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Saturday, November 24, 2007

A very, very, very, personal journey

**The following is a very personal experience that I went through this past year. It was the most traumatic thing I think I have ever went through. I want to share it, just in case anyone out there has went through anything similar. Or if you think you are having a bad day, read this and I'm sure it'll make you feel better! God bless.**

For those who don't know, one of my personal "demons" that I've dealt with has been chronic insomnia. I suffered from it for almost 5 years. It was the most dehabilitating thing I have ever dealt with, and I truly feel for you if you suffer from it. On a particular sleep binge, on which I didn't sleep for 5 nights straight, I really felt like I was at my wits end. That was the longest I have ever went without sleep. I didn't want to take the medication that was prescribed to me, which was a heavy narcotic (Ativan). I had already went through a horrible drug withdrawal treatment that almost killed me. Doctors will prescribe these powerful drugs all the time like they are candy. And that's what they did to me, for almost 2 years I was on this "candy", and they decided it was time to take me off. They didn't put me on a taper, they just took it away. Ativan withdrawals have been compared to withdrawals similar to heroin. It was months that I lost from my life, that I'll never get back.

Anyways, after getting off the drugs, I swore I would never, ever put myself through that again, and I wouldn't let the dr's do that to me either. Back to this whole week without sleep. Like I said, I was feeling desperate. For a year, I had been asking my doc to send me to a sleep specialist to find out what was actually causing this. (I go to the VA-Veterans Hospital). They didn't think I needed to go to one, they thought they were treating it with the ativan. I told them I didn't want to take that anymore, and they said I must not need a specialist then if I'm getting by without the drugs. Well, I wasn't really getting by, I was really just a vegatable lying in bed waiting to die. I decided that I should go to the ER. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It was the only thing I felt I could do to get the point across that I needed to see someone. So I went. I checked in and waited. When I finally saw the doc, I was explaining my symptoms, and said-in passing-"sometimes I just don't know how I can possibly go on"--which they interpreted as "I am suicidal." Which I wasn't! I was just trying to explain that I was desperate-I mean, who goes to the ER for insomnia?? Well, that was all they needed. They immediately called the police, and put me on suicide watch. I was like, what is going on! I just need to see a sleep specialist! This is the best part--they shipped me to a mental institution.
WAIT. Hoooooold up. Yes I said it. Mental Institution. Against my will. For insomnia. ???. There are many more "substories" that fit into this that would make for great coffee convo, but not for this blog, it would be way too long. Anywho-they basically tell me that I have to stay for a minimum of 72 hours. It was the most horrible experience. I was in there with people who tried to kill their parents, patients who actually did attempt suicide, sexual predators, the list goes on. And I was sleeping right next to them in the mental ward. I was completely irate and delsusional at this point because I just couldn't believe what was going on. Jason right away began fighting the system and busting his tail to get me out. After hours and days dealing with lawyers, and cutting through all the red tape, my case finally was brought to the court. Apparently all cases need to be brought to a judge so a patient can be released. When the judge saw my case, he immediately got up, left the courtroom and went to the hospital where I was being contained. He ordered the doctors to immediately release me. I wanted to hug him at this point and telll him how much I love him. But I wait. After4 days, and 3 nights, I was finally released. And I celebrated by getting a swedish massage at the spa.

Through all that, I practically was yelling at God-Where are you! Why are you letting this happen to me?! I don't deserve to be here! There were many intimate moments between me and the big man Himself during those 4 days. There are times when you don't really understand what's going on, but you still have to trust Him. You still have to believe that there is a plan in everything, even that. I gotta say, after that whole ordeal, me and God were very, very, close. Nothing says WAKE UP! like a smack in the face like that. If I hadn't drawn close to Him, that experience could have very well broken me. I saw things that no one should have to see during those 4 days. I saw the epitome of brokenness in those patients while I was there. These people need our prayers, like now. It's not on those things that people pray for..like have you ever heard anyone say "God, I lift up those in the mental ward.." I know it sounds crazy, but we have to! I met one women there who I talked to here and there. She was in her 60's, and sweet as can be. But she was hurt. She had been married for over 30 years, and one day-out of the blue-her husband up and leaves her for a woman half his age. She had no idea it was coming, they were happy, she told me. She didn't know what to do with her life, her life was her husband. So she thought her only way out was to end her time here. Thank God she didn't succeed and she is getting better. Her spirits seemed to get better every day, but there was a pain there that you could see a mile away.

There is just so much more that happened during my stay. But that's the bulk of it. A crazy detour in an otherwise normal world. You never know what God is going to throw your way to see if you can handle it the way He would want you to.

*end note: Praise God my insomnia has left the building-drug free!! If you are going through anything similar-YOU CAN DO IT! Trust in Him, he is bigger and stronger than any demon trying to derail you!

1 comment:

Candice & Daniel said...

WOW! what a hard time you had, I can't even imagine. Praise the Lord that he brought you through it and that he can use your life as a testimony.

Thanks for being so brave to share.