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How can I sleep when I can’t trust my own mind?

It takes me down dark paths, wandering into woods I know I’ve been lost in before.

The constant questing, nagging, demanding fear is this: what if I’m wrong?

What if what I think will help me only makes things worse?

What if this attempt for peace of mind is really just a desperate plea for attention, for a demonstration of being loved?

Am I worth the concern that others show for me when I struggle most with my illness?

Am I just escaping my responsibilities by curling back into illness or I am actually challenging this illness with the hope for better treatment?

Aspects of hospitalization feel addictive – the safety of being surrounded by people, checked on every 30 minutes to ensure I’m not doing something to harm myself.

Nearly every trigger and method of suicide removed, a near risk-free environment.

Pressure to be productive and responsible and healthy all eased.

An enforced and regular schedule of meals and sleep, all without the challenges of cooking and tidying.

And of course, the outpouring of concern from friends and family.

But what is the cost?

Loneliness and boredom and too much time to think.

All the negative judgments of myself find evidence to support themselves.

I could curl up in this darkness, and just… stay.

Will being here really help me create long-term stability or is this just the start of another cycle of regression?

Am I actually ill or is this all in my mind?

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Well, I’m back in the hospital for a medication change.

Psychiatric medicine has come so far in being able to treat people who suffer from debilitating depression and anxiety. And yet the system is still so far from perfect. When your current meds begin to lose their effectiveness as tolerance builds up in your body, you basically start back at square one in trying to find a medication or combination that will create long-term stability.

And because I’ve had such negative reactions to some meds, and have such high impulsivity when I feel suicidal, the risks are too great to be a guinea pig outside of hospital anymore. So I’m here, and I’m committed to getting better, and I’m grateful that the staff admitting me last night was compassionate and understanding and more importantly, recognized the severity of my need.

Being here (on the same unit I was on in 2014) is both nostalgic in an odd way and frightening. The last time, a hospitalization we thought would be a few weeks stretched on and on for months until a whole year had slipped away from me.

Kathryn keeps reminding me to let this all unfold as it will, cultivate hopefulness that I will get back to my life soon – hockey starts this week, I miss my clients at work, my friend’s wedding is next weekend, the GS Halloween Party the week after that. I don’t want to miss any of this.

And so in the most difficult moments I will ask for help and use my coping skills and remember it doesn’t always feel like this. I am not here to escape my pain. I’m here to confront it and find a better way of managing it.

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