I’m Still Here

Monday was the most terrifying 24 hours I can remember since my first conscious day on the ventilator. I was in a full blown panic attack for the entire day, and realized in my scant moments of clarity, a few things were for certain:

I have to go to the hospital in order to get this medication situation taken care of. I can't do it alone.

I don't think there's any possible way it can wait until March when my Medicaid starts.

There's no way on earth I can go to Georgia this week.

It was a day of self-loathing and, in my mind at the time, utter failure. I had vowed when I was in rehab that I would never be "locked up" again. And here I am taking the needed steps to voluntarily go to a lockdown facility. I really, truly, must be out of my mind. 

I also want to expedite this process. I can't go on living the way my brain has been forcing me to live as of late. That's not a suicide threat, far from it. I'm going to do everything I possibly can to fix this mess, and offing myself is not part of the plan. I am, however, constantly on the brink of total breakdown, of complete irrationality. I was scared of myself yesterday. And nothing I could do would stop it, would even slow it down. This kind of thing is happening more and more often, lasting for longer and longer periods of time. And I am afraid of what I could end up doing if the episodes get much worse. 

I called my therapist and told her that I wanted to put the hospital stay on the front burner. We have to work around my meds doctor, and he's not exactly the easiest person in the world to work with, so this might take some time, but yesterday cemented the fact that it wasn't a matter of if I went to the hospital, it's a matter of when. The sooner, the better. 

I haven't heard back from my therapist, which means that she hasn't been able to contact my meds doctor yet. This is not a surprise in the slightest, but perhaps by the end of the week I'll know more. 

Which brings me to the subject of Georgia, my canceled trip, the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends and his wonderful fiancee, both of whom were there for me at my darkest times right before the coma and rehab, both of whom I love fiercely. I won't be there for their wedding, and it breaks my heart, but it's something I have to do for my own sanity. The panic that I was feeling at the thought of travelling, of being so far from home, and the demons I left down there along with my drinking days and the hospital…it was too much to comprehend, and I had to come to terms with the fact that I am simply not strong enough right now to travel, to be social, to be anywhere but a short walk to the emergency room, should something happen. 

So to Stevil and the Cineaste, I am so sorry. I will regret not being there for your wedding for the rest of my life, but having me there would be a liability, a stain on an event that is for YOU, not your crazy friend. It's better this way. I know that *I* was supposed to be part of the wedding, but my bipolar wasn't invited, and it is in charge right now. I'm so, so sorry, and I love you both.

Ever since I made the two decisions – to go to the hospital when I can, and to not go to Georgia – I've been somewhat calmer. But yesterday was a terrifying ride into my brain, and I wasn't sure I would be able to get myself out of it this time. I don't have five or six more months of fight left in me without something changing. I really need help, and even though I'm shocked to hear myself say it, and it's something I've fought my whole life, I'm asking for it. I'm asking for help. 

Now, the bureaucracy begins. Who knows what the next step will be. But I'm here, still here, to take it. 


I’m Still Here — 39 Comments

  1. Just delurking to say: You are so brave, and so honest. I’m so sorry that you have to miss the wedding, but so in awe of your courage to face inpatient treatment voluntarily. You’re amazing.

  2. I’ve been following your blog for quite some time and have been reading your past posts, especially after this week when you have been having med issues, since I have been going through the same thing. Just read your bday week posts–I knew there was more than one reason I identified with you. I’m a 6/30’er myself. 1971.
    I don’t know if you can get another meds doctor but if your healthcare plan allows it, might be worth a shot. The doctor you have sounds like a shithead. I’m glad you aren’t afraid to go into lockdown and I really hope it helps. Will continue to read your blog and posts on Twitter. Hang in there.

  3. Thank you for this post. Your sharing so openly has helped me feel that much less alone in the Universe.
    I can so completely relate to what you’ve written here. I have felt every feeling you describe – in fact, I very recently wrote a blog post in a similar vein, if you’re interested: “Fighting the Demons Again” (http://bryanrutt.blogspot.com/2010/10/fighting-demons-again.html)
    I could rattle off a list of friends’ weddings I’ve missed, invitations to visit I’ve turned down, important events in the lives of people close to me I’ve not been able to be a part of due to my anxieties; I hope those who are close to you are as understanding and supportive as my inner circle is.
    You seem to know exactly what you need to do – good. Don’t stop writing about it – it is such great self-therapy. Know that you aren’t alone in your battle. And never, ever stop fighting the demons.

  4. Bless you, this is the exactly right thing, and taking care of yourself is the best wedding present you can give friends who love you so very much. If there’s anything your squirrels can do to make it easier, I hope you will let us know. Please.
    Love you!

  5. you know how to find me, and also know I am one who will force help to you, because I love and care deeply about you.
    please never fear asking me for help, if I can’t do it I will find someone who can.
    also am just here to be your friend, no forcing necessary.

  6. I can’t even begin to understand what you’re going through, but one thing is certain-you’re strong, you’re brave, and you’re a survivor. I’m very proud of you and I care deeply about you. You’ll fight these demons and you will win!

