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My lift fetched me early, but it wasn’t a big deal sleep-wise as I had been waking up earlier for a while. I had been slowly titrating all my meds and wasn’t as catatonic anymore. I was also over the anaemia and didn’t need to sleep for 14 hours a day. In fact, I was struggling to fill up the day and looking at the time frequently to see how much longer I still had to be awake. It wasn’t a hysterical depression like 2012/3 where my bin was always full of used tissues, but I was depressed and I feel depressed as I write this. I am simply filling the time. I am drinking a cup of tea, but I just checked the time: 15.47 – that is about 4-5 hours before I can go to sleep and escape being awake. There is no joure le vive.
I was taken to Valkenberg – Groendakkies (green roofs) as they call it – and I was fucking terrified. This was the real deal: a state hospital known for housing the criminally insane and where people are committed as a ward of the state.
I wasn’t going to a locked ward for lunatics. I was going to Ward 1 where they run a mindfulness-based programme based on the principals of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. Being involved and trained in mindfulness-based interventions for over 10 years didn’t mean that I was excluded from being suicidally depressed. For the last three years I have been saying: if this terrible thing happens, I will just kill myself. If I lose my medical aid, I will just kill myself. If I run out of money, I will just kill myself. It has become a conditioned response: I have a negative thought and I feel suicidal immediately. All those fears have become a reality: I have lost my medical aid. I have run out of money and credit. I am grateful for being hospitalised and given food.
Looking at the history that I had put together, this is my 26th psychiatric admission. Two have been at False Bay Hospital – a state facility – and 22 have been private. I hope it will be my last.
I am also not sure that I want to commit suicide anymore.
I don’t feel great, but I don’t feel suicidal all day every day. I still have suicidal ideation, but like I said, it is a conditioned response.
What do I do now?
I’m in debt up to my teeth, I don’t have a guaranteed income, my confidence around doing websites has dipped (this was the last one I designed) and basically, I am fucked.
Can I dig myself out of this very large financial hole I have managed to dig? Can I get work ready? Can I find a job? Can I dig myself out of the conditioned response that is suicidal ideation? Suicide is still pretty much an option – it always an open door, but like I said I am not sure that I want to commit suicide anymore.
And again I say “how did I get here?”