***This portrays exactly what can happen when you have a mental illness. It’s real. And sad,…and terribly tragic that an illness could cause such tragedy***
It was a Thursday. A beautiful sunny day. But for me,.. It was the beginning of my downfall. That was the day I lost my children. That was also the day I had my first massive break-down. I was going through a messy divorce,… my father had just passed away,… and I was quite vulnerable to my mental illness. (which wasn’t even diagnosed yet). Something happened, and I left. Left my home,.. left Brampton, left anyone and everyone who was in my life. I packed up my car,… drove to St. Thomas where I used to live. (from 1990 to 1995) because that was one of my happiest times living there. As a family. I had my daughters there and life was really good.
But now,.. I had nothing. Everyone seemed to hate me and I just cracked. In a moment of madness, I packed up my car and drove back to St. Thomas two hours away. I suppose in my mind of madness I was trying to run back to happiness. But happiness wasn’t there. I got a motel room. And then proceeded to take a massive amount of pills. I don’t know how anyone found me, but apparently I was found and rushed to hospital. I don’t remember anything but family tell me I was on life support. All I can remember is waking up angry that I hadn’t died.
I was transferred to the St. Thomas psychiatric hospital and remained there for 3 weeks before being transferred to Brampton’s psychiatric department. All in all I think I was hospitalized for 5 weeks. But I certainly didn’t feel well enough to leave the hospital. But that’s how it goes. Beds are needed and I was released.
I lost my family when I came out. No one wanted to know,..
I lost my daughters that day. They were 9 and 12 years old. When I got out of the hospital, they were gone. Moved away,… with my ex and his new girlfriend. Everyone knew I couldn’t take care of them in the state I was when I first got out. I could only get them back through the court system now. I only had a legal aid lawyer and she really didn’t give a damn. So it was two and a half years before I got supervised visits. It wasn’t until I hired a ‘real’ lawyer that things finally started moving along and it wasn’t until 2006 that I got them back in my life. But they remained in the custody of their father. I was so hurt ~ devastatingly hurt ~ that I didn’t talk to anyone in my family for another 10 years.
During all of this kaos,…
Back to first getting out of the hospital,…When I was finally released I went to live with my Mom. That didn’t work out either. I moved around like a hobo for a few months. Slept in my car for two nights, my cousin let me stay with her for a few days but eventually I checked into a motel. I lived there for 3 weeks. Then I found a basement apartment in Bolton. I found a job at Tim Horton’s. During this time I went back to school to get my medical assistant/Lab technician certificate. It took me two years of working 5 in the morning to 1:00pm at Tim Hortons and then driving to Mississauga to go to school. I would get home around 10.It was a long two years. I don’t know how I ever managed working and school everyday for two years. But I did it. I think it was just stubborn tenacity that kept me going.
But during those years I was a mess. I started my pill addiction and drinking. I moved from Bolton (for my job at York Medical) Then Newmarket, then Tottenham. But I really wasn’t in any fit state to work, but I had to, as my divorce wasn’t finalized and I didn’t have any money. (except my minimum wage salary the barely covered the rent) In fact while living in Tottenham I almost lost the townhouse I had bought. I ended up selling at a loss. By this time I had lost faith in everyone. While living in Tottenham I had another overdose and lost my job. May I add that my eldest daughter (who had come to live with me after some problems at her Dads) was the one to find me and call an ambulance. THIS is what mental illness does to you. Your not able to think rationally and you make terrible choices. THAT was a horrible choice and to this day, I will never forgive myself for my daughter seeing what she should never have to see. The whole thing was tragic.
And here is where it goes ridiculously wrong. After I lost my townhouse, and my job, I moved back to St. Thomas (There’s got to be a sick irony in there somewhere) and ended up sliding into a life of addiction. BAD addiction. For 3 years I rarely left my apartment and just got high. all day ~ everyday ~ Life had become very grim. That is where my Moms health started deteriorating. My brother got her settled into a senior’s residential home. I wanted to be closer to her so I moved to Fergus. I tried my best to get clean. And I did for awhile,… But old habits die hard. It was through the support of my brother and sister-in-law that things got better.
But I was still sick. Depression, anxiety, and all those other illnesses that I have been diagnosed with. (every time I end up in hospital, they change my diagnoses to something else?) So who knows what my mental health consists of. I just know I wasn’t well. I was faking it and trying hard to get better, but too this day, better has never really arrived. I still struggle with my addiction and illness. I also struggle with letting anyone into my life. I have, because of this, become somewhat of a recluse. A huge introvert. I won’t let ANYONE in. I’ve become almost agoraphobic because I don’t want to be around people.
The good news is,…. that I have my daughters back in my life,… I have my brother back in my life,… even the Holyoaks who I had also pushed away are back in my life. I’ve even re-connected with some old friends from the neighborhood. This is the best I’ve been in many years.
Ok, this has become longer than I attended so I’ll stop here. I think you know all the rest from my blog anyway.
So today has been an emotional day for me.