Matthew 7:26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!” NRSV
Note: Biblical imagery is appropriate in my circumstance. No, I’m not going to using this story to interpret Jesus. I will, however, allow myself the liberty of borrowing the imagery.
I had thought I had been doing very well, as far as my mental illness was concerned. I had been hiding a creeping up of alcoholism from my mental health team, but I had been trying to seek treatment just for that through people that specialized specifically in just that treatment. Basically, I was in my last semester of college, and my drinking had gotten completely out of control. Well, I ended up in the hospital with a life threatening case of acute pancreatitis. I made it through it. I came clean to my mental health team. I finished up the rest of my semester, and I went straight to rehab. I haven’t had drop of alcohol since.
My mental health continued to be more stable than it ever had, or so, it seemed. I got an entry level job at one of dream companies. Then I started to not be able to sleep for days at a time. At first, I didn’t worry, but then, I started to notice that my personality was reversing somehow. First off, I’m not an excitable person, but even if I was just excited, why was my personality changing. Why was, I, a person who is generally extremely disorganized now almost cleaning on the excessive side et cettera? I have always been very agreeable, but now, I was above average on the assertive side. I could go one. I started to worry. I explained all of this to my mental health team. They told me I was just excited, and it would go away. The problem was it didn’t go away, in fact it got much much worse. Still, I was feeling really, really, good, but I knew I felt way too good, because even baseline me is below average on a depression screening. I just tried to push through. Then, a couple of sessions of therapy sessions later. I was complaining to my therapist that I was really having hard time concentrating lately, and that I was trying my best not to chatter through the entire session. He, then told me, I need to talk to my psychiatrist because, while it’s possible I have a really severe case of ADHD, I had appeared manicky for multiple sessions in row now. I talked to my psychiatrist. He changed my meds. I took a couple days off work. It wasn’t enough, but I had to go back to work.
Long story short, I ended up flipping out in the middle of night and my husband drove me to the ER. I was injected multiple times with antipsychotics and benzos. It was a really rough inpatient unit this time around. We had multiple violent patients. We had patients through feces. We had patients defecating in the common areas. For awhile there were only two women on the unit, one being me. Thus, we had to be roommates. She was violent as well. At least, I found out, at least, one of the psych doctors the worked there was my outpatient psych, and he told me that I did the right thing. That I made a really good decision, and he basically already knew which treatment he was going to try for. He said he couldn’t do more for me outpatient. He said I needed more medication changes and quickly, and he could only do slow minor med changes on an outpatient bases. However, at the time, he also had no reason to force me to go inpatient either. It made sense. Unfortunately, I, also, lost my job, in the process.
So as it turns out, my new found confidence in my own mental health stability was a house built on a sand. It was a house built on a mind much more broken than previously thought. Still, I’m not willing to give up on the dream quite yet. I might have to modify the plan, but I will get back up for another round. Whether it’s just due to good old fashion stubbornness or some sappy bullshit about the strength of the human spirit remains to be seen.