Well, That Backfired Spectacularly

I took an overdose last week. Not a fatal one, (obviously), but one pill more than a toxic dose, so enough to make my body pretty unhappy. I’ve taken that many before without needing to go to hospital, so I was pretty confident I’d be fine, but it was risky enough to take the edge off the compulsion a little.

The thing is, I didn’t actually want Nikki’s help. Or if I did, I couldn’t tolerate it once I had it.

I hate talking on the phone. In fact, I hate it so much that I have an incredibly embarrassing and unprofessional voicemail message on my work phone, to try to force myself into picking it up so that clients won’t hear it. (Most of the voice messages I get start with “Hahahaha, oh my god!“.)  But when Nikki insisted on making calls to hospitals for me, I felt really uncomfortable. She suddenly felt like a total stranger. It felt way too intimate to have her talking to other people about me like she knows me, and I felt a physical urge to push her out of my space. The worst thing about hospitalisation is the powerlessness, and this just made it worse.

As it turns out though, nobody will take me. Two of the hospitals said no because of the self harm, two said no because they don’t do crisis admissions (“babysitting”) and two said no because they don’t have any beds. My insurance company is going to have a tough time getting me to shell out $3,000 for full hospital cover next year.

Oh, and the community support program won’t take me because I’m too high-functioning.

Tomorrow is the day, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. Tonight I was looking up directions to the most notorious suicide spot in my country – it’s less than half an hour from my place. I’ve set up a time to call my nieces and nephews tomorrow afternoon, just in case. I think it’ll be fine, that the minor overdose last week was enough to deter me. I don’t want to die. But I don’t know if I’ll be fine or if I won’t. I didn’t want to take an overdose last week, and I did. I’d told Nikki I was safe that night, and I thought I was, but I wasn’t.

My session with Nikki today was awful. I feel completely despairing and heartbroken and alone. After she found out that none of the hospitals will take me, and I can’t afford to go home, she dived into “well-what-about-urge-surfing” and “have-you-tried-exposure-therapy-the-idea-is-that-you-just-don’t-do-it” and other completely obvious, pointless suggestions. I was just sitting there on the verge of tears, feeling abandoned and frustrated, and she was feeling more and more helpless and like she needed to ‘do something’, so she started saying things like,

Well, nobody can physically restrain you from doing it, so you’re going to have to come up with a way to get through it,” and

You always get really upset when we start talking about strategies, and it’s hard, because this is what I’m supposed to do,”

and I snapped. There were still twenty minutes left, but I had to get out of there. I don’t know what I was afraid was going to happen (I’d cry? I’d lose all control and totally break down and be humiliated to death? She’d say something so bad I’d have to kill myself?) but there was no pros and cons, no will I or won’t I – I had to get out. For once Everest was good about getting in the bag, which is lucky, or I might’ve had to leave her behind.

Nikki chased me out to reception and pulled me up to make another appointment, but when she sat down and brought up her calendar, her face looked like she’d just realised she’d been playing Frisbee with Grandma’s antique cake plate.

Turns out she’s going to be away for the next two weeks. Probably would have been good if she’d thought to tell me that before today.

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Well, That Backfired Spectacularly

14 thoughts on “Well, That Backfired Spectacularly

  1. Rea, I’m so sorry that you’re struggling so much and that your therapist is unexpectedly going away. I would completely meltdown – I would feel so abandoned. I’m not sure exactly what the day is but I imagine it’s the anniversary of something traumatic. Is there anything we can do to brainstorm? I’m glad you have a phone call scheduled with your neices tomorrow. It sounds like you’re feeling out of control and trapped and scared. I hope you keep writing and keep us posted about how you are doing. Sending warm thoughts (although I realize that’s not so concretely helpful)

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    1. I’m all twisted up about Nikki at the moment. I feel really distant from her and I didn’t pick up any of the times she called this week, but I don’t want her to go. I didn’t want to skype with her, but I’m really upset that she didn’t follow up to confirm whether or not I wanted to. I’m really struggling with the thought of not seeing her for three weeks but I also can’t imagine making myself go back there and I don’t want to talk to her ever again. Therapy sucks.

