Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)
TITLE: The Year of Crazy
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom
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I’d been suffering from a chronic illness that caused unbearable pain. I was also in a state of denial; my mind discovered early in my life that things that caused me emotional pain could be easily repressed.
My mother had died four years previously. Mom was my best friend and I missed her desperately. Accidentally, one day, I discovered a way to make my grief go away for a little while. I drove by Mom’s house and saw her car in the driveway. My heart started to race and I smiled; she was home from vacation. The relief only lasted mere seconds. But I discovered that if I pretended that she wasn’t dead but on holiday, my pain would diminish significantly.
This all added to the downfall of ‘97; the biggest crash occurred when my doctor put me on anti-depressants, certain types helped people with chronic pain. I was warned that it would take about six weeks for the drugs to build up in my system before I would notice any difference.
Sure enough about a month and an half went by and I feet different. I still had the unbearable pain but now I also had had an uncontrollable urge to kill myself. My first attempt was a devious plot that had to do with messing with my IVs. I wanted it to look like an accident for the sake of my children.
This is the point when I usually receive a horrified look because people can’t believe a mother would do such a terrible thing. However, I truly believed my kids would be happier, healthier, and safer with me dead. I was aware enough that I never did anything while in the kids' presence. I’d wait until they went to bed. Not smart at all, but remember, this was the year of crazy.
For months, I attempted suicide countless times. I tried jumping out the second story window, I rigged the van to drive over me. I only managed to crush my arm, but I was content with that because I believed I deserved to be punished for being such a horrible person.
I’d been hospitalized about every other week. In the end, it turned out I spent more days as an inpatient psychological patient than I spent at home.
Finally, after months of severe overdoses that should have killed an elephant, my doctors decided I was too much of a danger to myself. At the end of December, all of my medications were stopped. I attempted suicide for the last time on New Year’s Eve. By the end of January, all thoughts of dying prematurely left my brain as rapidly as they entered.
Once I was thinking clearly, I blamed the antidepressants. The doctors laughed at me; but I vowed I would never take another form of the almost-deadly medicine. Apparently they caused some type of a weird reaction. I knew they helped others, I was a nurse after all, but for me they were like poison.
Since my crazy year, doctors have realized that suicidal ideations are indeed a side-effect for some people. I have a new doctor now, who is amazed that I survived myself. I should have died several times over.
Living with a chronic illness left me feeling useless and helpless. When Mom died, I should have promptly dealt with my grief, instead I hid from the truth. That added hopelessness and unresolved grief onto my bundle of nerves. I felt totally out of control. I couldn’t make my illness go away; I couldn’t relieve my physical nor my emotional pain, and I couldn't make my mom alive again. So I decided to control the only thing left - my death. Thankfully, God had other plans.
So it was the worst of years for obvious reasons; however it was the best of years because God watched over me and kept me safe. My kids were young enough to not really remember and they bounced back exceedingly well. Jesus was definitely in control and I am so grateful!
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