Self Expression Magazine

1 Year Ago

Posted on the 01 May 2019 by Littleredbek

One year ago today, I made a decision that impacted my life forever.  The decision was to put myself first, and finally get help for a plethora of issues that I had almost lost the battle to.

I remember waking up, severely hung over from drinking two bottles of wine the night before by myself.  Peter had worked night shift and crawled into bed in the early hours of the morning.

My alarm woke me up at 7am, then 7:15, 7:30, 7:45am.  I finally found the courage to text my assistant and told him I couldn’t make it today, I was in a really bad place and needed to see a doctor.  I then quietly cried as I started to search online for ‘mental health hospitals’.  In bed, I made a quick phone call to my private health care provider and explained that I needed severe help because I knew I was out of time.  They assured me I was covered and after that, I made a phone call to a private hospital 5 minutes from home, and asked if I could check myself in.

After explaining my situation over the phone, Peter held me and asked me if I thought it was the best idea.  “I need to Peter… I don’t think I can go on if I don’t get help…” He tried his best to assure me that he could help me and we could tackle this together, but I insisted I needed help beyond what I could render myself and what he could provide.

The hospital was simple with pristine floors, walls and windows that you’d expect in any institution.  The doctor who greeted us on arrival, gave me some tissues the minute she saw me, and asked me to tell her about what had led me here.  I struggled to tell her how things had spiralled so quickly, that I had tried to take my life in Russia and how much of a failure I was for not being successful in my attempt.  I never thought I’d live long enough to get married or to see 30 and yet these two things were creeping up on me.  That morning I had decided I did want to live to see 30 and I did really want to marry Peter, but I couldn’t let him marry the person that I had become… I needed to get help because the constant haze of being drunk or on a mixture of heavy sedative sleeping tablets was making me the worst version of myself possible.

Once I had checked in, I wasn’t told when I would be released.  I wasn’t aware that I quickly became an involuntary admission and I would be breath tested for alcohol every time I left the facility.  Most days, I spent alone in my hospital room, asking for sleeping tablets every chance I had.  I even had Peter bring in my hayfever tablets to assist when the nurses cut me off.  When I couldn’t sleep, I focussed on whatever TV show had enough seasons to keep me entertained for as long as possible.  Socialising with the other patients was a waste of time; they were all substantially older than me and we had very little in common. So I spent most of my time in my room, with the blinds and doors closed.  My only interactions some days was with the cleaner, who ended up becoming my confidant.

Truth be told, I felt like I was only getting more depressed the longer I spent in there, I didn’t feel like I was getting better.   What I didn’t realize was I was finally giving my mind and body a break from alcohol, a chance to wake up and to really take stock of everything I had done in my life.  To assess the situations, the relationships and the choices I had made (both good and bad) and decide where I wanted to be, if I wanted to keep living.  It was hard, incredibly hard, to be alone with my thoughts and hope they didn’t lead me down the same path they always did.  But I started to be nicer to myself, I started to actually seek inner truths and apologize to not only the people over the years I had hurt, but also to myself.  I always spent so much time apologising for my actions, and never enough time figuring out why I was always sabotaging relationships and any chance of happiness in my life.  I spent 5 weeks in hospital detoxing from alcohol, but more importantly, learning how to listen to my inner self and learning to love her rather than drown her in alcohol or drift her off to sleep.

If I had known a year ago today, that the decision I made that morning, would change my life and most likely save it, I would have done it weeks earlier . In that moment I realised something had come over me and the phone call was almost an out of body experience.  Almost as if something inside me had decided that I needed help and was no longer capable of making my own choices and decisions to survive.

That one phone call, that plea for help and the surrender of freedom, was possibly the bravest and best decision I have ever made in my life.  One year on, and I’m finally closer to being the person I have always wanted to be.

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