TRIGGER WARNING! Suicide, pregnancy, cold turkeying meds, etc. Don’t read this post if you are in a bad place!
The worse episode in my life happened when I lived in Lompoc, CA, in our loft apartment. It was about 5 or 6 years ago. I had reason to believe I couldn’t get pregnant, so Brad and I weren’t using any protection. Well, one day the unhappenable happened, and I tested positive on a pregnancy test.
At the time my agoraphobia was super severe, and I was pretty much only leaving the house to go to Chanda’s house and therapy. I was not in a place where I was ready to have a child. But I also didn’t want to have an abortion.
I immediately called my psychiatrist and left him a message asking what to do about my meds. I called and emailed several times, and no response whatsoever. So I made the bad decision to stop my medications cold turkey. This was not a good idea.
I became extremely mentally and physically ill. And I felt like Brad and Chanda were leaning more on the side of me getting an abortion, while I wanted to keep the baby. Somehow in my mixed up hormonal, withdrawing, and bipolar mind, I came to the conclusion that the only way out was to kill myself.
I figured if I killed myself, the baby would die, too, which is what I thought Brad wanted. I didn’t think I could survive having an abortion and living after the baby was dead. So once my illogical mind decided on dying, I set out to kill myself.
Brad had already hid the sharps and my meds so I couldn’t hurt myself in the house. I got the idea that I should walk to CVS, buy some meds there, and kill myself that way. I tried not to let on what I was doing, but Brad is very perceptive, and I think he knew where my mind was going.
We lived in a lofted apartment, with our bedroom upstairs. I tried to go downstairs to get to CVS, and Brad wouldn’t let me. I do not remember most of what happened next, except that I recall Brad physically blocking my way to the stairway. I almost kicked him in the penis to try to get my way. It wasn’t until later that I learned he was voice recording this whole episode. He wanted proof in case he needed it. With my permission, he has shared parts of this recording at NAMI programs.
Brad called Chanda, and she tried to talk some sense into me, as well. But it was late at night when this was all happening, so other than skyping, we weren’t able to get together immediately. My plan was to wait until Brad fell asleep, then sneak out and kill myself. Well, Brad must’ve known my plan, because he didn’t sleep a wink that night. Every few hours I would wake up, and he’d be there, awake, trying to talk sense into me.
In the morning, Chanda came over and babysat me while Brad took a nap. We called my therapist, and I went in to see her that day. I was so agoraphobic I couldn’t leave the car. So we had a therapy session in the car. We talked about hospitalization, but the only place to do it was over an hour’s drive away and $30 a day. That is a lot of money for someone who feels worthless!
Brad and Chanda alternated watching me while I was suicidal. Eventually, though, good pregnancy hormones started to work in my system. I started researching pregnancy, babies, diapers, baby food, baby clothing, etc. One day I realized that I should and could have the baby and raise it myself. I was at peace, having finally accepted what my future would be. I started thinking about baby names, even.
Shortly thereafter, I believe my cold turkey med quitting caught up with me, and ended up resulting in a miscarriage. I woke up bleeding, and Brad rushed me to the hospital. Chanda met us there. Chanda and Brad were excellent supports. And when the physical pain hit, Brad had to go to the pharmacy to get some pain meds for me, and Chanda sat with me as I moaned and rocked in circles. Chanda is a very good friend!
Imagine the guilt… It was awful. But it was also good in a way. A baby is a lot of responsibility, and I’m not sure I can manage more responsibility than a dog. Sometimes I feel like I can’t even handle the responsibility of a dog! So in the end, the right thing happened.
On the plus side, my pregnancy, though short, was enough to reset my body’s endometriosis. I did decide to name my unborn baby, though. I named him or her Hunter after one of my college friends.
Oh, and my psychiatrist? Well, he never called or emailed me back. I went to my next scheduled appointment with him about a month or two later, and he didn’t even ask me about it. I never even mentioned pregnancy, and he didn’t seem to remember I had ever called or emailed him about my meds a million times. Yeah, he was a bad psychiatrist. But he was seeing me for free (or so it seemed at the time), so I didn’t want to change.
So that is the story of the worst time in my life. I tell this story at In Our Own Voice presentations for NAMI, so I am used to playing the history back and looking at it more dispassionately. So no need to worry about my state of mind after writing this.
I hope that maybe this can help someone else who’s depressed. Your current situation can seem neverendingly bad, but things definitely can get better! The only way to find out is to stick around to find out. It took me years to realize that it’s not necessarily that I want to die when I’m suicidal, it’s that I just want the pain to stop (or lessen). And every time, it has.
Dr. V, I appreciate the heck out of your bravery in choosing to overcome FEAR-Forget Everything And Run OR Face Everything And Recover.
Brad and Chanda–thank you for stepping up. Biggest props ever to you both. <3
Everything DOES shift, you are correct, and that right there is the whole point 😀
I know what you mean. I just want the pain to stop. And it has been a bad year. Without Eowyn, I don’t know what I would have done. Her complicated medicine schedule gives me something to concentrate on. But still….
I am also bipolar, along with PTSD, severe depression, and occasional hypomania. I have been looking for somewhere that I could find a combination mobility/psychiatric service dog. It looks to me that I like There are no places that train psychiatric service dogs. I was wondering if you could help me?
Yes! Check out our website at http://www.psych.dog and read the getting started and FAQ sections. Then give me a call at 805-876-4256 and I can answer your questions and screen you for membership in our free online peer guidance group.