Updated: Jan 25, 2020
Wow! June 10, 2018.
1 year ago today I was driving down interstate 70 repeating over and over again "I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Lost and clueless with very blurry vision from the tears that took over my vision, I was clueless of where I was going so- I started following the only thing I could see- blue signs with a white H in the middle.
1 year ago I cried out "God help me. I cannot do this anymore!"
1 year ago today in the middle of the night I entered the emergency room in Independence Missouri with 57 pain pills in my hand. Shaking. Crying. Struggling to breath.
1 year ago today I was admitted into a Psychiatric hospital for suicidal ideation -
How the HECK did I get here? Why was I here? What did I do wrong?
Initially the shame, fear, and embarrassment took over.... but then it turned to anger, resentment, and a strong feeling of rejection.
The biggest question running through my mind was: WHAT WOULD PEOPLE SAY?
I remember begging the doctor to let me go home because I had too much to do.
Mother of 4
I had clients
"I DON'T HAVE TIME TO BE HERE!"
I sobbed. I couldn't believe things had come to this!
I never felt more alone or more ashamed. My emotions flopped between anger and extreme sadness. BUT deep down inside I knew I needed to be there and there was no room for my ego OR worrying about what others would think or say.
Within 24 hours God sent an angel (in the form of an unexpected miracle) who helped fly my mother from Philadelphia to Kansas City because all I knew to say was "I need my mom here".
Upon my arrival to the psychiatric hospital I knew this was serious.
The staff took ALL my things, walked me down what seemed like a never-ending hallway, and showed me to my room.
Upon entering the room my heart dropped.
"All these people are hurting?" I whispered to myself. I cried even more seeing the pain and despair in so many eyes. "Why God?" is all I said aloud.
I met with a doctor within a few moments of arriving who helped me identify why I was there: Jalima you're depressed and sounds like you are dealing with some strong emotions/hurt and you have not allowed yourself to properly grieve because of your desire to keep everyone happy. Question after question revealed these truths.
"WHOA!" I thought to myself
You see... I had only been in Kansas City for 9-months. And in 9-months life was turned a bit upside down and I did not know how to process how I was feeling about it all, but the truth was I was hurting badly and was struggling to wrap my mind around it all. Moving from the East Coast to the Midwest was a HUGE adjustment. In the midst of it all I was keeping it all in. I would just cover how I was feeling with good ole colloquialisms because I needed to "just get over it all" and "let it go". And I didn't want to seem weak or not able to do my job. I didn't want "Rev J" to be rejected or proven to be unqualified or weak!
But my pain was real
And pushing pain down in an effort to avoid feeling it will eventually surface! And that is just what happened. It was time to face it all. It was time to be honest. Because it was all just too real. No matter what other people said, IT WAS MY REALITY and I needed to work through it all.
My late night drive with 57 pills was my attempt to escape my reality. My vision had been clouded for a reason - my ability to drive on a highway and follow blue & white hospital signs WAS NOTHING BUT GOD!!!
The fact that I arrived at the hospital with no pills digested- WAS NOTHING BUT GOD!
The fact that I stopped for twizzlers and popcorn WAS NOTHING BUT GOD putting up roadblocks to stop it.
The fact that I am here today and my husband is not a widow and my children are not motherless IS NOTHING BUT GOD!
The fact that I did get help 1 Year ago today WAS NOTHING BUT GOD!
Over the course of this past year I have had to work hard for my healing.
I have had to be transparent.
I have had to be willing to cry.
I have had to open my eyes and deal with my pain.
I have had to reassign people in my life - meaning let go of some friendships and/or move people to that outer ring in my life.
I have had to be unapologetically honest.
I have had to face disappointments and identify stressors, and then put plans in place to deal with it all.
I have had to realize that I am God's chosen vessel and THIS all does not define me!
I have had to redefine the lies of the enemy that had become my truths.
I have had to learn to accept love and help.
So 1 year ago today Twizzlers, Smart Pop, blurry vision, a speeding car, blue & white hospital signs, and 57 pills turned a recipe for death into my willingness to receive HELP. Help saved my life- LITERALLY.
Here is my other reality- IT IS A DAILY BATTLE.
I fight daily. Some days harder than others. But I fight.
I see a therapist weekly who has helped me beyond what I can put into words.
I have friends who check in on me and who I can call and who NEVER JUDGE ME for my struggle.
I have friends who pray with me.
Prayer & fasting is a way of life for me because it strengthens me for this battle.
It is not easy, but it is doable!
It does not limit my ability to have a quality life because I HAVE HELP!
Help is the key to this very real struggle.
Setting boundaries and rest is also important!
"1 year ago today" saved my life so I can tell my story.
It is my prayer that this blesses someone or encourages someone to GET HELP.
Help does not make you weak, but instead it displays your strength!
Please get help... mental health is not a weakness!
The confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached toll-free on 1-800-273-TALK(8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week