*Content/trigger warning: this post discusses self-harm/suicidal ideation.
**I know some of you will be thinking “I had no idea you felt this way”â€”that’s why I am sharing this.
Super Bowl night, I found myself in the ER again, squirming in a hospital gown with no underwear. There, again, of my own doing, chasing the Super Bowl drinks Iâ€™d had with pills, giving into the voice in my head that said I was better off dead, where I wouldnâ€™t feel that deep, paralyzing emotional pain.
They asked if I wanted to admit myself, and I politely declined. Having been down this road before, I know that the psych ward is for stabilization and safety. I believed I was safe at the moment from doing this again, knowing Iâ€™d end up right back in that ER. But what about a month from now? A year from now? I feared Iâ€™d ultimately be successful at completing suicide. As much as I didnâ€™t want to live then, I didnâ€™t want to die, either.
After the first trip to the ER, a friend and her mom insisted I go to an inpatient treatment center. The hospital suggested I do an IOP (intensive outpatient programâ€”itâ€™s 3-5 hours of therapy a day, five days a week). I donâ€™t need that, I told myself and them.
I thought I could manage my depressionâ€”or the diagnosis I later received, bipolar IIâ€”on my own, with therapy once a week and monthly psychiatrist appointments. Meaning: doing the same thing I was doing. Whatâ€™s the definition of insanity? Ah yes, doing the same thing and expecting different results.
Waking up in the bright light of my bedroom on that cold February morning, I knew if nothing changed, nothing changed, and I knew what I needed to do: attend an inpatient program