Soooooo…I told you guys that I would make the “27 Days” post over a month ago, but I’ve been so busy working and have been too tired to post after work, or even on weekends, because I’m quite literally exhausted. I work as a waitress, and we get no breaks in an eight-hour shift. It’s Georgia law that employers have the right to give or not give their employees a break. I am in-between jobs (not what it sounds like–I stopped one job, iHop, and got a better job, Olive Garden, but they are waiting for medical documentation that they are not going to get from my psychiatrist. He refuses to write it. So, we’ll see). He will, however give information that I cannot work swing shift because of my bipolar disorder.
I was in jail for 27 days. Because I missed ONE day of mental health class. Here’s what happened.
In September of 2018 I reported to my probation officer that I was ill and was not going to attend group that day. She never texted me back, so I went ahead and stayed home. Later I would find out she was on vacation. My case was sent back to the county I caught my charge in (Laurens). My probation officer caught wind of me having not attended class and she put out a warrant for my arrest. (Unfortunately, this is one of the stipulations of my probation–that if I am not working, volunteering, or going to school I must attend class). My old probation officer came and visited me and informed me that a warrant had been put out for my arrest, but that she had “taken care of it” and she was not going to arrest me. One month later (October 15th), the police came knocking at my door. It was unexpected. At first, I didn’t answer because I thought it was this girl who liked to come to my house early in the morning and drink coffee. I didn’t feel like having coffee that day. But then there was a knock at my bedroom door. I figured it was staff checking on me. I opened the door and there was a police officer there. “Ma’am, can you step out of the room?” I did as he said. He slapped cuffs on me and said, “ma’am, we have a warrant out for your arrest.” I was shocked. I cried to whole way to the Chatham county jail.
I was transferred to the Laurens county jail (cried the whole way there–handcuffed and everything), where I stayed for 27 DAYS. I was taking ten pills a day before I was arrested, all but one a necessary, psychiatric medication to keep me from hearing voices, seeing things, crazy mood swings, extreme anxiety, depression, mania, and insomnia. I told them each of the medications I took, how often I took it, and how much I took. They confirmed it with my ACT Team (a type of mental health service here in Savannah). They automatically said I wouldn’t be getting my Klonopin (a benzodiazepine, for anxiety) because it is a drug that inmates sell. Effexor, my antidepressant, was an automatic no as well, because the company they contracted with didn’t have Effexor in their formulary. The only medication they gave me was my Lithium (for bipolar disorder).
I went days without being properly medicated, and I went days without sleep. I was so sleep-deprived that by the fourth day without sleep, I was just wondering around aimlessly in the cell–like a zombie–while everybody else slept. I wanted to sleep so bad, but when I closed my eyes, sleep refused to come. So I was up and I was down, up and down–laying down to try and sleep, getting up again due to withdrawal symptoms or restlessness, then laying back down and closing my eyes, waiting for sleep, but being disappointed every time. In addition to being sleep-deprived, I started hallucinating and I was withdrawing from all of my psychiatric medications. Hot sweats, cold sweats, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, moodiness, blurred vision, a general “weird” feeling–it was just like withdrawing from a street drug (although I don’t know what that feels like. I’ve just seen it on TV). I was miserable. I begged the nurse to give me something to sleep-I just wanted to sleep. The night they had to take me out of the cell, I had become homicidal. I was now a danger to the other girls, and had to be removed for both my safety and theirs. I spent a week and a half in female holding (which is in the booking office, however it is only a one-man cell). I wouldn’t move my hands, my body wouldn’t comply with the demands I was sending my brain, so whenever I stood up, I often fell backwards on the metal toilet, and I had bruises all over my body. It was frustrating and painful.
The day I finally went to court and was given a second chance, I was completely off my meds, but I was elated. My boyfriend at the time (I’ll explain about what happened to him in another entry) drove two and a half hours to come get me. I was so glad to be out of that jail and back into the free world–and I knew I would get my medication when I got home.
I had two seizures (one in the holding cell, and one at my ex-boyfriend’s house), and passed out three times. I was taken to the ER three times in two days because of complications from getting back on my psych meds. Once because I was unresponsive. Take heed, to those who think that they don’t need to take their psych meds because, “I feel fine. I don’t need this medication!” DON’T EVER STOP TAKING YOUR MEDS. Number one, you’re going to decompensate (meaning all your symptoms will come back and you will get worse, perhaps even needing a psychiatric hospitalization). Plus, coming back on psych meds is a slow process, so you won’t feel as well as you did before you stopped taking your meds.
I’m doing well now…well, not really. I’m not doing well at all. My thoughts aren’t in the right place. I’m very severely depressed. My anxiety is through the roof. And I’m considering suicide. I’ve got a plan, and it’s already been initiated. I’m on Phase 3. There are 16 Phases.
I know I need help, but it will mess up my whole life. I’m trying to get a new job, and I’m supposed to meet with the manager on Tuesday morning. I can’t be in the hospital!!
As far as my ED goes, my psychiatrist has officially changed my diagnosis from OSFED to bulimia nervosa. I’ve been going up and down and up and down on the scale, AND IT’S SOOOOOO FRUSTRATING. I’ll binge and purge, then pig out for days, then restrict/starve. I haven’t been able to get below 132, which is really devastating because I used to be 110. Nowadays, I try to keep food off of my schedule. On the days I don’t binge and purge, I restrict–strict 400 calorie liquid diet. Usually I start my day with a cup of coffee with creamer and sweetener–45 calories. For lunch I either have a Boost (180 calories) or a Bolthouse Farms pre-prepared shake (varying between 180 to 250 calories). For dinner, depending on my calorie count I may drink another cup of coffee, or I may not eat at all. I’m officially giving myself four months to lose 32 lbs, to get to my UGW. Body checks and weigh-ins starting tomorrow, and every Sunday for four months. Maybe if I know someone is watching I’ll be more motivated to lose weight and stay on track.
I’ll keep you guys posted, and I’m going to try to blog more (I got a roommate who has a laptop!). Please–read, comment, enjoy. Stay skinny ladies! ❤