*Warning- talk of suicide*
I wouldn’t have imaged trying to find help would be so difficult. I was always led to believe that the hardest part is recognizing you need help and then telling someone. Speaking up, asking for help. No, trying to find that help turned out to be so much harder.
We spent days looking up therapists in our area who said on their website that they specialize in postpartum depression. We made countless calls, leaving as many voice mails as calls to never have a single one respond. It was two weeks leading up to Christmas but still I would have expected a response.
As Christmas approached I didn’t know how I was going to make it. With everyday that passed my will power to live dwindled. With every plan I made to kill myself I forced myself to tell my husband. He’d immediately removed what ever needed to be to keep me safe. During this time we learned how to have HARD conversations.
I was desperate. It was less then a week before Christmas of 2018 and I NEEDED help NOW!
I texted my midwife, I should have done this many months earlier, and asked her where I could go to get on some medication for postpartum depression. She sent me a name of a Doctor..
I called him, it was the Friday before Christmas. Christmas was just 5 days away. I left him a message. I explained I had postpartum depression, that my midwife revered me and that I really needed help. He called me back! The first person to call me back in the three weeks I’d been trying to reach out for help. We talked on the phone as he drove home from the office for Christmas break. After our conversation he decided to call me in a prescription and meet with me two days after Christmas. It gave me hope. Finally someone who cared. I rode this hope to get me through Christmas.
I met with him weekly and every so often we upped the medication. It wasn’t helping yet. Meanwhile things were extremely difficult for me and my ride of hope had ended.
After seeing him for 3 weeks he decided to get me into a therapist. He referred me to a woman who specialized in postpartum mental health. When I called her she answered and got me in the very next day.
When I saw her she validated how bad I was. She knew I needed an immediate medication change and sent me to an office that was believed to have a psychiatrist there. I went there and asked to see a psychiatrist, the receptionist said I could be seen in two hours so I went to get lunch and came back.
I wanted to get help so I really put myself out there trying to tell him what was going on. He just seemed really confused and didn’t want to change my medication. After an hour in his office he sent me to the hospital to be evaluated. I was so exhausted and frustrated that he would do this. He is who I was sent to see for medication changes, why wasn’t he just changing them?
At the hospital it took a lot of convincing them I was fine and that we had a good safety plan in place at home. They called my husband and spoke with him on the phone and decided they’d release me into his care.
The next morning I went back to the Drs office as scheduled expecting to have medication adjustments. When I went in the Dr came in and said “So I see the ER let you go home. I saw here in the notes it said you were having a follow up with a psychiatrist today. I’m not a psychiatrist.”
I had a flood of emotions, fist anger, I had been so honest with these people about my darkest thoughts to just find out they weren’t qualified to be handling them. Then despair, I had finally thought I was getting help and things could only get better from here-boy was I wrong. Lastly I just wanted to cry. Emotionally I couldn’t handle this.
Being uninsured complicated my situation with trying to get help. Not many people would see me. They gave me a list of psychiatrist to call to see if I could get in.
My husband called all of them. Some had waits, some could have seen me same day but nobody would because I wasn’t on medicaid. So my life didn’t matter because of the income we make? This reinforced everything I was already feeling and my will to live was nearly gone.
Over and over we were turned away. Finally we got an appointment but it was 6 weeks out. I didn’t have 6 weeks.
The Dr I saw earlier in the day called me in a prescription to help me sleep. It was the first night in years I slept well. Upon waking though I was drugged, yet my mind could still run a million miles per hour. My body responded in delay which frustrated my mind that couldn’t slow down. I made my way snail speed downstairs to where my husband was. I looked at him and all I could think was if this is how I have to live till I can get help I’m not living.
My crazy on the inside finally manifested on the outside. I was shaking my hands and arms, pacing back and forth, agitated, freaking out at the drop of a pin, and couldn’t handle life.
I thought it couldn’t get worse than this, and yet it did.