Overcrowded Mind

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February 8, 2016

Overcrowded Mind

The words whipped around in my head. Over and over, multiple conversations occurring within my overcrowded mind. I closed my eyes and tried to will quiet in my brain. It didn’t work. The voices in my head mocked me for even trying. I was so desperate to not feel so hollow, so hopeless, so helpless. My hand in my pocket wrapped tighter around the pill bottle. If only, I thought, I was brave enough to end it all. Then the voices would stop and I would no longer feel like I was in the bottom of a very very deep pit. My heart raced at the thought of taking the pills. I tried to fight my way out of the fog that was my brain. My husband sat beside me, holding my hand, likely willing away the hopeless and helpless. I wanted to tell him everything would be ok but I knew it wouldn’t. I knew I needed to end my life – to take the bottle of pills and jump into the Detroit River. Only then could I be at peace. Only then could my family move on, better off without their sick wife and mother.

The doctor came around the corner and called my name. I slowly got up off my chair and my husband followed me down the hall. He was so quiet. Did he know how bad things were? I usually work hard to keep up a façade that everything is ok. But this time nothing was ok and I couldn’t pull myself together to make it. We sat beside each other in chairs in his office and the doctor started with what should be an easy question – “So how are things?” and I found myself opening up and telling him how horrible I was feeling and that all I want to do is lye under the covers and never wake up. He asked if I planned to hurt myself and I surprised myself when I admitted the truth “yes I plan to hurt myself and I have a plan”.  He looked at me and said “I think this is how you felt the last time you needed to be hospitalized – I think you need to be again”. I felt such relief when he said that – I would be safe at the hospital.

While he called ahead to the Emergency Room my husband held my hand. I wanted to tell him it was going to be ok but I couldn’t do it. I didn’t know what would happen over the next few weeks. I didn’t know I would be in hospital for 2 months. All I knew was I needed to be saved from myself. The battle I would wage against my inner demons in that hospital would be brutal. There were many days I didn’t think I could make it. There were many days when the only thing that stopped me from hurting myself was the high doses of medications I was on.

Slowly the thoughts and voices subsided. The new meds began to work. I fought my way back to be myself again. Maybe not who I was before – that person was gone. I am a new improved version.

  • Note: the voices I hear are my own inner racing thoughts and not actual voices that are common in schizophrenia etc.
Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak
Tina Szymczak is a 40-something mom and wife with two spirited boys. She has worked in early intervention and as an advocate resource for families with a loved one with a disability. Now she also writes a blog about raising children with complex needs, advocating within the education system, adopting from foster care, trying not to lose your sense of self as you parent, and her struggles with infertility and depression.

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