I was now on my own. The only company I had now was my thoughts and the silhouettes of the nurses and doctors as they walked past my curtain enclosed cubicle. I had been transported to the short stay ward where I had the pleasure of staying for the night until they were sure I had recovered from my overdose. I had been told that in the morning I would be seen by the Wellington Mental Health Crisis team so that they could do an assessment on my current state of mind. Pretty hard to do an assessment on something that wasn’t working I thought, but it was a step I had to take before they would release me.
I didn’t sleep well during the night. My sleep was punctuated with periods of distraught emotion as I ran through the events of the day and thoughts about what my future now held. I was worried about the impact I had on Katrina, my family, friends and work colleagues. It was during the night and those periods of wakeness that I started to think about not being here. I thought about not wanting to face what lay ahead because the future involved decision making and that was something that was getting harder and harder to do the more I slipped into depression. I cried just about every minute I was awake as I thought of ways I could make all this stop.
It’s funny really because when I took those tablets I never thought I was taking my life, for me I just wanted rest. Those poor decisions had now placed me in the predicament I was faced with and being in hospital and what the future held had compounded everything that drove me to take them in the first place. Now I had added to those pressures and I was about to have a lot more thoughts about whether life was worth continuing. Those thoughts were to last for weeks and they would hasten my journey to rock bottom.
The morning came around and Katrina arrived to brighten my day and to bring some consistency back into my lost life. My morning thoughts were also relieved by a Zimbabwean nurse called Hilda who lightened my heavy environment. Hilda cast my mind back to my days in the Metropolitan Police when police canteens were staffed by West Indian ladies who always seemed happy and with their infectious personalities had ways of curing the hangovers that plastered my life back then.
The relief Hilda offered was short lived when the Mental Health Crisis team arrived to put me through the ringer. The barrage of questions flew over my head except one..”When was the last time you were happy at work Mike”. It resonated with me and still does because as outlined previously I couldn’t really answer it. (See “Who’s in the mirror”)
Who was in that mirror ? I don’t know really because I had been here before and never really learnt the lesson. My 1998 episode (for a future post) was not on the scale of this latest drama but it gave me what I thought were some tools to deal with the stresses of work and life. Ultimately they didn’t work for me as they just threw me into a false sense of security and had me believing I was doing the right thing. Throwing on a pair of running shoes and eating broccoli worked to a point but I never really addressed what was going on in my head and what I wanted out of life. This episode changed all that and it has me really looking at myself and to be honest there are some aspects of me I don’t like. It would be two weeks later and after the darkest moment in my life that I would realise it and begin to show the first sign of some sort of recovery.
My friend drove away from Wellington Hospital and we made our way to the station. Katrina had to pick up my car which had been transported to the station from Wainuiomata and any personal belongings that had been taken off me. I was in no position to go in myself and face the people I had worked with . I was anxious as hell but being in the company of friends meant that I tried to make light of it but in reality my stomach felt it was being attacked by some sort of boa constrictor.
Katrina and I spent Thursday night with a wonderful friend who kept my mind away from the demons that had a hold of my head. The following day we were driven to Wellington Airport where we caught a plane to Auckland. One chapter had closed and another one was about to begin. If I thought the move to Auckland was for the better and that I had already hit rock bottom then I was sadly mistaken. The next few weeks would see me plummet further into the abyss and the Waitemata Mental Health team would be working full time with me…..first things first though….my daughters wedding on Saturday !!!
Categories: My Story 2016