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, trying not to lose your sense of self as you parent, and her struggles with mental health.

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