This is something new I just learned. I had always wondered why they only keep you in the mental health unit seventy - two hours when they court order you there for trying to commit suicide. I thought, “God you could go home and do it again.” Well, in anxiety group we talked about this very thing. Now a lot of you in group therapy know that you are not suppose to discuss what goes on in group and that’s not what I am going to do. I am going to tell you what I learned. Did you know that most places that will assist you with suicide won’t assist someone who has a mental health issue? It’s because your feelings can change. Unlike someone who is asking for death because of stage four breast cancer or who is totally paralyzed, people with mental illness will NOT ALWAYS want to die! Isn’t that kind of comforting? I talked about in group how I go through periods where I feel like killing myself and I never do it. I always ended up in the ER with those damn P.J. pants on. My goodness I could write a blog on those P.J. pants. And the therapist that runs the group told everyone that what Amanda pointed out is that she feels differently every time. My therapist for anxiety group said, “You are not going to wake up today and feel the same way you did yesterday.” I know this is true because every time I feel like doing myself in, it’s different. The desire to die is less and less; also it takes me less time to pull out of it.
Now you probably thinking, “Geez this is a depressing blog.” Well guess what? What I really want to talk about is that you don’t feel the same way about ANYTHING. I have talked about before isolating. I used to do it a lot. Well, you know what? I don’t feel the same way about it. I was stressing over this baby shower I was going to have to go too. I pictured sitting alone and listening to people laugh. It brought back memories of being in high school and sitting at the lunch table with ten other sweet girls who would have talked to me if I opened my mouth! I told myself it’s not going to be like that at all. Just talk Amanda, damn it! So I was psyched about going and guess what? My parents’ car broke down. It is still in the stupid shop! And I don’t own a car. Five years ago this would be my perfect excuse to call my friend and say that I couldn’t go. However, I psyched myself up so much that I actually was disappointed. And you know what, I did feel different! I put myself on a mission to find a ride. I even called up my poor friend who just had surgery to ask if she was going. She wasn’t. I called a cab company and they wanted $21 one way! Well, my Mom said to ask our neighbors. Now our neighbors started being friends with us because our dogs get along. But over the last three years we lived here: my Dad has cut their grass A LOT, we were invited for social events, and we went to the wake of their mother. So we are kind of close, not just somebody you wave to when you pull in the drive way! And my neighbor said sure. I couldn’t believe it. I was not only NOT using the perfectly good excuse the car was busted, but I was going to ride with someone I normally don’t depend on for favors!
So I want to tell everyone there is hope. And it’s very true that tomorrow when you wake up you will not feel the same way. Now no matter if it’s complementing your own demise or isolating, it’s not going to happen over night. I didn’t just last week, not go out even for coffee and now am going to baby showers. This happened over a ten year period of immense struggle. So please don’t get down on yourself if you think you are still failing. It’s all about baby steps. Then one day you will be like me and find yourself in a room full of women who are genuinely interested in knowing all about you! That day it will feel like only yesterday you were stuck at home Friday nights because you didn’t want to bother anyone with your dullness!