First, a warning for those closest to me (again):
Forgive me, but I’m NOT about to apologize for being truthful with the world, but I AM sorry if this entry is tough for you to read! Feel free to skip over anything you don’t want to know about me. I won’t hold it against you! This is MY story and I know it could help others to hear it, so I am giving you the opportunity NOT to read this one now, because you can NEVER unlearn this about me. I love you and that won’t change whether you read it or not!!
I have to be delicate with how I handle part two of this post, because I am going to retell parts of the story that I am incapable of telling from my own perspective, so I am relying on my (horrible) memory and things others have told me since the following events occurred. I will do my best not to guess at the feelings of others but to simply stick to the facts as they had been relayed to me.
First, a little background information:
From early December 2016 until late November 2017, I had been involved in a “friends with benefits” kind of relationship with a very good guy friend of mine. We had been hanging out for years prior to that with absolutely nothing physical happening between us, but for some reason it happened. And then it happened again. And before long, sex kinda became part of our friendship. We would hang out with other mutual friends and do typical platonic friendship things – go to movies in a group, hang out at karaoke nights at local bars, go bowling, you name it. And it never seemed awkward for him and I to hang out alone, either. I even helped him with projects on his place (even though I have no business doing construction-type work).
After about 5 months of sleeping with him regularly, I realized that I was starting to have feelings for him that went deeper than as strictly platonic friends. I fought it with every ounce of my energy, because I knew how he was in relationships – I’ve known him since grade school, but our friendship in adulthood began in that mutual group of friends where he and I would swap dating advice because we had mutual respect and honesty between us, and neither of us were interested in the other for dating.
Ok, so maybe when I first met him in grade school, I asked him to be my boyfriend, but I don’t honestly know if that was just one of his funny stories he made me believe happened or if it, in fact, really happened. It definitely fit my boy-crazy elementary school self’s M.O., so naturally I believed this guy, who was my friend. There are other stories I could bring up, but I am trying to keep this as generic as possible to spare feelings and reputations of anyone tied to this story. (Did I mention it’s a small town?)
Regardless, several months into the “friends with benefits” scenario, I distinctly remember that it was feeling much more like we were in a relationship at one point (after my feelings were becoming clear to me) and in a small town, if you’re out and about with the same person of the other gender frequently, people start to assume you’re a couple. We both denied it any time someone asked us directly, but because of all those other opinions that had come into the mix, I grew confused on where he actually stood on the issue, and started seeing signs that maybe all those people were right.
Anyway, the first weekend of December 2017, we had gone out to the bars with a group of friends. By this time into the “situationship,” I was completely convinced that he was just oblivious to what this “thing” between us was and that he would eventually realize we would make a good pair. My depression had begun to overcome me, though, because I had grown so involved in this relationship that didn’t even exist.
I had allowed this fucked-up situation to become an actual relationship in my mind, because who wouldn’t want to fall for their really good friend? Growing up, I had learned from my family that those tend to be the strongest relationships, so why not, right?
Once again, my expectations let me down. I was already feeling depressed that night when we went out and I have a rule about drinking: never drink alcohol when you’re in a negative mood. Angry, sad, annoyed – don’t drink.
Well, I didn’t follow my own rule that night. I proceeded to get so shitfaced drunk that I needed to go sleep it off or I feared I would spend the rest of the night throwing up the Captain Morgan and Pepsi cocktails I had been slamming all night. So I was walked to this friend’s house by him and a few others from our group; I was told I could sleep it off there.
The next part of the story is where I can only tell you what others have reported to me, because I hardly remembered anything after everyone else left the house. I was left alone to sleep while they all continued the night’s party with an after bar (I believe).
The last thing I remember was that I decided I wanted to “sleep until my problems went away” or some bullshit like that. (Again, I’m going based on bits and pieces of a story I have been retold from other people’s perspectives, and what little I could put together from the fragments of the memories that showed up from that completely inebriated mind of mine that night.) I just know that my mentally ill mind was clouded by the imagined hurt I felt from his supposed rejection of me that night, and especially so by all the alcohol I had added into the already toxic mix of an ill mind.
Well, that poisoned, drunken, mentally ill mind decided that apparently the only way to “sleep until my problems went away” was to swallow every single pill I had in my prescription bag that promoted sleep – sleeping pills, muscle relaxers, and tricyclic antidepressants. Even in my drunken state, I somehow had the wherewithal to avoid the “uppers” like the Adderall I had for my fatigue. (If there’s anything I know for certain, it is that my “book smart” intelligence is rarely affected much by alcohol, and I could prove it to anyone by pointing out my drunken text messages, because I still only have a few typos in my drunken messages in comparison to my sober ones. Neither often has spelling or grammatical errors. They happen, just not often, regardless of alcohol intake.)