  7. Love, thoughts, prayers and positive energies from a follower here in Australia. Get better and know there are many around the world who believe in you! 🙂

  8. Delurking to say I’m so impressed with how strong and courageous you are for not only recognizing that you can’t do this on your own right now but that you are also making plans to address it AND sharing it with the interweb. GO MISS BANSHEE! You seriously rock. Even though you probably don’t feel like any of those things trust us (me and all the commenters before me) you do.

  9. I am so wanting to bash your meds doc in the head right now!! As usual, your honesty takes my breath away. Many prayers and good thoughts to you my dear. Hugs.

  10. Miss Banshee —
    We will miss having you there, but we love you and want more than anything for YOU to be OK. There is nothing more we would want for a wedding present. We will be here for you to visit ANYTIME.
    Hugs and kisses from Stevil and the Cineaste

  11. You are a brave soul, Miss B, and it WILL get better. Baby Jebuddah in his jumpy swing promised. And if you can’t believe Baby Jebuddah, who CAN you believe?
    I Love You, Sweetie.

  12. Oh dear, my biggest hugs to you! I know what you’re going through (was considering the same sort of situation a few weeks ago) and I know how scary it is. I hope things work out quickly and you get the help you deserve, soon. Sending all my internet loves to you. You’re definitely in my thoughts.

  13. yep, I’m going to agree… you are very brave to do what you are doing. Trust me you are much stronger than you feel, at least 10x stronger. I wish you luck and wish there was more I could do other than from afar support you…
    I thank you for putting this out here for the world see, and know that your strength WILL give strength to someone going through something and help them know there is a way out

  14. Honey you will be missed but you are doing the right thing for you. I’m glad you are taking the steps to take care of yourself. I’ll send you bunches of pictures via phone!

  15. Miss B
    You are our Warrior Goddess (Xena bows down before you!) You have fought these evil demons before & vanquished them all. You WILL do it again! Have faith in yourself & know that this will pass.
    You need to get someone you trust to call EVERYone, state & federally funded agencies, charities, even local & nearby dioces, to see about financial assistance for this. St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s clinic helped me a LOT before I got medicare. There is someone out there who will get you what you need.
    Hug your kitties, watch something that relaxes you (Or Buffy – you can live vicariously through her – each baddie is one of your own personal demons) except for Spike, of course. You are going to push through this & be fine. Believe that & you’re halfway there. Love You!

  16. I was so hoping to get to meet you when you came here to Savannah and am sad it isn’t going to happen but I would rather get to have you here and healthy online than here and broken in Savannah. I owe you a breakfast when you get here, offer never expires. I will be keeping my fingers crossed things will hurry so you can get better. It breaks my heart to see you suffer

  17. Miss B –
    fight & fight until you get the help you need. i had to voluntarily put myself in “time out” last summer. i KNOW how hard it is.
    keep fighting, keep hollering, keep asking.

  18. IU love this tiny reference in a Marge Piecry book about this futuristic world- In her world, they see psych ward places as sanctuaries and it’s very positive. Like a healing vacation from stresses of life. I know from my little inpatient stint that UM THEY ARE NOT. But… this stay is voluntary, and it’s a HUGE blessing to get a safe place to clear your system from the meds and start anew. You know how much it utterly fucks your brain to change meds. This is a very, very good thing. I know it’s also really scary and evokes terrible memories, but this really is different from being in a full-blown crisis. All my love, Sweetpea.

  19. Curious why you have to stay with this particular asstard meds doc?
    Good for you for taking care of yourself. Your friends love you and they will understand. I am sending all the good juju I can muster your way.

  20. It deeply saddens me that our mental health system fails people so thoroughly.
    Miss B, you are a breath of fresh air and snark and I’m glad that you are working so hard to help yourself get better.
    Thank you for being so honest with us.

  21. The fact that you have the frame of mind to take control of the things you need to do to get yourself better show that you are just such a strong person… even if you don’t always believe it of yourself.
    I just cannot believe your meds doctor. Shouldn’t he be a person that wants to help the people who need the meds???? He shouldn’t be so difficult to reach and work with… especially when it is another medical professional that is trying to work with him. I’m with Karen… you should totally find out if there is another meds doctor available for you to work with.
    I know that we don’t know each other very well yet… but please let me know if you need anything. I’m right here. You have my number.

  22. GOOD! Good decisions! When you’d said you planned to travel, I wondered how you would do away from home and I think you’ve made the best decision for you and your friends. Best wishes with everything.

  23. Oh, honey. I’m so sorry. I hope your therapist is able to get a hold of your dickhead meds doctor soon so you can get this ball rolling. Take care of you, ’cause you’re the only Miss Banshee we have, and those bebe kittehs need their mama! Sending big virtual hugs and pudding cups.

  24. Hang in there my sweet. And I’m glad you found some calm in the storm It is sad that you’ll miss the wedding but the stress was tearing at you. So don’t get bogged with guilt. Your friend are just happy that you are able to keep it all going. Take care soul sista. wish I could help…

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