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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Dark Ages

I think I would like to talk about the darkest chapter in my life. I've written much about it in journals, but I burned all those to lessen the number of reminders in my environment. This blog, however, is for my friends, to better understand who I am.

First, a little back story. My depression began in grade 7, the reason, if any, unclear to me to this day. For 2 years I struggled with it, until admitting that I needed help. I began to see a counsellor, who was of great help. It was only temporary, as she was a student gaining experience, and had to return to school. My family physician put me on Fluoxetine, which made me incredibly restless and jittery. I started to see a psychiatrist. We tried a number of meds, which did little, if anything (most meds have no effect on me, and the ones that do wear off quickly).

Enter A-, my first love. I met her in grade 10 Latin. I asked her out, and though she declined, we became friends and talked often. I had been having suicidal thoughts every once in a while for the past year, and when I discovered she had a boyfriend, I decided to attempt suicide. While my Mom was out, I took a knife and cut the backs of my hands to test how much it would take to slit my wrists. Fortunately, I "chickened out" and called my Mom. We met with my shrink and I agreed to check myself into the psyche ward, called CAIP (Child and Adolescent Inpatient Program).

I spent two weeks there. It's insane, but I've never felt more safe or comfortable than in that wing of the hospital up on the 9th floor. I would sit on the window sill of my room and watch the clouds roll over the vast view of the city. I even loved the food! These days I use Axe Snake Peel body wash because it smells like CAIP. I met a number of girls there, who were all discharged before me. I cried when they were gone (I'm almost never that emotional).

After my first stay, the staff at CAIP suggested that I be placed in the Young Adult Program (YAP), which involved academics in the mornings and therapy in the afternoons. I was loath to go, but it was actually really good for me, not because of my assigned counsellor (I thought she was pretty useless), but because I met my best friend there. We were quite the mischief makers, and one time the staff took us aside and literally told us to stop communicating telepathically (we just had to look at one another to share something funny those around us did not perceive)! I was admitted to the hospital a couple more times while at YAP during times when I didn't trust myself to be safe.

After a year I returned to regular high school. I continued to pursue A-. I feel terrible about this. She was very confused as to why I found her so special. One day, I confessed my love for her. After we parted ways, awkwardly, I left school and went home. I had it in my mind that she should know my true feelings before I was gone. This was the worst moment of my life. I'm a bit ashamed, even if it wasn't truly me in control. I waited for Mom to go to Toronto and then took about half a bottle of Tylenol (~50 pills). The whole ordeal was very confusing, my mind going back and forth. I called friends (no answer) and the help line a couple times. They sent an ambulance. For the longest time I lay there, waiting for unconsciousness (which of course did not happen; turns out Tylenol won't kill you, but can mess up your liver in the long run). The paramedics weren't allowed to enter the house until the police arrived. I got tired of waiting and just let them take me to the hospital. The police never came (good thing, you know, I wasn't actually dying!)

In Emerge, I had to drink a bottle of charcoal, and proceeded to vomit it back up again and again until I was just vomiting bile. I spent the night waking up nearly every hour to vomit some more. I was admitted once again to CAIP the next day. I tend to calm down not long after being in the hospital (waiting in Emergency for hours seems to bore the suicidal feeling out of me), making the week or so in the psych ward rather pointless. After being released, I did not go back to school. Eventually, Mr. R-, my Latin teacher and an incredible person, began to tutor me at my home!

A- moved to another city, and I went on to go back to school for a 5th year. I still struggle with my depression (which I've named Courtney, as most of the people I've known with that name were awful), but I vowed to myself that I would never sink so low again.

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