The Journey Begins: The Intake

Anyone that has been to jail or in prison can tell you about the strip search. Going into my first inpatient stay, the intake was a scary event for me.

After being transported from the main hospital ER to the psych hospital was  stressful. I did not know where I was being taken. Upon arrival, I was lead to a small office by the front door by the intake nurse. My leg was asking so hard, I was shaking the desk. She assured me everything would be okay. Her comfort didn’t make me feel any better.

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I spoke inbetween tears, sniffles and deep breaths. After she took my info, completed papetwork, she explained the body search. I had to be body searched prior to be taken to my room. I felt so embarrassed to be there, now you want to search me? I was a ball of unwinging yarn.

After all the paperwork was completed, she lead me to a little slower room for the search. She explained what she would be doing before she touched me. I guess to reduce the akwardness of a stranger touching me.

She told me to strip down to my panties and bra. After putting on some examination gloves she told me what she was about to do. She’s instructed me to left up my breasts, asked if I had on an underwire, then she ran her fingers aross the bottom of my bra.

After she confirmed I didn’t have an unwire or a weapons I had to pull my underwear down to my thighs. She checked again to verify no weapons. I felt so violated. I felt even worse when she asked me to lift up my stomach. She took my paper like clothes and gave me two hospital gowns. One to conver my front and the other to cover my back.

After getting dressed she showed me to  my room. I didn’t pay attention to what it looked like or the path to get there, I just wanted to sleep.

And that I did…

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The Journey Begins: The Loss…

Let me tell you about the job loss in detail.  The date was July 3, 2018. I was employed by a staffing agency, and I was still in my training period, and attendance was critical to maintaining gainful employment. My first blow was being struck with severe food poising.

I showed up for my shift early as usual on the 3rd. I advised my trainers that I wasn’t feeling well due to food posing. I asked to change my seat to sit closer to the door to make a quick exit to the restroom. After struggling until close to lunch, they sent me home. I confirmed that my job would be secure due to leaving the second week of training. They confirmed, yes I would still have a job to come back to.

Early the next morning, July 4th I hadn’t slept due to horrible nausea, which leads to vertigo, vomiting, diarrhea, and a pounding headache. I knew something was wrong because I hadn’t urinated since late Monday. I googled the closest urgent care to call to verify if I needed to go to the ER or if it was something that I could take care of at home. Thankfully, the urgent care I called was a mobile urgent care. It was a real blessing from God because there was no way that I could get behind the wheel of anything. Hell, I couldn’t even stand up.

The mobile urgent care nurse stated that I was severely dehydrated and she started an IV of fluids as well as and meds for nausea. As the nurse was starting my IV, the other nurse began asking me questions regarding my insurance and my full contact information for my registration. The lead RN called a prescription to the pharmacy for Norfran (anti-nausea dissolvable tablets).  Since it was a holiday, my regular pharmacy was closed. The closest 24-hour pharmacy was the Walgreens several miles away. It was great that I had the meds, however, how was I going to get them? LZDUC

My 20-year- old daughter was at the movies with her friends. I called and asked her if she would run to get my meds for me. She blandly stated, ” Uh, no I’m at the movies, and I’m not leaving.” “Please, I can’t drive across town to the  pharmacy where they were called in.” I pleaded with her as I began crying. “Why are you crying?” She asked as if it was nothing that I sick and couldn’t do for myself. “Never mind, it’s okay,” I said with so much hurt and pain in my voice that my heart hurt more than my body at the time. “Okay, bye.” She said so coldly.

I eventually got the strength to walk to the 7-11 across the street. I was staggering across the street as a police officer drove by and watched me until I ascended into the light. He was able to see that I wasn’t drunk, that I was sick by the way I was massaging my stomach and crying. I was able to get two bottles of Gatorade. Within a few minutes after sipping the Gatorade, I was feeling well enough to get to sleep.

Things still hadn’t improved enough for me to get off the couch, so get ready for work and attempting to drive was hazard to myself and others. Being the true “trooper” that I had been, I pleaded with God to be with me so that I could make it work on time and safely. This time I didn’t make it past our first break at 10am. I was sent home again. I returned to work on the 6th I wasn’t 100%, but well enough to be in class, sip my water, Gatorade, and nibble on some saltine crackers.

The next two incidents resulting in a tardy were a flat tire. After the first flat tire, I bought two new tires that week. I thought that I was set no more tire issues. Like Murphy’s Law, one of my other older tires went flat, and I had to get some fix-a-flat to get me to work. I was praying it would last until I got paid the end of the next week.

