Last Tuesday (Jan. 26) was hell! (this post will be long) I could feel wave 4 coming around noontime and it was going to hit hard. During wave 3, I did some pretty terrible things that couldn’t be controlled (my mind just snapped) and I was terrified that I would attempt again. The crying was coming, thankfully, so it would relieve some of the feelings and hopefully end wave 4, but the crying was not enough and the mind was starting to wander and I was losing control. Thus I went to find a trusted friend at school (thank you, without you I wouldn’t have gotten the help I needed to get better) whom I could hopefully talk to and let out the mental pain by crying until exhaustion.
After talking to him for an hour and crying in a quiet hallway, I did not feel any better and knew I needed real help for this wave. I didn’t want to repeat the events of wave 3. He encouraged me and went with me to some peer counsellors because I wasn’t as intimidated when talking to peers. I couldn’t move myself to enter to room until my friend went first. Then they coxed me into sitting and drinking water, in which I still continued to cry when trying to talk to the peer counsellor. The peer counsellor saw that she was unable to handle this case and called the school counsellors for an emergency visit ASAP. My friend, the peer counsellor, and I then walked to the counselling centre.
After some registration at the front desk, the peer counsellor let us be and left. I had to fill out several pages of information before seeing the counsellor for background info. At this point, I was losing control to the point that it was difficult to read. My friend helped me fill the forms out; I almost lost my patience and I wanted to scream in frustration. Finally, with the forms somewhat filled and saying “fuck it” at the voluntary sections, we returned the forms and waited for the counsellor.
During the wait for the counsellor, I was aware that my friend was skipping class again for me. Nothing makes me feel worse than feeling like a burden even if they wanted to help me. In adddition, if my illness is really biological, I will have to deal with this the rest of my life with or without the help of others. In the last few months, I have had the worst bout of depression and this is the one opportunity for me to learn life skills to cope with it and get my shit together. I know that no one can help me do that except myself (with encouragement of course but I won’t always have that). Thus I told him to go to class and not to worry as I needed to learn to deal with things and face it head on. All I needed to enter to counsellor’s office was encouragement, thus now it has been done I think I could have handled it myself. My wonderful friend left and I waited to see the counsellor for a short while.
The moment I saw the counsellor, my gaydar went off. (I remebered that I proudly checked off “bisexual” on the “get to know you” information sheet. It was an optional question but it was the one question that thrilled the crying Amanda to answer). I was suprised that the counselling office team took so much care in making students feel comfortable so that the counsellor that they would be matched up with could understand their struggles. When I saw the counsellor, they shook my hand and gave a quick introduction. Then we walked and entered their office, which was impressively comforting. The lighting and couches made me feel safe.
We talked a bit and about my concerns. I updated them about my wave concerns and what I did last wave. I also said that I feared that this wave I would lose control and do the same. At this point I was crying again in front of a stranger, but I had other life-threatening concerns that I could care less. They then walked out for a bit to discuss my issue with the head counsellor. When they returned, they told me that because my life was in immediate danger, it was best to go to the emergency and the head counsellor has already notified an ambulance and it was on the way. In another other circumstance, I would be freaking out but I could care less because I was afraid of my life and however scary it would be, I needed to do it. They gave me some worksheets to fill out and describe my feelings. I remember there was a section that said “reasons to live” and ” reasons to die”. I began crying and told them I didn’t want to die (its just I can’t control my actions) and left the section blank. It was very hard to fill out because I couldn’t process words.
After a while, we heard knocking on the door. The counsellor opened it to reveal 2 policemen. I was beyond terrified. The two policemen went over some procedural questions and confirmed I was going to the hospital by my own will (I had to say “yes” because going there was for my own good even if I was afraid and really didn’t want to go). Then after the policemen asking me situational questions, the door opened again to reveal 2 ambulance people. I started crying at this point because everything was freaking me out. Also I’ve never seen so many emergency staff in such close quarters with me. Anyways then we were off! The counsellor accompanied me to the ambulance car. One of the ambulance people were really nice and carried my backpack for me.
The ambulance and police cars were parked outside and could be seen by other students passing by. It was scary to be surrounded by people carrying guns and in uniforms heading to an ambulance with other students staring at the scene. Its like I was some dangerous serial criminal being arrested, but really I was just feeling suicidal and depressed. Also I am very short and all the people were loads taller than me. It was frightening. I’ve also never ridden in an ambulance before.
At the hospital, I began to develop a sharp headache from the stress of everything. Also, it was a tramatizing visit and I felt completely alone. I didn’t know what to do, who to contact, whether or not I should stay overnight…
The nurses took my blood samples, blood pressure, saliva, changed into a gown, took my possessions… to say just a few. Also I had to repeat my story at least 5 times, which made me feel progressively worse each time until I started to be frustrated and showing signs of anger. Telling people how I feel is hard enough, and to repeat this in a stressful setting made me start to shake and talk in a dead voice. Then I was locked up in a room with walls of double sided mirrors, where there was a man that I could hear screaming in the room near me. Yeah, very terrible.
I don’t want to think about that unless I have to nor am I thrilled to recount the full details of the hospital emergency centre. Everything seemed like it was not real and I had trouble speaking and forming words at this point. It was a lot of crying and shaking due to fear and being forced to talk about painful things in front of strangers. In addition to the headache, I was feeling dizzy and had to concentrate on breathing. I was watched carefully by RCMP nearby. In the end, the psychiatrist decided that it was best for me to return home for the night, where my (second major) panic attack (that I have experianced) would hopefully subside. They would contact me for a follow up and connected me to resources. Thus I contacted my parents (whom were also scared out of their minds) and they picked me up. I was a wreck. Also hungry. We had cheeseburgers and fries at 1am in the morning for dinner.
Finally, I went to sleep at 2:30am, exhausted and feeling relieved. The visit was the worst, but needed because without it, I wouldn’t have gotten the urgent resources to stop my mind from getting worse. I am hoping that was the worst of it, and things will get better from that day on.
I was so exhausted I took the day off school the next day. My friends visited me and I felt loved and not alone like I did the day before. I am beyond words for how thankful I am for the people that support me.