We Can Be Miserable Together
"I just want to stop existing" words that one should not utter in emergency care. These words could trigger a psychiatric hold or a life-changing moment and of course, why not both?
My then partner and I welcomed our second spring season with renewed hope as we moved into our new apartment. The windows were almost floor to ceiling and allowed so much sunshine in along with the feeling that this might actually work out. Reality quickly set in. As our aspirations collided, we found ourselves at odds. "We can be miserable together" was the phrase that woke me up from my fantasy of our relationship working. I did not want to be miserable but mostly, I just did not want to exist anymore.
I had no plans. Suddenly no more future to look forward to. I just did not want to exist and feel the pain anymore. I packed some of my clothes and my new laptop that I barely opened. I called my father to come pick me up. I did not even trust myself to drive. I tried to sleep but I could not. My mind was racing, telling me it's over. I need to go. I need to stop the pain. I called the hospital and was told to come in. A reassuring voice convinced me that help is available. I don't remember much of what happened at the hospital. Because I was deemed a threat to myself, I was transported to a more secure facility. I do remember the confusion. I changed out of my clothes. My phone was taken away or rather stored with the rest of my personal items. I was given a gown and some of the best socks I will ever wear. Oh, and a comb that I will hold on to years later. I was safe from myself. I was evaluated and gladly accepted my diagnosis. Ah, somehow having a diagnosis, a label of sorts, made sense. The stay became voluntary and I was released to outpatient care. Sitting around a table with people who shared my pain and confusion, I found community and hope once more. And everyday, I choose to keep existing.