After the 2nd tire debacle, I was written up on a warning. Any other attendance issues I would be terminated. At this point, every day was like a ticking clock of what else could happen. My anxiety was crazy high and was popping Xanax almost every morning to get through the day without any issues. I could practically guarantee that universe was against me as I got stuck in traffic. I was 15 minutes late. I had a meeting with management and said that a decision would be made by the end of the business day regarding my employment.

The business day for August 2, 2018, was closing, and I was asking my trainers as well as my supervisor has there been a decision made. My trainers stated they aren’t privy to that information while my supervisor said that she doesn’t know she has been in meetings all day after our meeting. The day ended, and I let out a sigh of relief until my recruiter called me as I was driving out of the parking lot.

“Natalia, I received confirmation from the client that they would like to terminate your contract due to your attendance. I am sorry to tell you. As of this point, all communication with the client will cease, and you would only communicate through the staffing agency. I understand that you have the company laptop as well as some other company issued materials. Is that correct?” He calmly tried to speak over my loud sniffles and shaking voice.

He assured me that he understands that things happen. He offered to meet up with me the next morning and would treat me to breakfast to figure things out and receive the client’s materials. We talked over our meal, and he stated that I am still able to be placed with the agency and he will continue to look for another placement for me.

It didn’t hit me until later that night of August 2; I was unemployed. I wasn’t able to file for unemployment because I had claimed several months the summer in 2015 while I was working at a minimum wage paying gig to make ends meet. So, I wasn’t able to file unemployment until the almost $4,500 with interest and penalties have been paid back. Not only was I unemployed I didn’t have any source of income.

Saturday August 4th , 2018, after making my way through the fog of shock, I realized the gravity of the situation. Life began to crest up a steep hill that would later take me to a dark low I thought I had left behind many years ago. I guess it is true; old habits die hard…

The Journey Begins

I had my first inpatient visit in a psych hospital on August 8, 2018, for a two-week stay after a suicide attempt by ingesting several of my prescription sleep meds and Xanax mixed with several shots of tequila. My goal was to melt away into the world of darkness and obsolete of pain.

After losing my job (a job that I loved and was devoted to.) due to severe food posing with life-threatening dehydration, two tardies from two flat tires, and another tardy from a traffic jam on the highway all while still in training. I was warned of my tardies for my flat tires the last straw was getting caught in traffic. I had made it habit of getting to work 15-20 early every day without fail. Often I was clocking in before my trainers, and my other classmates were pulling into the parking garage. I began to spiral out of control mentally and emotionally. I had lost yet another job in the same year, and it was getting old.

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I saw the disappointment in my daughter’s eyes as I informed them of another job loss. I got the impression that they almost expected it. After telling them, I had to face the music and tell my husband. I was crying hysterically as I tried to tell him what happened. The first day he was comforting and stated that it is okay that I would find another job. The next day it was as if he wanted to blame me for attacking me. I confided in him several times over our years together about during my times of depression from my bipolar illness I would free fall down the rabbit hole of disrepair consisting of several days without bathing.

He screamed at me, “You didn’t go in there body and breath stankin’ you know how you get when you’re depressed. I don’t believe you were only late a few times. How could you be the only one that was late due to traffic?” I refuted his attacks by stating, “No, I was pleased about this job. Every day I would be the first one there. I have not been that low in months to cause me not to bathe. Even during those times I always brushed my teeth. Are you calling me a liar about being early and everything else?!” He yells, “Yes, I am calling you a liar!” At that moment I ended the call by saying, “Fuck you and everything you stand for!” before hanging up.

The next day I sent him my time card information from my start date to my end date. The same message informed that I would be admitting myself to an inpatient facility on Wednesday, August 8 after a 10:00 am an interview. I told him I would send him an email to let him know that I was out. That was the last he heard from me for almost three weeks. After sending him two messages that I was out and that he could contact me, there was radio silence…..

This post begins my blog series of ” The Journey Begins” as I give you the details of my suicide attempt, my inpatient and all the horrors that followed.

The Power of Change

I have had plenty of setbacks and discouragements in my life, but my sense of cause has enabled me to keep getting up and keep on going. One of the keys to David’s success was his passion for the cause and an eye for the reward.

