‘The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart and all they can do is stare blankly.’ The Great Gatsby

2020 was a nightmare

For most of the world

For most people I know

For me

It was still better than 2019

The year I fell apart

And painstakingly put myself back together

I know that might seem surprising to you

With all the devastation, isolation and chaos of this year

But if you’ve ever experienced a mental health crisis

You know

There is nothing worse

No physical pain

No physical illness

More horrific than when your own mind turns on you

You see

There’s little reprieve

No painkiller

No ice pack

No amount of Netflix

That could have eased the chaos that was ensuing in my brain

I think back to that time period

I couldn’t eat

I was using drink supplements to sustain myself

During COVID, we’ve baked wonderful desserts and made tasty meals that I’ve enjoyed so thoroughly

Then, I couldn’t sleep

Now during this quarantine, I take naps during the day

Then, I couldn’t stay in my own home

Now my home is my oasis

Then I was scared to be alone

Now I wouldn’t mind so much if Joey was out of the house a bit more 😬

Then, Joey would leave for the day

I would feel the dread in every cell of my being

I remember waiting for my parents to come over

To just be with me

And trying to take my mind off the wait

I showered

And it was excruciating

Every single second

My brain told me everything was wrong

Now I can enjoy my showers and look forward to when I can take a bath again (it’s a work in progress)

So I know many of you have experienced rock bottom moments during this year

And I don’t take the deaths of so many lightly

It’s been devastating and I can surely sympathize with the losses people have experienced

But I hope

You can understand

Why this year will not go down in history for me

As the worst year ever

No

That title is still held by 2019

The effects of which I may never fully recover from

I hope you can wear your invisible survival of 2020 badges proudly

But I survived 2019

The year I fell apart

And put myself back together

‘A person with panic disorder may experience symptoms such as severe feelings of terror, rapid breathing, and rapid heart rate. People with panic disorder may experience these attacks unexpectedly and for no apparent reason.’

One week

That feels more like a year

One week

That will go down as the worst in my life

I’ve lost count of how many nights I’ve woken Joey during the night in a sheer panic

Two emergency rooms

Two emerge doctors whose kindness I won’t soon forget

A private inpatient facility

A crisis line

Two triage nurses

Anyone who would listen

Even the ones that didn’t

Two psychiatric nurses

One psychiatrist who cared more about ‘stepping on the toes’ of my neuro psychiatrists than helping me through a crisis

One night at a crisis centre

One night where I never thought I could ever end up

One staff member who was my lifeline

One 37 year old who needed her mom to get through the night

One nine hour wait in an emergency waiting room

One road trip to Collingwood

Another half hour wait in an emergency waiting room

Countless nurses and doctors who looked right through me

As long as I didn’t kill myself

No skin off their backs

One prescription for Diazepam to get me through another scary night

Several messages and emails left for my neuro psychiatrist and to my family doctor and to anyone else I could think of

Two more days until I get to see my neuro psychiatrist

Thousands of hugs and kisses and words of encouragement from Joey and my mom

Countless messages of support from my friends, family and Facebook peers

One persevering warrior

Who is trying her absolute fucking best

To not give up

One day and night

Where the first and last thoughts aren’t about panic attacks

Would be nice too…