***Trigger warning: references to suicidal thoughts and self harm***
My recovery from my breakdown began on 26th October 2018, five and half months after I first became ill. That Friday was one of the worst days of my life but, looking back, I know it had to happen and I’m beyond glad that it did. I’m going to try and be as honest as possible in these next few posts, but I will be skating over a few of the grimmer details about how bad things became. I’m not entirely sure why I’m doing this, and if I’m being honest I think I still feel ashamed of some of the things BPD has made me do. I also don’t want to put those close to me in an awkward position by oversharing, as this is their story too, and not all of it is mine to tell. But I will do my best.
In the weeks prior to 26th October 2018, I was a complete mess, doing all the wrong things, and deep in denial about how ill I actually was. I tried to go back to work in this time, believing that maybe if I went back to having the life I was living before I was ill I would become that person again. It went spectacularly badly (entirely as the result of me misjudging what I could cope with; my work were incredibly supportive) and triggered a series of events and A&E crisis visits. I was not even slightly managing my difficult emotions, and I can barely remember a lot of what was happening in that time. I know I wasn’t sleeping well at all, and the team looking after me at the time had changed my medication, meaning I was taking a large dose of a sleeping aid every night and waking up in the absolute terrors at 3am or 4am every day, unable to get back to sleep, terrified of the thoughts and images my brain was churning out.
The morning of this Friday I woke even earlier than normal. I think it was about 1am. I couldn’t settle back to sleep, my brain was on fire, everything was wrong, wrong, wrong. I needed to escape my own mind, and I could think of only one way to do that. I needed to not exist anymore. God, I’m crying now just thinking about how desperate I was. I didn’t want to die, but I just could not continue as I was. I did not know how to save myself, and I couldn’t stand what I was putting my family through anymore. These thoughts triggered a series of awful events early that morning that meant I was taken to Bassetlaw A&E in crisis, and in floods of tears. Panic had consumed me and I did not know what was going to happen next. I had lost.
We had been staying at my in-laws house that night, and with me in the hospital were my husband, Tom, and my lovely sister-in-law, Hannah. I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them there with me. We were put in a windowless room all day, whilst the medical professionals assessed me and I climbed the walls with panic and despair. Again, I won’t go into details, but they had put me in a separate room so that my distress did not disturb other patients, and they had to sedate me at times. Tom and Hannah talked to me, held me, calmed me down, distracted me and encouraged me to eat whatever food I was brought. They helped me talk to the man from psychiatry liaison, and explain what had been happening. And, ultimately, they helped me make the decision to admit myself as a voluntary in-patient to a psychiatric ward.
I’m going to stop writing here, it is way more intense writing about all this than I expected it to be. Not in an awful way, I guess this is all pretty cathartic, but I feel so deeply sorry for that broken and desperate person I am writing about, and also so deeply grateful to her for holding on and believing that things could get better, that she could get better.