Eliab’s anger was aroused against David, and he said, “Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.” And David said, “What have I done now? Is there not a cause? (1 Sam 17:28-29 NKJV)

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Our lives are as powerful as the cause they are attached to. If you have a vision for your life that is attached to a cause – especially the cause of King Jesus – this will be your motivation to change.

The reward of change is the blessing of God. Your life will improve, you’ll have a sense of well-being and fulfillment. The change that God brings lines up your life with His will, and when this happens, you start to see the fruit in every area of your life. The key is to make good choices, every day. This brings positive change in your life while bringing you continually closer to Jesus and being transformed into His likeness.

When Jesus challenged the rich, young ruler to change (Mark 10:17-22) he walked away sorrowful and unchanged.

Do you have someone in your life who loves you enough to look at you and tell you what you need to hear? Be willing to embrace change when the opportunity comes rather than making excuses that will keep you where you are. Change begins with the decision to change.

 

Shut In

My mind has a natural habit  of wondering all over the place as random thoughts come and go. Living with a mental illness every moment of everyday can be a difficult and different one. It both annoys and scared the hell out of me when my moods shift.

For an unknown amount of years, I ran from my thoughts. The audidable voices ranging from full angry robust chaotic noises all the way down to the dribble of what resembles sound would be the fuel that kept my adrenaline pumping at high amounts. The voices would drill my body into the ground with the excessive cleaning. The more I cleaned the better I thought I would feel. The loud humm of the vacuum would drown out the sounds of the nagging voices.

I would move so fast as if I were trying to out run my own skin. After years of using that “coping mechanism” it no longer works. I’m sitting in my closet crying, writing, and praying that my foot wakes up before I try to stand.

The last month has been an extra emotional one. My family and I received the most amazing news  last month. A blessing I had been praying for for almost 9 years. I didn’t realize how much anxiety that would accompany this blessing until today. It all hit me like free falling to the ground from a 10 story building.  Since early June I noticed I started to grind my teeth and clinch my jaws in anticipation of this impeding news. These are things I had never done in my life before.

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I forced myself to relax my jaws. I would do anything that I could to stop the grinding and clinging. I chewed gum until it was well past time to spit it out. You know, the longer you chew the harder the gum gets. I had to take my anxiety meds just to relax my face long enough to get to sleep at night.

As I sit in this closet I feel undoubtedly inadequate for this new chapter in my life. How could I be when I am so messed up? I fear that my flaws and bad “juju” is simmering waiting to blow up in my face. I am looking towards the near future with thoughts of how this is going to be a bittersweet situation.

My therapist said that given the recent news, fear is normal that is what makes me human. This feeling is horrible to say the least. I wish I could fold myself inside out in an attempt to hide from it. I can’t tell anyone any of this because they will think I am crazy. Well, crazier than usual. I can’t tell my husband or he will have doubts (if he doesn’t already) . I hide in my closet like a frightened child from a thunderstorm away from my kids. Hell, I am also hiding from Sugar (my emotional support dog.) I don’t want any living thing to know how I am feeling right now. I guess that sounds idiotic since I am telling you all.

I guess I am just shut in and shutting down until further notice……

Quiet on the Set

Hello, my lovely people in blog land. I would like to share with you my second open mic night I attended at Sauced Red Dirt Poetry slam last night.

After talking a shower I pressed my hair to knock out my natural curls (Natural Nation for 9 years strong! 😊) then flat iron my hair into a style. After pressing it, I go to use my flat iron and it died on me! 😡 I was hot as 4 skillets of fish grease. (aka I was epically pissed) I had to do something to my hair and quick. So I used my spray bottle I have of my own natural hair concaution for moister and hair lotion to bring back my curls. I picked my hair out in my natural fro and throw on a headband.

I tried a few different outfits to see which one likes better. Heels or no heels. Skirt, dress,  or pants. After going through all of that I ended up wearing a dressy top,  semi dressy capries, and my sling back wedges.  I’m in Oklahoma and we temps are already in the 90’s so I opted to dress for comfort.

After all of this,  I was sitting in my couch hyperventilating, crying, and shaking from nerves and frustration. My youngest daughter saw me and just stared at me because she didn’t know what to do. I have had panic attacks before and both of my girls know if I can’t breath to give me my inhaler and my prescribed Xanax. Long story short, to keep her from worrying I told her to take the dog out while I got myself together.

