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Flip Flops and My Pearls
Author Jilda Leigh has woven a tale that deals with bipolar depression, obessessive-compulsive disorder and “PTSD”. The author takes us on the journey through the rise and fall of depression, and then to the heights of her quest to learn as much as she can about mental illnesses.
Shadows, Skeletons and a Southern Belle take the reader on a journey from the pits of despair to the light. Author Jilda Leigh has woven a tale that deals with bipolar depression, obessessive-compulsive disorder, suicide attempts, psychiatric commitments, and “PTSD”. The author takes us on the journey through the rise and fall of depression, and then to the heights of her quest to learn as much as she can about mental illnesses.
From traditional medicine, Zen Buddism and Christianity, Author Jilda Leigh leans how to cope with the strains and stress of her illnesses in a positive way. The author give insightful information to help anyone dealing with depression, hard times, or sorrow with dignity and positive thoughts.
Her mind was foggy. She wasn’t exactly sure where she was. Then reality came crashing in. “What happened?” she thought to herself. “I’d planned everything out so carefully. I wrote a note. I took way too many pills. I even cut myself far deeper than I have ever cut myself before”, she mumbled out loud. “What went wrong? Why am I still here?” Then, slowly, she began to sob.
There were tubes coming out of her everywhere! IVs running to ensure she was hydrated. Hell, a nurse was checking on her every hour on the hour. This just couldn’t be happening! But, it was.
There was an IV in each arm, and one in her left foot. She had a catheter. An oxygen tube was in her nose. Machines were humming and buzzing. The straps still hung loosely from the sides of the bed where she had been restrained. She continued to sob, looking around at the dismal surroundings. Her only thought – I failed again. “But, who had found me? Who had saved me?” she thought. “More importantly, why did they save me? WHY? Didn’t they realize how much pain I was in? I mean, I just tried to kill myself, did they miss that clue?” she said to no one in the room.
Shadows crept in around her. They fit her like a glove. They were familiar, always bringing the sorrow and despair. She tried to turn on her side in the hospital bed, to no avail. She only cried harder and harder. The voices started to speak again, taunting her – laughing at her failure. The voices were always with her, like the shadows. The banged inside her head like a drum, always trying to get her attention.
She seriously considered ripping the IVs from her body, just to feel the pain to know for certain this was real. But, something held her at bay. It wasn’t the pain that caused her to pause; it was the idea of being restrained again. It was the fear, the fear of the unknown. The Skeleton named Fear that haunted her for decades. Then, it happened, again.
Committed. The voices were howling with laughter. “You botched it, you moron”, they said. Skeleton Fear got up from her chair. The shadows started crawling back towards me. Then, reality hit like a frying pan against the head. “I’m stuck here”, I thought.
I was searched, organized, prodded, probed, checked, vampired, fed, and sent to lectures. Up at 6am, breakfast at 7:30am, lunch at 12:30pm, supper at 6:30pm, medicine at 9pm, and lights out at 10pm. “What in the hell is going on?” I thought. I was checked every hour, on the hour, during the night. Roll was taken at every mean, every class, and every activity. This is not going to be good. Skeleton Fear just smiled. The voices snickered.
I was given a handbook to read and complete. Handouts were given at lectures. Information was passed along so we would learn how to cope with our illness. “What illness?” I thought. The Skeletons and the voices only snickered.
After two weeks of this “participation”, I was told I had improved and would be discharged. My diagnosis of Bipolar Depression was confirmed, along with OCD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I was given scripts for medicines and an appointment with a psychiatrist. Then, I was patted on my head and sent on my way. I wasn’t “cured”. Nothing was different.
Shortly after my pardon from the warden, I start dating Ivan. We have supper most nights together, and he stays with me some. But, he doesn’t put me first, so Skeleton Fear takes over. She tells me that he’ll leave me, or Ivan has someone else.
Ivan and I argue a lot, but stay together. It’s an on again, off again kind of relationship. At one point, it’s off. I don’t see him for about two weeks. We are both so miserable. Ivan admits there were other things that came first. I was shocked, and so was Skeleton Fear. The voices were angry. Ivan moved in, and things settled down. Or so it seemed.
Leap Frog! It’s a year later. Skeleton Water and Skeleton Fear have a new roommate. Her name is Skeleton Cutter. You see, when I attempted suicide the first time, I cut myself. The voices rejoiced and danced, and I felt euphoric. So, Skeleton Cutter had a field day. When Skeleton Water filled me up, the voices would scream at me to hurt myself. Skeleton Cutter would do her worst. Scars crisscross my arms. Because cutting is addicting. Just like any other drug, or alcohol. But, each time I cut myself, the water would leave. The shadows would rush in and I would feel guilty and ashamed. I would hate myself for giving in, again.
Now, it’s February 2012. I open my door to go out and check the mail. A man is standing there. Before I can mule kick the door, he’s in the house. I’ve speed-dialed my Mom and told her someone was in the house. I can only assume she’s heading my way because she always does when there is a problem.
My phone and glasses were taken from me and smashed. He used a box cutter to cut my forearms and ripped my shirt open to cut my chest. He busted my lip. He kept saying I was leaving with him, and I kept saying no. He cut me every time I refused. I guess my composure changed, because I told him “you’re going to have to kill me right here where my momma can find my body”.
He stabbed my chest and cut me very deeply. He then dragged me by my hair to the living room and dumped my purse on the floor. He took my keys, and then kicked me back into the kitchen. He stole my car. He left me in a heap in the kitchen, where my mother found me.
About 5 minutes after he left, the cavalry arrived in the form of my mother. Then, the police, fire trucks, ambulances, and helicopters were in the neighborhood. The neighbors were questioned but nobody saw anything. So much for our neighborhood watch program, huh?