Anyway, as I was lying on the floor in this friend’s house, alone, with a stomach full of pills, I was able to send out a group text message to my parents and my sisters. I don’t remember sending it, but I believe what I sent that night simply said “I’m sorry. I love you.” I’m gonna give God all the credit on that one, though, because I don’t believe I could’ve sent it by myself, in the state I was in prior to the pills! I am thankful I did, too, because I don’t believe I would still be here today to write this blog if they hadn’t seen my middle of the night text messages and quickly sprang into action to find me!
This is where my narration ends completely, because I don’t remember that one sister got a hold of a family friend who is a police officer in our town to let him know about my text that was out of character, especially for the time of night. (I am often up late; my family isn’t.) I don’t remember that my parents went to another friend’s house to look for me. I don’t remember my family’s reaction to that friend’s nonchalant response that “oh, she’s fine; she’s just sleeping it off.” (This is simply what I was told by my family later, and the friend who gave that response didn’t mean anything harmful by it; just that she had assumed that I was sleeping off my drunkenness at the aforementioned FWB’s house. How could she have known, if those text messages only went to my family? I harbor no ill will on my friends for their seemingly blasé reactions to my family desperately searching for me because they had no way of knowing what had happened after they left me.)
I have no recollection of officers breaking my friend’s door to gain entry when they couldn’t reach him. I have no memories of the paramedics who rushed me to the hospital in an effort to save my life that early, early morning. I don’t remember being transported to another hospital via ambulance when the first hospital did all they could for me before transferring my care to a hospital in St. Paul that had far more experience with situations like mine, and I couldn’t even tell you confidently that it was four days instead of two that I had spent at that hospital, but I am positive my parents and sisters could tell you how they felt, seeing me almost comatose in that hospital bed. I’m sure that it was one of the scariest moments in their lives, and I am still brought to tears when I think of what I must have put them through!
I vaguely remember waking up in a hospital room with all of them anxiously waiting to see if I would be alright. I remember that I was hungry and wanted Taco Bell, but I think I was probably also still under the influence of some drug or another, because I also vaguely remember swearing at my sister about the Taco Bell she was so gracious to go get for me and I was incredibly unappreciative then. I can never take that back, but I can apologize to her again as many times as it takes me to feel better about being a complete bitch to her when she didn’t deserve it. (I still am very sorry for that, and I don’t think I have apologized enough, and I don’t know if I truly can. But I AM sorry and you DIDN’T deserve that!)
At some point after I had eaten my food, I was transferred to another ward in the hospital where I stayed another day and a half or so for group and individual therapies. The only other time I had been in anything even remotely similar was when I had checked myself into another hospital in St. Paul because I was feeling suicidal, but that time I was able to check myself out hours later, because I was not there on an involuntary hold. Imagine feeling so low that you voluntarily check in to a hospital, but then are left alone in an empty room with nothing but your thoughts that you would be better off if you were dead. There was no group therapy and only one or two basic interviews with any trained professionals there. This time, I was put on an involuntary hold that I was vehemently against from the moment I was told about it, because I thought this would be like the other time, in the other hospital and I didn’t want to be left alone with my thoughts again! It can be a very dark, incredibly terrifying place in my mind sometimes. And I was convinced that this time would be like before, and I was certain that my overdose was just a fluke, because I was drunk when I had no business drinking alcohol in my already depressed state in the first place!
I was able to have visitors this time, and my family showed up every day. If I ever doubted their love for me before that December, I had absolutely no reason to ever doubt them again in that hospital! I started to feel miserable for most of the others in that ward, though, because I was the only one in the group who had visitors to every single visiting hour. I am forever grateful for that experience, no matter how difficult it was on me at the time to be in that ward, because it reminded me that my family loves me unconditionally (and I am probably still not as grateful for them as I should be)!
I spent most of my time in that mental health ward being angry that I was on an involuntary hold and that I couldn’t go outside and smoke my cigarettes. The nicotine patches and gums that I was allowed were nowhere near strong enough for my frustrations of being kept against my wishes, but I was released after the short time because my state-funded Medicaid insurance would no longer cover my stay, and the psychiatrist there felt assured that I was no longer an immediate threat to myself, especially given my protective, supportive family I would be returning home with.
Eventually, I got over my feelings for that “friend with benefits,” but it took time and the attention of another man and a lot of physical distance between us. I needed my move to Kansas City as much as I needed to get away from some other toxic “friendships” (unrelated to this incident, btw) and to prove to myself that I could be independent. Unfortunately, I may have jumped right into something with the other man only to continue the pattern of “situationships” I had become all too familiar with in the more recent years. (Only that one felt different than any of the others, but that is definitely not something I am ready to discuss here yet; he is the only one of those “situationships” who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to me, and I believed him. Maybe I still believe him. I guess we’ll see what happens, but for now, I have a blog to write and I’m gonna focus on my health, both mental and physical.)