In the end, I showed up and kinda showed out while in stage. 👏👍Please take a look at my performance and tell me what you think. Scroll to 1:20 (I’m the short black lady wit da fro 😎) if you would only like to see my performance, however there was a lot of talent in that small room. Enjoy everyone. Please comment. I was so nervous I could heals hold my phone. 😂

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My 2 Cents Fa Real!

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The following post below was something that I was going to post as a member of one of the bipolar awareness groups on Facebook; however, I wanted to use my OWN platform to speak my two cents.

It is sad how mental illnesses in this country has become overly downplayed it is pathetic! Some people are given a poor performance review because of having anxiety attacks and needing to leave work. Or a survivor of PTSD beings to cry uncontrollably because of a loud noise or certain scents. Or interacting with someone that resembled someone or something that had caused them grave harm. When asked if they are okay or what is wrong, they aren’t going to come right out and say, “Hey I have PTSD because my ex-used to beat my ass every day. Thus, loud noises remind me of the sound of his fist against my freaking head!”

It is despicable that with most employers you have to wait a year to qualify for FMLA. By that time some would have lost their jobs. Then, of course, trying to get on disability for an alignment that can’t be proven by tests results written in black or white is like trying to pull teeth from a damn shark! It ain’t gon happen without getting eaten up or beaten by the system. I have not personally gone through that process, but I did witness the brutality of the disability rabbit hole when both of my parents were filing. My mom had to petition three times due to her Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as my father going two rounds trying to get approved while battling stage four prostate cancer. Lord, rest both of their lovely souls.

It all boils down to this world based on solid substances or believing what they are seeing. This world isn’t set up for understanding and accepting things they can not see. Then again, I can’t expect this to be understood or compared to having faith. Although, they both stand on the platform of believing without seeing. It’s like you can get a doctors note for missing work for almost anything and it would be allowed. However, you can’t bring doctors excuse saying, “I haven’t slept in four days because my mind wouldn’t shut down. Or I don’t have enough strength to get out of bed and pee let alone come to work. Being around crowds/people cause me to break out in a cold sweat and start dry heaving until I get home.”

Don’t get me wrong we can be very high functioning beings, yet we are very misunderstood. Sadly, there are some people that live life daily in that same tragic pattern of isolation and loneliness. Living with a mental, emotional, or behavioral issue is freaking exhausting! We would make the best double agents of the secret service based on how well we go between the life of the sane and insane. We have to “make nice” or plaster a fake dumb ass smile to the world when no one could even fathom how deranged our thoughts can be. Eventually, we would be decommissioned based on the lines no longer being clear, if they ever were.

If we ( members of the mental illness community) could turn ourselves inside out with our thoughts facing the world; we would all be dead. The hideous, grotesque, mutilated and shattered facade of what we call “life” would scare the hell out of people. Words would not begin to express the visions dancing in plain sight of everyone. We would be caged up like wild animals and euthanized because we are a “hazard to ourselves and others.”  In our minds providing the script for a made for TV movie would make a for sure blockbuster hit. Why? Because it would be so far-fetched that it couldn’t be right.

I leave you with this. The misunderstandings of mental illness are just as those of radical activist in religion. One person attempts to rationalizes a heinous act in the name of their diagnosis/faith and leaves a misconstrued perception of that disease/belief system. Instead of seeing the beauty and creativity both psychic distortions (give it to me y’all we ARE creative as hell. 😉 that is why we are so damn crazy. I can say that because I know my madness often times materializes into something beautiful.) and ALL religions provide the world the world would see a depressing depiction of one lost soul speaking for the group

Think about it Y’all. Like da cool home skillet Kat Williams said, “Don’t worry. I’ll wait.” ⌚

 

A New Day

In the famous words of Ice Cube,  “Today Was A Good Day.” 😎 The last few days have been pretty good emotionally, mentally, (Lord, forgive me for not spending enough time with you. 😞) spiritually, and even physically. Y’all know I’m gettin ole and des bones have seen bettah days. 😁 I talked with a girlfriend for almost 2 hours laughing and just being silly. Not one of those danty laughs. Honey, when I fa real laugh I start to snort. 😂😂😂

In any case, I feel good to all have life in me. Breath in my lungs tells me that God still had work for me to do.

