I’ve been on a very long “commercial break”. I just couldn’t bring myself to write over the last three months and the best excuse I can give is that I’ve been completely overwhelmed.
That, and I had myself a major nervous breakdown.
Yes, my friends, I cracked. Wide open. It was a culmination of many events – my mother dying, little cancer-kiddos dying, major heartbreak, Ben’s ongoing health issues and issues in his school life – the list goes on. And on. And on.
I guess I just didn’t have the heart to post anything on “Stronger Than I Look”, because, well, I looked and felt like H-E-double-hockey-sticks. I was not strong in any capacity. So, I checked myself into a mental facility due to having a strong desire to end it all.
I must let you know that I would NEVER take my own life. I would never abandon Ben and Madeline in that manner. I’ve experienced a suicide in my immediate family and I know first hand how the aftermath rips the survivors to shreds. I would never do that to my children. But I couldn’t stop the thoughts of wanting to die from entering my head.
So, off to the hospital I went. When celebrities crack and go to the hospital, they call it “exhaustion”. I guess that could aptly describe the emotional chaos I was feeling, but I imagine that my time in lock-up was a lot less glamorous than what the famous people get. Their time in the looney bin might consist of valium and massages. My day was filled with meds, a carbohydrate-laden breakfast, group therapy, more meds, a carbohydrate-laden lunch, more group therapy, individual therapy, lots of questions, more meds, quiet time (which I used to sleep off the meds), a carbohydrate-laden dinner and then lights out. I’m grateful for only spending two days in the joint because I can only imagine the potential for weight gain from the carbohydrate-laden food choices would further exacerbate my depression.
Oh yeah, that’s my formal diagnosis: Major depressive disorder. Duh.
So, after 48 hours of being inpatient, I was released. The condition of my release was that I would attend the hospital’s “Intensive Outpatient Program”, or what I’ve come to lovingly call “Crazy School”. I’m quite a fan of this program. I – along with a dozen or so other crazy people – sit each day through three hours of things like cognitive behavioral therapy and ways to be mindful when we’re having our crazy automatic thoughts. It’s been very eye opening and quite liberating. I think that instead of learning about ancient world history and calculus in high school, we should be given these basic – yet often overlooked – life skills. It takes some practice, but I’m on my way to eradicating my crazy tendencies. Don’t worry, nothing will ever take ALL of my crazy away… I do believe it’s part of my underlying charm. But getting rid of the overflow of crazy and learning to deal with my depression has been such a relief.
I’ve been going to Crazy School since the end of April. I went solidly for several weeks and then began to taper off over the last couple of weeks. I formally graduate this coming Monday. This is a big week for me, seeing how I turn 43 on Saturday and then graduate from Crazy School on Monday. I should have a party or something.
I actually feel better than I have in a long time. Years, really. While going to Crazy School wasn’t on my bucket list of things to do in my lifetime, I’m sure glad I got the opportunity to take a good look at myself and lovingly accept who I am, flaws and all.