Having a rocky marriage with a baby in tow was no easy task. Add mental illness and it was a disaster. I was a SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) until Serena was 10 months old. At that time I had graduated college with an Associate in Science in Pharmacology and had got my National certificate for pharmacy technician. I soon joined the working world.
I loved working. I did medical records for area nursing homes and really felt I could retire from there. The Hubs and I were blessed beyond measure! We both had good jobs, an amazing little girl, nice cars, and a huge home. Still, my mind shackled me. I was imprisoned and I didn’t know how to escape. I cried a lot behind closed doors, but if I wasn’t crying, I was in full blown rage. Yes, directly in front of my baby.
The thought of death never ceased me. In years past, I wanted to die because I felt unloved and hurt. I just wanted the pain to end. Now, all those thoughts came from guilt. What mother screams at her toddler like a lunatic because she pulled her hairbow out? What mother hated the thought of having to change another diaper or clean up another spew of puke? I felt as though I were a dreadful human to begin with and now an even worse mom. This kid deserved better than me.
I began to imagine being gone and how better my daughter would grow up. I didn’t want her dealing with a psycho parent as I did. Michael could get remarried and Serena would have the mother she needed. Because I wasn’t that mother. I went through the motions of everyday life. Got off work, picked the baby up from the sitter, came home to sleep. I had no motivation and no energy. Ever.
One particular day I did these things and asked Michael to give me some Ibuprofen because my head was pounding. I don’t remember now if it was really hurting, but without any thought I started dumping the bottle of pills into my mouth. As fast as I could I chucked back the pills. My husband went into a panic and smacked the bottle from my hand. I just stared blankly. Not making a sound. It would be over soon. My stomach would have so much NSAID that it would start bleeding and wouldn’t stop. I was prepared to internally bleed to death.
I vaguely remember rolling off into the floor and beginning to drool. Michael called my Gran who, if y’all remember, was the voice I heard at my first suicide attempt years earlier. He put the phone to my ear and I heard these words…
“Christi, look at that baby in front of you. Don’t you leave her. She needs you. Don’t you go anywhere!”
Serena, at 18 months old, was in fact standing in front of me, patting my head, saying “Aw Mama” over and over. I began to cry. My little girl was watching me die. I would never see her ride a bike or do a cartwheel. I’d never help her get ready for prom or watch her get married. Tears started flowing.
Again, there was no logical reason I didn’t die that day except for God’s protection and mercy. It was time to get help. Real help from a real psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with late onset post-pardom depression, severe general anxiety, and major depressive disorder (MDD). They even played with the thought of me being bipolar as well. But hooray, after several medication tries, we found one that worked wonders. Effexor was my security blanket. I felt amazing and full of life while taking those drugs.
Having a love for life was something I had never experienced before. I was finally happy. After taking the medication almost 3 months I “knew” I was better. I was ready.
And so we conceived again. Of course I had to get off any medications and so I was back to square one. Only worse…