Funny story. My sweet loving hubby is an amazing ole school 🐱. In my mania episode (and everyday) he does all that he can to get me to smile or laugh or something to brighten my mood. Well, about 2 months ago (before I started my new meds) I was in a vicious rapid cycling episode and was down right bitchy and mean to him. (Sorry my chocolate man 😘)

I was in the grocery store highly pissed that I couldn’t find the lil bore nose strips. (a beauty product to remove black heads from your nose) I was cussin’ like something aweful, which is unusual for me. I was banging the cart around knocking stuff over just being real petty.

He asked me what I was looking for and I told him. He says, “oh so you DON’T like black heads on your 👃?” Let me just sit that right there and think about that. 🤔🤔🤔 He had to do a few times because I was too busy cursing at the skin care stuff that I didn’t hear him. I said, “What the f*** are you talking about?” In a very nasty tone. I stopped and thought about it and it took EVERYTHING in me not to fall out laughing. 🙄😂🙄🙄😂😂 I let out a sarcastic haha. He was like, “babe,  I know you are having a tough time right now and l will never stop trying to make you smile.”

We ended our call with our I love you and what not. A soon as he was off the line I was in the middle of the damn isle laughing my butt off. I laughed so hard I started crying and falling all over the cart.  😂😂😂😂 It made me feel very special at the fact that even though my husband is in prison, he takes the time to make me smile.

Isn’t that something? He is a prisoner of the body and mind at times, but he does all that he can to make this prisoner of her mind smile. I love my hunky hubby. Tonight we laughed so hard and for so long I almost had an asthma attack. I could hear the joy in his voice. Pure joy is something rare to hear or feel while serving time (the offender and the families).

Laugh hard and love even harder. 😜

 

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Unscripted

HEEEEYYY everyone, I thought I would change things up. Based on my recent posts I have been going through some things. I want to give you all some words of somewhat wisdom. I say somewhat because some may say this chick is crazy as hell. 😂

Anyway,  when you notice a loved one has rapid chances this in their behavior check on them. One of the most dangerous places for many people is being left with their own thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, everyone needs their alone time to recoup from all these madness in the would. However, that different state of mind can be detrimental to their life.

Tell someone that they matter. Show people you care. Small simple gestures of a quick call or text, a dinner or lunch invite,  or just to sit with them in silence could mean the difference between life and death. The simple presence of someone can alter the mind that they are not alone in this hectic world.

I speak of this from the view point of someone living with mental and emotional illnesses. This however, can apply to anyone. Cooking your friend their favor dish and eat with them. If you can’t cook there is always takes out. 😊

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This world has seriously lost that people connection. In the day and age of technology everything has become so impersonal. I will be the first to admit,  I hate talking on the phone. I am a true texter or emailer. I talk on they phone at work I am all talked out. I do make the effort to call or text and check on my peeps.

Let me tell you the ripple effect of a call or text. Many of my best feelings live in several different states. Some I haven’t seen since high school (20 years ago. Yes, and I still look fine as hell 😜) I sent one of best friends (let me stop lying dat woman is my sistah from anthah mistsh😘) a text to tell her whatever she is going through God already had iitall out and that I love her.

She called me back and says how do you always know when to check on me? (This has happened on several occasions over the years). For months she was going through it y’all. She lost her mom, her husband both from cancer. She was having severe health problems of her own,and was ready to give up. I didn’t know about anything, but all I knew was that she needed to know she is being thought of, prayed for,  and is loved. What I thought would be a quick phone call lasted a few hours. The Bible speaks of iron shaking iron. That means friend sharpen each other.

Another example. Early in my bipolar with depression and PTSD with anxiety diagnosis, I was severly suicidal. I had a flawless plan. I had increased my life insurance three times the amount that I initially enrolled in. My demise would look like an “accident” so that my kids would still get my life insuranc and live well after I was gone. At those times God sent me that call to keep me from just driving off the bridge. It was my husband. Just like with my friend I needed that call. It showed me sometime took the time out to check on me when I needed someone the most.

I say all of this because never let a day go by without telling those that matter to though that you love them. We never know when it will be our time to go,  but when we do we will know that we were loved.

Lonely Shadows

I sit in this room alone and left with my own thoughts.

 

Should I take these pills or should I not?

 

There nothing around me, but silence and shadows.

 

I began to talk to the walls as if they could respond.

 

The shadows get closer as they exit the wall like a demon spawn.

 

I close my eyes in hopes it is just a ghastly illusions.

 

I open my eyes to only see it was my own delusions.

 

Dawn behaves as if there is no such thing as pain.

 

I fold into a ball in that and same spot to watch the shadows return to the walls from which they came.

 

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