Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Me and a Bottle of Xanax

Writing this PPS story has brought up so many emotions. Ladybug is sick with some kind of little kid virus and last night as I held her and rocked her, I felt so much guilt and sadness over her first six months of life. I held her as long as I could and rubbed my cheek against her hair and looked at her gorgeous blue eyes with her long dark lashes and told her how much I love her. My biggest fear is that I somehow damaged her by my remoteness and lack of caring for her those months. I wonder how her self-esteem will measure up and whether she'll always have abandonment issues. I suspect I will carry this guilt with me forever.

Big B and I argued all the way home from the hospital. When we got home, I talked to my mom about the situation and we all decided we needed to find a psychiatrist who could see me that day or the following day. Big B is from Knoxville and comes from a medical family, so he got out the phone book and started looking at the listings for psychiatrists. He quickly recognized one, the father of a good high school friend. He was surprised the man was still practicing and didn't know how he had not thought of this man before. He immediately called the office and spoke to a secretary, explaing his connection to the doctor and explaining that we had a crisis situation and needed help immediately. The secretary spoke to the doctor and we had an appointment for the following day.

The next day, Big B and I went to the appointment together. The office was nicely furnished and on the wall were framed journal covers and academic articles written by Dr. J. It turns out that Dr. J is one of the most respected psychiatrists in the area and we could not have chosen a better doctor. Dr. J remembered Big B and stills knows his family. Once he heard my story, he took an immediate protective and fatherly role. He assured me that I was very treatable and that I would get through this. He did not agree at all with the bipolar diagnosis. He thought I had postpartum psychosis and depression and put me on Wellbutrin and an antipyschotic. He told me he wanted to see me twice a week until I was stable and gave us his office, home, and cell numbers and told us to call at anytime if there was a problem.

We walked out of the office that day breathing a sigh of relief. I started on the medications immediately.

At home, my mom was doing a great job taking care of the children. Sweet Pea was definitely enjoying the attention. Even more importantly though, my mom seemed to have a knack at handling Ladybug. Not surprising I guess, seeing as she raised three daughters, all born within four years of each other. But it was a relief. Up until now, no one other than myself or Big B could get Ladybug to stop crying.
Yes, Ladybug was still crying all the time. My mom still thought it was normal crying and still disagreed that anything was wrong with her.

Since things looked like they were going to improve and since Big B would be off of work and could take care of the kids, my mom decided to go back to Nashville for Thanksgiving, which was in a couple of days. She left the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and planned to stay in Nashville until Sunday. She would come back on Sunday and stay with us another week or so.

Immediately after she left Big B and I started arguing. I don't remember what it was about, but a good chunk of it was because of his comments in the car on the way home from the hospital. The arguments began to escalate even further. We would yell and scream at each other for hours, all in front of the children, trading insults and demeaning each other. I would become hysterical and filled with rage. Things were thrown and kicked. I am amazed the neighbors never called the police.

We argued all of Wednesday and it continued on through Thanksgiving morning. We were supposed to go to Big B's grandmother's house for Thanksgiving dinner. I was out of control angry and told Big B just to leave. I actually told him I wanted him to leave permanently and he should just pack his things and go live somewhere else. So, he left. He left the kids home with me and went to his grandmother's for dinner. I was left at home alone with the two kids on Thanksgiving. I felt abandoned and alone and I was furious.

We did not speak when he got back that evening. The next day, I did not get out of bed. Part of me did it to get back at him for leaving. I thought that since I had to take care of the kids all day alone, that he should do it too. Another, larger part of me just wanted to get away from all this. I did not think I could handle anymore arguing and criticism from him. I took a couple of painkillers to put me to sleep and I slept most of the day.

Late that afternoon, I went downstairs to get something to eat and Big B confronted me. Again, I don't remember what was said, only that I lost total control. The argument went on and on. I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin, I was so frantic. The whole episode is pretty foggy to me, I think because I was manic. I ran upstairs to our bathroom to try to get away from him yelling at me and went into our bathroom. He followed me and continued on yelling at me, Sweet Pea right behind him. I was so overwhelmed with sadness and anger and anxiety that I thought to myself that I just wanted all this to stop. I felt like the universe was spinning and caving in on me, like I was going to explode. I reached inside the medicine cabinet and grabbed a bottle of four year old Xanax, opened the bottle, poured the pills in my mouth and swallowed.

Big B immediately freaked out and asked me what I was doing. Did I want to die in front of my son? He ran to the phone and called Dr. J and left a message. He then started to call his mom, but I stopped him because I was convinced she would try to take the children from me, which wouldn't really matter if I were dead, but I wasn't thinking that then. He called my mom and told her what I had done and she immediately got in the car and drove the two and a half hours here. He then made me throw up, which, combined with the fact that the medication was expired, probably saved my life. I was already feeling high and could not contain my laughter between heaving up in everything in my stomach. He finally reached Dr. J, who told him to take me to the ER and that I would probably be OK as long as I didn't drink any alcohol. By this time I was wandering around the house laughing and having a gay old time, drinking a beer. Again, Big B freaked out, taking the bottle out of my hand and making me stay in the same room as him.

When my mom finally arrived, we went to the closest ER. It was about 10 or so at night. There were hardly any other patients there, but it still seemed to take forever. They did a toxin screen on me, which confirmed what I had taken. The doctor then came in and told me that they were committing me to a psychiatric facility under court order. Two policemen came in the room, handcuffed me and led me to their squad car to drive me to a mental hospital. Not the hospital where I had been before, but a real mental hospital. The type of place where people go and stay months. The type of place you think of when you hear the words mental hospital. The type of place really "crazy" people go.

The real thing.

1 comment:

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