The day I tried to take my life
By The Imperfect Mum | Wednesday, 5 February 2014 - 13:31
This is written by a fellow Imperfect Mum who wishes to remain anonymous.
Did you know, There is 6 deaths by suicide every single day in Australia? That is one every four hours. According to the most recent data, it shows more people die from suicide then Skin Cancer in Australia.
I could of been one of those deaths. I came very close to becoming a statistic. My name is not important. But my story is, So please if you have a spare few minutes please read my personal experience with mental illness, Depression, PTSD, anxiety, Suicide attempt and how I am on the road to recovery.
I am 20 years old, and I am a mum to 2 beautiful little girls. I became a very young Mum at 15, To my now Husband. We were shocked, As I was on the pill and we took other precautions. We were scared about the future life as two teenage parents, But we both embraced the pregnancy and what was to follow.
September 2009, We welcomed our beautiful little girl to the world, and nothing could wipe the smiles off our faces. I was so overwhelmed with joy and was so blessed to have the opportunity to be a Mum to a beautiful little bundle of joy. We never questioned our own age and whether we were capable being so young ourselves. We both Called her a "Meant to be Baby"- If God didn't think we could handle it, He wouldn't of blessed us with her.
The months flew by, We had a perfect angel that would sleep all night and be the most bright and bubbly bouncing baby all day. At 10 months of age, We moved out of my Mums house and moved into our OWN rental unit.
Our first place as our own family. Not long after moving, When I was 17 years of age, We found out we were pregnant again. Once again- Shocked because we had taken precautions, but it didn't phase us.
We were happy, We were going to be parents of TWO little girls. September 2011, We welcomed our second princess into the world. It was a very speedy delivery, And I had gone the whole pregnancy having gestational diabetes without anybody noticing until 3 days prior to giving birth.
When she was 6 hours old, She was rushed off to the Special Care Nursery because she was having her own blood sugar problems. I spent the next 8 hours straight pumping every last drop of colostrum I could, Just so she could get it into her system, But it seemed as if the more she was fed, The worse she would get.
In the nursery, The midwives suggested Giving her formula. I was in tears, but agreed. Within minutes of having her formula she improved. After two formula feeds, She was allowed to come back to the ward with me for close monitoring. Over the next couple of days I got mastitis, and my princess switched to permanent formula feeds because my milk made her worse and would not give her any sugars.
After getting discharged, The weeks flew by and things seemed to be going perfectly, we were planning our wedding, My two beautiful girls had become best friends. We just seemed content and happy with how things had turned out.
On the 2nd December 2011 I married the love of my life at 18 years of age. It was a magical day. It wasn't a huger fancy princess type of wedding like most girls dream of. It was "us" it was small, quiet, and had close family and friends. I wore a beautiful yellow dress, and we said our "I do's" with the beautiful beach behind us, and the most important people with us.
Within a couple of months our seemingly perfect life quickly changed when our precious baby started getting sick. I was watching her have violent seizures, and fall unconscious in my arms, almost daily.
I spent months in hospital by her side. We would have three weeks in an isolated room and be out for one day before we were back in again. I was beginning to put blame on myself "What if I did something different in my pregnancy that could of prevented this?"
No matter how many times the doctors and specialists reassured me there was nothing I did wrong, The thoughts were overpowering. I became very over protective of my eldest child aswell.
Spending 3 weeks in a room and seeing your other daughter two or three times is bound to drive any Mum or Dad crazy. I missed her. I missed her so much. But my daughters doctors only concerns was finding a diagnosis for her.
There was not a lot of support in hospital for the parents who are alone in this. I began to pick up on that. And that's when I felt alone. More alone then ever. My daughter spent about 8 months in hospital with me by her side every step of the way.
When we had a good run of my daughters health, I had a very difficult time adjusting to reality.
I began to get emotional, sad, angry, frustrated, anxious about anything and everything. I had a breakdown one day and admitted to my husband that I needed to see my own doctor. For me.
The following day I went to my doctor who put me on anti depressants and told me I have "A bit of an anxiety disorder" and it made me feel a bit silly by even going there. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I began to HATE myself over the months.
