A couple of weeks ago, I was FREAKING OUT about today's imminent arrival. Today symbolizes every one of my weaknesses and shortcomings. A year ago today I went into the hospital.
On Saturday, June 4, 2011, I was a broken, desperate woman who saw no reason to live. It wasn't a pretty time in my life. So many of my memories from most of 2010 and the first half of 2011 are cloudy, but I remember every detail of that day perfectly. It was the day of the memorial service for a good friend's dad. I was wearing my gray pants that are way too long, a silky black halter top that is one of my favorites, and my black peep-toe platform pumps that I adore, even though the heels are too high for me to wear very often. I looked good that day; even my counselor told me that right before I told her the sordid details of the previous week.
I remember sobbing when my counselor told me what I already knew. I remember sobbing through her phone calls to a psychiatrist I'd never met to get me admitted. I remember the strain in her voice as she worked to maintain her professional demeanor. I remember that B had left his cell phone at home that day, so I had no way to get a hold of him. I remember calling a friend who was supposed to be at the memorial service, then calling my friend whose dad had died, and then finally calling my mom in tears and asking her to go pick up B at the service (I'd left him there without a car so I could go to my appointment). I remember calling a dear friend to ask her to take me to the hospital because I knew I would never go on my own, and I knew if I waited for B and my mom to get back to my house, it might have been too late. I remember the fear in her voice as she told me she'd meet me at my place.
I remember, through all of this, hating myself for what I was putting my loved ones through. I remember vividly the feeling of my carefully crafted and maintained "I'm kinda-sorta ok" facade shattering into a million pieces.
I remember the shame that came from telling the old lady at the check-in desk why I was there, the horror when I realized that the security guard who came down with the nurse was my escort, the anger and resentment that came from rehashing my entire mental health history with the nurses and doctors who didn't even do a very good job of pretending to care. I remember panicking about how I was going to explain my absence from work and my disappearance from my online life.
Mostly, I remember how much I hated that place from the very first moment.
Saturday, June 4, 2011, was a bad day.
But Saturday, June 4, 2011, was also the first day of a new beginning.
I talked about this day with my counselor at my last appointment. I told her how shitty it felt to look back on the past year and see how little progress I'd made; I felt like I was pretty much in the same place as I was last June, minus the suicidal ideation. She very adamantly pointed out to me all that I've accomplished in the 366 days: I've taken control of several areas of my life that were very definitely NOT in my control a year ago; I've taken affirmative steps to correct some of the areas in my life that are unacceptable to me; I've raised two rambunctious, challenging little boys and kept them alive for another year; I've kept myself alive. And you know what? She's right. (As always.)
Surprisingly, I've started - just the tiniest bit - to thrive in a hostile environment. I'm making the changes I need to make and doing the things I need to do to be a healthy, happy me. I've got a metric shit ton of work left to do, but I've at least made a start. And I am so, SO damn proud of how far I've come in one short year.
Monday, June 4, 2012. Today is a good day.