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  2. Rea, if I had an answer or sure-fix I would fly to Australia right now (I think you’re in Australia?) and give it to you. I’m sorry you went through an overdose last week (have been wondering, and noting your absence on here). I understand you being unable to know what will happen tomorrow. it sounds like the urges to harm yourself really do feel completely out of your control.
    I’m sorry Nikki let you down in not giving proper notice, I would be absolutely beside myself if my therapist did that. I also get the frustration around “strategizing.” I don’t find strategies and DBT skills and breathing techniques helpful when in a place such as you are in. If I could do it, I already would. The reminder doesn’t magically give me the ability to do it.
    Just wanting to convey my understanding for this incredibly painful and difficult and seemingly hopeless place you are in, and I don’t pray, but I sort of feel like praying for you. I hope that doesn’t sound patronizing, but I mean it sincerely – sending my sincerest and most earnest requests and wishes for your safety tomorrow.

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    1. I am Australian, which is kind of funny – you’d think that with so many deadly animals around I wouldn’t even have to bother with suicide.

      It wasn’t pretty and I ended up unconscious on my bathroom floor, but I made it through the night. I can’t believe it’s going to be three weeks until my next session. The timing is just so comically bad I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Things feel very heavy right now. I get up, I go to work, and I come home and scrub blood off my floor.

      That didn’t sound patronising at all – it’s lovely, actually. I’m not religious, but there are a few prayers I repeat during some of my worst moments.

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      1. Ha! You just made me laugh. That is terrible timing. And just shit that she didn’t give you a heads up. In a way, feeling and acknowledging the heaviness could be the very thing in order at the moment. By that, I mean you seem to be more aware of how you don’t really want this life for yourself, which is necessary I think to move towards something else. Not that it makes the heaviness easier to bear. In a way, it makes it less something to get rid of, and more to move through. If that makes any sense.

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  3. Rea,
    I have been thinking about you (not in a weird way, just in a “I wonder how she’s doing and hope she’s okay” way), and I’m so sorry to hear that you are struggling. The pain sounds really intense, and I’m sorry Nikki isn’t being much help. I know I can’t say anything to take the pain away, so instead I will just say that you are in my heart and I hope that you can be gentle with yourself, even in small ways, over the coming days. Hugs to you (only if that would be helpful, of course) xxx Blooming Lily

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    1. Hugs are always helpful – that’s the thing I find most comforting, actually. The best cure for anxiety is putting my head in my brother C’s lap while he runs his fingers through my hair.

      It’s been a tough week. Thank you for your thoughts, Lily.

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      1. I love when my loved ones run their fingers through my hair, it’s so comforting and oftentimes I find myself doing it to myself when I begin to feel upset and overwhelmed in a therapy session. I guess it’s a way of self-soothing (though it’s never as good as when others do it for me). xxx

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  4. I hope you are ok today. I am glad you were proactive even if it backfired. I still think its worth it. This probably isn’t helpful, but I am more a fan of #9 then Nicki. I feel like Nicki is out of her league. So sorry. I think your idea of practively helping yourself through this anniversary is a good thing. I wonder if maybe you could borrow a niece/nephew for the day, or go for a quick vacation wherever they are so you can’t be alone. Perhaps go over to brothers? Because that is the point of the hospital stay right? Not to get on better meds, or because anything they do would be that helpful, but to keep you safe where you aren’t alone. I don’t know. I know none of these things would “fix” it. But I think if you can stay safe long enough to get more stable, you are capable and will beat this thing. I do believe that.

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    1. I looked up flights to go stay with my brother, but it would have cost me $700 to go home for the night…way too much money. I’m still thinking about whether I should try #9 again. She’s still my best psychiatrist option so far, but how will I get past not being able to talk to her? I’m getting all tied up in knots just thinking about it.

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      1. so I am the last person able to give advice about actually talking in therapy…. but maybe thats okay for awhile to be quiet? It could be practice for you to be gentle with yourself and to find the balance between pushing yourself and being okay with where you are? I don’t know honestly.

        Honesty your life and happieness and safety is worth more then $700. If it comes down to this in the future, I would find a way contribute and I actually mean that (not in a weird stalker way either).

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      2. E, you’re amazing. I don’t know how you could ever think it’d make no difference if you weren’t in the world any more. (I mean, I understand HOW you could think that, but it’s just so not true.)

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      3. Right back at you *sticks tongue out*

        umm I mean I hope you are able to see that many others, or at least me, feel the same way about you. That you matter. I am sad you are in so much pain.

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