This thing in Connecticut. It’s awful. Many have made an emotional corollary between this and 9/11, and I’m inclined to agree. It’s that kind of sickening disbelief that this is really the world we live in, this is really what people do.
Many have also made the connection to mental health care and the difficulty obtaining it, something I can also vouch for. A Twitter friend had this to say:
And it made me remember.
On June 7, 2009, after weeks of fruitless searching for a caregiver to help soothe my rage and depression, I suddenly knew that I would kill myself. I’d been crying for hours, I’d engaged in self-harm. My mind was going at light speed in a million directions, and the only thing I could clearly understand were the steps I’d need to take to carry out my suicide plan.
I got up, grabbed my computer and my journal, and stumbled out the door to my car. My husband was long abed – it had to be after midnight. My hands were shaking as I turned the key in the ignition. It was really happening.
I knew right where I was going. I knew where I’d park, and then where I’d walk, and then where I’d jump. But something inside me must have had a different idea, because I turned left instead of right at the end of my street and wound up outside urgent care at our local health clinic.
It is some kind of miracle that I was able to make that decision. And it was the hardest thing in the world to tell the kind-eyed receptionist, who seemed very normal and sweet, that I felt unsafe in my own hands. That I wanted to hurt myself, that I wanted to hurt others. I felt like such a desperate loser – I mean, people have REAL problems, people have REAL diseases. But the doctor took one look at my body, covered as it was in razor-thin scarlines, and decided otherwise.
You all know the rest of the story – and if you don’t, I’d encourage you to spend some time in the archives – but as grateful as I am for the care I was able to obtain, it might never have come to that point if I had been able to get that help sooner. And, today, for them, it might never have come to this point at all.
Really, if you have these feelings, you are NOT alone, and it is OK TO BE BROKEN. Just get the help you need, as soon as you know you need it. Don’t wait for it to be too late.