It’s weird, yet comforting at the same time to be back in a controlled environment. It happened so fast that it’s almost like trying to put together a million scattered puzzle pieces of “memory” across my already seemingly dilapidated mind. I was spinning out of control.
Deep down I didn’t want to die; however, it was a feeling. Disappointment loomed and had buried itself deep within my chemically induced mind. My psychiatrist refers to it as my “reflection mood.” I had been focusing too much on the previous events that led up to my feeling the way I did. I was thinking about all the relationships or friendships that had gone wrong in my last five months at college…all because of my doing of course. Or maybe it wasn’t my fault. Maybe I was being paranoid, but I didn’t think so. I couldn’t think so. The thought of having “ruined everything” continuously raced throughout my mind and there seemed to be no way out.
I’m here again.
I was in the emergency room for six hours waiting to be placed in a room up on what’s called 6 North. I was your case of bottled up emotions gone horrifyingly wrong that had led me up to my suicidal thinking. I hadn’t attempted anything, though the thought of dying ran heavily through my veins and it wouldn’t escape from my mind.
I didn’t sleep that night.
The next day the doctor and his resident interviewed me- a get to know you entirely session for forty five minutes. They asked me the typical questions- my family history, why I had come here, and about my relationships with other people. In that short time, a new diagnosis was mentioned- Borderline Personality Disorder. Though they weren’t “positive” about this diagnosis, the thought of being labeled again made me angry. When would someone get it right? What was really “wrong” with me? And would I ever feel better again?
People will ask me what my illness is, and to be quite honest, I really don’t know the correct term. But how can I if we have become obsessed with labeling and curing the unnatural symptom? In today’s world, we feel comforted when we get diagnosed. Although not always good news, we get that sense of relief from a professional, “everything is going to be okay now” and “we can calm down.” We are a society based solely on the belief that “doctor knows best.”
I was in for three days. Not necessarily your “average” stay of five to seven days, but enough to get you thinking somewhat back to your old ways again. During my journey, I must say that I have probably met some of the most amazing people I will ever meet in my life. I think back to my last stay and wonder how the other individuals that I met are doing. You become so close because you automatically understand the lifestyle of living with something that you can’t always control. It’s a secret club that anyone can join.
I have to admit that I am nervous as I write this blog. People have held the assumption of me that because I am a huge advocate for mental health awareness and de-stigmatization, that I have to be “all better,” or else I can’t promote the way I do. However, I never want to appear as if I’m “all better” and promote the “I got through it and so can you” type story. As many others out there, my mental illness is a work in progress too.
Because of my recent bump-in-the-road, I, along with my parents, made the decision that it would be best for me to commute to and from college and live at home for the rest of the semester. At times I get angry at myself and think, “why can other people my age do it and I can’t?” I remember then that I am just who I am meant to be…a fighter.
Lauren is a college freshman and first became involved with Bring Change 2 Mind as a high school student when she became the youngest walk captain in our national program. Having personal experience with mental illness has helped her to gain a greater perspective on the world around her. Lauren looks at her illness as an opportunity to help others understand those who live with mental illness as well. It is her personal mission as a young person to do all that she can to help eradicate the stigma.