Two weeks ago I started freaking out because my husband was at a bar. I’d had a rough day. He’s an alcoholic. My mind went dark fast. I started thinking that I just couldn’t deal any more, that I had reached my breaking point. I started thinking how painful and embarrassing a divorce would be and wouldn’t it just be better to drive into the river?
I panicked. Death thought. Ding Ding Ding. Get Help.
I sent a text to my husband, “I‘m gonna take myself to the hospital.” I got in the car and started driving. Almost immediately he called me. I thought about not answering. I didn’t want to hear from him. I was afraid he’d be slurring at 6:30 and that would make me feel even worse. But I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I will do almost anything to avoid the hospital, so I answered.
He said he didn’t understand why I was going to the hospital. “Are you hurt?” he asked. I felt an unreasonable rage. Like getting “hurt” is the most likely reason for me to go to the hospital. How could he not understand what I meant? It was like he knew nothing about me.
I pulled over and explained. If there is nothing else that he can do, my husband is great at calming me down and talking me through an episode. I calmed down enough that I was sobbing instead of not breathing. He said he’d meet me at home.
It takes less than 5 minutes to walk from the bar to our house. Ten minutes later he said he was “on his way” which means he finished his drink first. Not that it mattered, I was still crying in the car and had become afraid to drive. Once he got home, he sent me a text saying he was going to take the dog for a walk. It was half an hour before I heard from him again.
I have always felt lonely but this was pretty devastating. Sitting in a car, sobbing while my husband finished his beer and walked the dog. It made me feel like nothing.
Two hours after he first heard from me, my husband showed up to help me get home. I had been feeling such terror and panic that my immediate reaction was relief. I was horribly embarrassed but at least I knew I was safe.
I went to see my therapist the next morning and within 24 hours I was calmed down and feeling stable again. Obviously this was an upsetting experience. I got stuck in some extreme thinking for a little bit which made me feel completely unhinged. It made me feel like I was going backwards — which is my least favorite direction. However, I am really proud of myself for pulling out of it as quickly as I did.
My first session with this therapist she told me that the suicidal ideation may never completely go away. It may just be a thing that happens in my brain that I have to learn how to manage. It is taking a long time and it is hard, but I do feel like I am learning to do that.