’t want to seem crazy so I went home with the high dose of steroids. I figured everything piled up was just beginning to take its toll.
February 6, 2020 — still on my steroids and fighting the unstableness and rage inside. That night my husband went to bed and left my night pills out. I thought “hmm, I refuse to watch my husband cry over me and my kids see me in hospital again.” I quickly swallowed the entire bottle and went to bed. I had no thoughts. It just was.
Morning came and I was up early and I was pissed. I needed pills! I called my best friend said I was in pain and needed a ride to emerge. My husband sent a text to her and asked if took them. I said, “Yes but shh.” She asked for a crisis worker and I was brought back to MHU.
I remained in an angry rage for weeks.
After some time, I began to stabilize. I will never forget those people that put all their own personal fears and/or stigmas aside and visited. My psychiatrist who I trusted was back and I was slowly preparing for my release.
Within days of being released, we were thrown into “ lockdown mode” self isolating in our own home. Nothing was the same. All I wanted was normalcy but COVID-19 had other plans. The world seemed to be cold and it was each man for himself. Everyone was stressed and focusing on their own personal fears. Nothing was or is the same. Appointments are done on the phone. I can’t see my people who make me feel “normal.”
I feel as though I am still suffering in a way and can’t distinguish if it’s anxiety from COVID-19 or the emotional hangover and guilt I have.