*This blog post is an excerpt from my journal. Trigger warning: suicidal thoughts, and hospitalization*
Written Feb 14, 2019. Events took place the end of January.
I don’t think any husband imagines a day when he’d have to walk his wife into the mental hospital. I sure don’t think mine did. We’d been married nearly 7.5 years when my postpartum mental illness finally escalated out of control. It had gradually gotten worse after each birth. Now four sons in I could see no way out.
It was exactly 18 month prior we found ourselves driving to the birthing center for the birth of our unexpected son. He would be the caboose of our family, totaling four boys in five years.
Now 18 month later I sobbed as my husband drove to the mental hospital. I wouldn’t be home there next morning to see my baby be 18 months. I wouldn’t get a picture of us. What hurt the most was the reality that I could never be in another photo again. Never be at another birthday, never play with my kids again. I could steal all those innocent kid years from them in an instant when I wasn’t being myself.
I wasn’t sure what hurt more. The fact that I didn’t care I wouldn’t be there in the morning for my kids or the pain I felt inside. My chest was tight, heavy, loaded with too much weight I no longer could bear. My head ached from the tears stinging on my red, swollen face.
The only person I wanted was my person, my husband, Trevor. I didn’t want to steal anytime away from him. He kept me grounded, present, focused on this fight being worth it. I didn’t want to not have access to him. He’s my rock.
My heart beat so hard I felt it drum through my body. My legs were jello and I was nauseous. I wanted to puke. In my head I was fighting being admitted hard but from the outside I looked numb, hopeless, sad, lost, devastated, exhausted, done. Just done.
Saying goodbye to Trevor was the hardest moment ever. It was the moment that lit a fire in me. The moment I knew I had to create change because I never wanted to take a moment away from us sooner than God has planned. He became my reason to fight because I wasn’t enough at that point.
Leaving him felt like loosing him. Like a death. I felt I was mourning.
I walked into the unit. I was making light jokes with the nurses. Breaking the tension. It was just me at 11pm awake. I told them how in 2 hours my baby would be 18 months. How 18 months ago I had the most healing birth. That I caught him and brought him into this world… Then I sat lost in my own thoughts. Eventually drifting off to sleep but sleep wouldn’t last long. I was up just two hours later bawling for the rest of the night.
I never felt so alone as I did the next day. I was furious I was there. Furious I’d gone so low. Why did I come here.. Furious. I was angry at God for not taking this from me. Angry things hadn’t been easier.
I continued to cry. Yelling at God in my mind. I had no one. No one. No Trevor, no access to friends, no one. I felt helpless and completely alone. At rock bottom.
I thought this must have been how Jesus felt on the cross. Then I remembered he really was alone. I have Him still and that’s all I need.
I cried and cried as I picked up my Bible and recited Psalms 103:1-5 till I had them memorized.
1.Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my in most being, Praise his holy name.
2. Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3. Who forgives all your sins,
and heals all your diseases,
4. who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5. who satisfies your desires with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like the eagles
I told God I can believe in the words in my Bible but that was all the faith I can muster. I told Him I knew He’d forgiven me for my sins as the Bible says and that it says “He redeems your life from the pit.” So I was declaring in faith He’d meet me here in my pit and redeem me. Resurrect me.
It was five days in my own personal hell but I learned a lot and somehow found the will to live in that lonely hospital.
Looking forward to my release I actually wanted to see my kids. I couldn’t wait to see their smiles, give them hugs and kiss their cheeks. Mostly I wanted to feel joy in my heart when I saw them.
Seeing Trevor did not disappoint. My heart skipped a beat. I felt more in love than ever and the anger I had at him for bringing me in was gone. I knew we had done the right thing. Getting a hug from him was soul cleansing. Heart healing. Amazing.
It felt surreal walking through my front door and seeing my youngest two. My ‘baby’ giggling, running around. My 3 yr old being so excited to see me.
I stood back and watched them. Wanting to soak in the moment. It was the first time I felt real joy and love looking at my baby since his birth. Real happiness. I knew then without a doubt this battle was worth it.
Healing is a journey not a destination. It will have bumps in the road, valleys and mountains to climb but every step of the way is worth it.
I’m still fresh on my journey. I have some good, and plenty of bad days. I cry and I write, and then I get back up.
I can now look at my family and say not only am I getting better for you but I’m getting better for me. I don’t want to miss a single giggle I don’t have to.
Keep pressing on.