The past week was one of the worst weeks I’ve had in a very long time. It was so bad, in fact, that I sincerely contemplated going back to the inpatient unit I have managed to avoid for the past 7 years. I may not have hit complete rock bottom, but it damn sure was close. Somehow I manage to have at least one week like this every single year. It should be noted that I deal with Major Depressive Disorder, along with BPD, and my reactions to this past week are much more intense than someone who doesn’t deal with mental illness would be. I am in a better head space now, so please do not worry.
On May 31st I received a call from my father telling me that my grandmother was in really bad shape and had maybe a few days left. When we got to the nursing home, she was pretty alert and spent most of the time raving about her great-grandson, but the news wasn’t good. She had fluid in her lungs and was being put on comfort care because of congestive heart failure. I’m thankful for the memories and pictures we were able to get that day. The next time we visited her, two days later, she had no idea we were even there, was very agitated and barely opened her eyes. That was, unfortunately, the last time I saw her.
I met with one of my therapists and finally bothered to ask what I was diagnosed with; turns out, it’s Bulimia. While I knew I had an eating disorder and had been in treatment there for a while, it still felt like a gut punch hearing the diagnosis. Especially because trying to explain that you have an eating disorder and weigh almost 300 pounds is a shitty experience in and of itself. In addition, my child was going through some kind of fussy period and would only scream while he was awake, and nothing wild soothe him. Then we came home from my fiance’s hockey game that night to find that the dogs had destroyed Abaddon’s Seresto collar (entirely my fault for forgetting to take it off), there was vomit in the crate, and she also vomited up her food after that but was acting fine otherwise. I was extremely on edge by the time I went to bed that night.
I was woken up to my fiance telling me my grandmother had passed away the night before. My son was even more fussy and agitated than he had been the days before, and I was significantly more depressed than I was even the night before. Abaddon still couldn’t keep her food down but was acting completely normal, until about 6 pm that night. We attempted to feed her dinner, and she threw that back up. And then she kept throwing up. We took her outside and she ate grass and drank some water then threw that up, too. At this point I started having a complete breakdown, crying and panicking because it was all just too much and now my emotional support dog is sick and possibly dying?! None of the vets would see her, even the emergency vet (they require $150 just to look at her and we are b r o k e), and she started doing this kicking thing and licking the carpet between vomiting. Suddenly, she was fine. She stopped vomited, stopped kicking, kept water down, and jumped on the couch to nap. It was like nothing happened. She’s still completely fine now, so don’t worry! I, on the other hand, was on the verge of a complete and total mental breakdown.
By the time I woke up, I was so emotionally drained I considered just self-harming to feel something. I had barely eaten all week out of depression and self loathing. My son was still screaming constantly, nothing would soothe him. It got so bad that after 40 minutes of trying to comfort him, I started bawling and had to put him in his swing and go outside with Abaddon. I thankfully saw my other therapist and was able to make up a safety plan and cope to the best of my abilities.
The day of the funeral. While it was upsetting, it was good to know she was finally at rest and not in pain anymore. I will miss her more than anything, though, but I’m glad she got to meet Ronan and we were able to have some time together before she passed. It was nice to see family that I hadn’t seen in years, even if I didn’t remember anyone. That night I decided to put together a list of crisis resources for anyone that might need them because God knows I needed them last week.
I won’t lie and say everything is perfect now. I’m not even entirely sure if I’m actually feeling better or just kind of manic. What I am sure of, though, is that I can survive difficult times without resorting to my previous poor coping mechanisms. I didn’t hurt myself, I didn’t drink excessively, and I didn’t take a bunch of pills to feel numb. I have a long way to go on this road to recovery, and there will be failures and bumps along the way, but I learned that I can make it through an extremely difficult week without hurting myself. I learned that there are people out there that do actually care, whether it’s a complete and total stranger or your family. I learned that I can make it through the dark times after all.