"What kind of mother needs to be on pills to be happy" I despised myself. Every time I would look in the mirror I wanted to punch it. Words can't even describe the pain and hate I had for myself.
I started hearing voices. The voices were telling me I "need to jump off the balcony, My kids didn't need a screw up of a Mum"
I would hear this every single time I was alone. I loved my girls with all of my heart, And I honestly thought they WOULD be better off without me.
My hubby would wake up at 2am some nights and just find me outside sitting on the balcony, And would have to talk me back into coming inside.
It was then when I knew if I wanted to be a better Mum for my girls, I needed to see my doctor again. My doctor reffered me to A mental health service.
The mental health service came around to my house and sat down and got me to tell them what was going on. They diagnosed me with "Psychotic depression" and "Severe anxiety"
They put me on a HUGE concoction of medications ranging from anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and anti-anxieties. The next couple of weeks were filled with side affects, from Heart palpitations, to nausea, to drowsiness.
The mental health team were quite quickly out of the picture once they were happy the medications were doing a satisfactory job.
Over the months I was slowly going downhill again. the worse my daughters health got, The more things she was diagnosed with, The more I hated myself, the worse my depression got, the worse my anxiety got. I was doing everything in my power to be a GOOD Mum to my princess but it felt like my efforts were failing.
I would be triggered and set off into a breakdown by any slight thing. My eldest daughter was now 4 years old and of course had the attitude to go with it. My youngest was 2 years old and she just copied everything her sister did and said.
So I had a troublesome twosome. My husband and I had fights over little things, And I would end up wanting to walk out in front of a truck by the end of every single day.. I had been researching life insurance. I KNEW I wanted to die, It was a matter of timing as to when I could do it.
I stopped eating properly, I threw myself hard into exercise, and I would go for long strenuous runs every night quite late. I would also go for my runs in the well known spots where the troublesome people would hang out late at night- Where most would avoid.
I didn't care about the dangers of my life, Most nights I was wishing that something could of happened.. I went more and more downhill, I began pulling my hair out as a way to cope, But that was very quickly proven useless.
2 weeks prior to Christmas 2013 I made an attempt to end my life.
When the emergency room "Stabilised" me I was transferred straight through to the Intensive Care Unit, Where my lungs arrested, And I stopped breathing. I had chest pumps performed, and doctors took 40 minutes to incubate me, During this I should of died.
After being put on life support, I caught chemical pneumonia, As a result from aspirating on my own vomit. Due to the infection in my lungs, My body temperature reached a near 42 degrees, and my body went into shock.
I spent 4 days on life support. But there was multiple times where I should of died in that 4 days. When I woke up, and the intubation tubes taken out, I had no memory on what had happened. I didn't know the day, Week, Month or year, I didn't even remember the days leading up to my attempt.
I looked like I had been beaten up. I had tubes stitched into my neck, multiple IV lines providing constant fluids, Sedation and pain killers, A catheter, Oxygen and a feeding tube.
Once I recovered physically, I was discharged from the Intensive Care unit. But my attempt had prompted the mental health teams to do a lot more then full me with medication to "Mask" my symptoms.
It hasn't even been one month since this all happened, but I am now receiving counselling, which was something that was never even offered to me.
I have 3 counselling sessions a week and one phone session a week. My mental health team do home visits to me twice a week and almost daily phone calls to check in to see how I am going.
It is still early days, But I remain hopeful that I can be on the road to recovery. I have decided to write my story out in the hopes it can help ANYONE who is feeling like they have no way out.
I have been given a second chance of life, so I want to get the word out to help any other parents, carers, friends, anyone who may be feeling like this.
You are important, You are loved, and you have a purpose to be here. Please go and see your GP and talk about your options, And quite often, the medication will not help in the long run, As I was quick to find out.
There is a number of services available, who have 24 hour phone lines if you ever need to talk to someone, if you are lonely, If you are anxious, sad, angry, stressed, Want to hurt yourself, Anything. Please seek help. I don't want anyone else to feel the hurt and pain I had felt.