Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Dealing With Grief (day 58)
Last Thursday I decided I needed some help. I have made and appointment with a psychiatrist 3 weeks ago and I still have another 8 days before I can get in to see somebody. You would think there would be some kind of emergency help for someone who just went through a traumatic loss but, at least in my area, there is not.
Friday morning I went to a psychiatric center and checked myself in. I was so nervous and half way through the intake process I had an anxiety attack and my brain was telling me to run out there. I knew, as scared as I was at the moment that it was for my own good. I was feeling hopeless, I had been barely able to get out of bed. Thursday, I had slept most of the day, I never got dressed. I felt like I would never be able to be happy again. It was hard to see myself living without Zuka. I kept having flashbacks of that night, loud noises gave me panic attacks. Something like a loud slamming door, or a popping balloon would cause my body to freeze up and I felt like I needed to run away, and I cried. That's normal for people who have experienced trauma but for me it was embarrassing because it's hard to explain to bystanders in the middle of Texas Roadhouse Restaurant why you are covering your head and bawling because the thick wooden bathroom door just slammed behind you.
I ended up with my own room and bathroom, which was much needed because I cried a lot! I met with psychiatrists, a doctor, counselors, case managers. All were very compassionate and caring. Several people remembered Zuka from his stay there and I felt like they really cared. Most of my nurses were awesome, I had one that came in my room and spent a lot of time talking to me, she looked up my blog while I was there, you could tell she really cares about her patients! If you are reading this "P" thank you so much!
I didn't really connect with a lot of the other patients until one of the last days there we had a group therapy and I shared my story. Everyone was so very supportive and offered to talk with me if I ever needed someone to talk to. The counselor facilitating really seemed to understand, she got tears in her eyes and again I really felt she cared. After group a young girl came up to me and told me she had tried to commit suicide and that's why she was there, she told me that hearing me talk made her really think about the impact her death would have on her parents and that she would continue to get help to stay safe! That was amazing! That's why I keep telling my story, maybe I made a difference in one life!
That act gave me hope, people have come to me and told me they have shared my story, Zuka's story and how it made a difference in someone's life and right now, that really keeps me going so thank you for that!!
My stay at the hospital I got a medication to help with my nightmares and haven't had a nightmare since I started taking it! I got an anti-depressant and I will continue with my sleeping medication (which they doubled) and also my anxiety medication. I was diagnosed with major depression and PTSD. I am still grieving of course but I feel less hopeless, I feel like I am sleeping a little better. I got up at 5:30 am this morning to cook my family a breakfast casserole I saw on Facebook and some hash-browns. I feel like, yes life is going to be hard but I have the strength and resources to deal with it, to stay. To keep going.
If you feel like you need help, don't be ashamed. I am working on my bachelors in mental health (I will be a senior this fall), I don't know all the answers. Sometimes in life we need that extra help, There is no shame in that! It's OKAY not to be OKAY! but if you aren't okay, please get help. You are not crazy, I am not crazy.... we just need help to get through, whatever it is we're going through.
I am Jennifer and I just spent 4 nights in a psychiatric hospital and I am not ashamed!!!
Stop the stigma!