Trigger Warning: discussion of suicidality, hospitalization

This journey is hard, guys. Really hard. And it is long. Perhaps a lifetime. Probably my entire lifetime. I wish there was a reason as to why some of us have chronic illnesses and struggles. I suppose, objectively, that the honor of living also carries the risk of suffering. More accurately, the honor of living ensures that we will suffer. How badly? How long? Only God has the answer to those questions. And only God can help us through these times (Psalm 69:29). Even when he feels absent. Even when I feel completely alone and am sure He has forsaken me. Even when I am crying out against Him in anger and frustration (Psalm 22:1-2). He never leaves. He NEVER separates from us regardless of that which tries to tear us apart (Romans 8:35-39). And THAT is the truth that I am trying to lean into again; that I am trying desperately to grasp to and remember. I am not alone. And though my present suffering (Romans 8:18) feels so hard and lonely, I am held gently in God’s grasp and promised that perfect joy awaits me at the end of this life (Revelation 21:4).

I know I have not posted in a long time. I disappeared off the internet altogether for a bit. But after six weeks off social media, I got back on a couple days ago because I felt so disconnected. But once back on, I also felt overwhelmed. I still haven’t looked at my notifications. I still haven’t responded back to many of you. I apologize. The truth is that I am really trying to recognize and respect my boundaries surrounding my mental health.

This past year saw a gradual decline in the state of my mind. As I blogged about previously, I struggled to find the right medication. I tried all the treatments that are becoming available, including TMS, NAD, and ketamine. Nothing was working. In fact, some of it made me worse. But I kept trying. And I finally found a psychiatric provider that seemed like he might be a good fit. He brought up a particular medication, lithium, that had been mentioned to me by previous providers. I always shut that conversation down as it just seemed like a drastic step. But when the depression became treatment-resistant and the suicidality become constant, I knew I had to try something that was drastic. So, I began lithium. Six weeks later, I would be checking myself into the hospital.

The lithium seemed fine in the beginning. I didn’t notice any of the big red flag reactions that you read about. But my already fractured sleep started worsening. And as the lithium dose increased, my sleep decreased. This is not the usual reaction to lithium, but I noticed the correlation and continued to bring it up with my provider. He did not believe lithium was the cause and thought we needed to push through. Finally, my sleep became so disrupted that in the five days prior to admission, I had slept only 10 hours total. It was horrific. I was exhausted. And this lack of sleep made the ability to withstand my SI and plans less and less possible. If you have read my blog from the beginning, you know that this sleep pattern was the exact precipitating issue to my prior admission. The sleep deprivation is so dangerous for my mind. And I wish that I had been listened to. Because in the hospital, we removed the lithium (and discovered some additional complications it was creating), changed my other medications around, and I was able to go home in six days.

Obviously, nobody wants to go to the hospital. It was honestly harder for me to make the decision to go this time than it was three years ago. I felt like a failure. I felt defeated. I felt unworthy. And I definitely felt like my life was not worth fighting for. But despite those utterings of my mind, there was no lie that could contend with my love for, and bond with, Olivia. Which is an amazing, beautiful miracle given the absence of those feelings when she was born. That is not lost on me. And for her, I knew I had to fight. I knew I had to fight for Gabe because he never gave up on me. Our marriage has been difficult recently. He has been in relationship with my depression and suicidality for several months. He has not seen his actual wife again until recently, to be honest. And this version of me is a far cry from who he married. But he stands by me anyway. He sat outside the door multiple times while I was overcome with depression and fighting the thoughts of suicide. Without my knowing, he protected me by ensuring I could not access certain things in our home. And I only discovered that when I went looking for them after days of not sleeping and subsequently planning my escape from what this life had become. My little family was reason to fight even though I was sure their lives would be better without me; even though my mind repetitively reminded me of the burden I was. God bolstered me to keep fighting. I know there is no way I could have done it in my own strength. I had been resisting the idea of the hospital, wrestling with the decision in my mind for about a month before going. And I won’t pretend the hospital was a good experience. It was awful. I would advise anybody in the region that needs inpatient psychiatric care to not go to Inland Northwest Behavioral Health, nor to let Sacred Heart transfer you there when they are full. But, I digress.

The chronicity of mental illness is heartbreaking. When I started this blog, I truly believed that the severity of the various diagnoses I was experiencing was limited to postpartum. I did not think that three years later I would encounter a dip that was quite possibly the worst I’ve experienced. I did not understand the possibility of this being my future. But I do now. And I am coming to terms with it. It can feel hopeless to think that I will repeat this cycle. It can feel like a waste of time to keep fighting when my mind tells me that I will eventually die by suicide, so why prolong it? It can all just feel so heavy. But God’s only promise of peace, joy, and perfection lies outside this lifetime. Jesus suffered through all these things I fight daily. The best way I can honor Him is to keep living and trying to let Him use me for His glory through this.

There is a lot more I want to share, but I will wrap it up here for now. Many of you know I have chronic physical illnesses as well. This week I will be traveling to Seattle for specialized imaging and a surgical consult. This feels like the beginning of a long road in that regard as well. So if you would keep me in your prayers, I would greatly appreciate it. Please reach out to me if I can help you in any way, in you need somebody to listen to you, or just to say “hello”. I have missed you all and will post again soon. Below I am going to post an excerpt I wrote when I was a few days out of the hospital. It is not an easy read, so please skip it if it could be triggering. As you will see, I have come a long way in the weeks since. This is not easy to share, but I think it is an important glimpse into the mind of a suicidal person with clinical depression.


“My brain hurts. Why does it have to be like this? Why does my mind have to be so sick? I am so tired of this fight. I am tired of the recurring battle. What is the point in striving so hard to stay alive when I am bound to repeat this horrendous cycle? At some point I will give up. So why not just give up now? I feel defeated with having to have gone inpatient again. I feel frustrated that I wasn’t heard beforehand, by my psychiatric provider, by those around me, by myself. I am sick, but people refuse to see it as such. If I had a cast or a massive wound, everybody would be wanting to help and check in. But since I came close to death by my own hand, it is not recognized. Even spending a week in the hospital, is not recognized as serious when it is mental illness as the cause. And honestly, it’s not like I was missed. Olivia wanted her Mom, of course. But she did great and I think would be just fine without me around. But aside from her, it truly didn’t matter. And if she is the only one, then am I actually doing right by her by remaining? Or am I just burdening her with my pitiful existence?”


Be kind to yourselves,


4 thoughts on “Precipice

  1. So much love for you – I cannot fathom my world without you. Thank you for fighting every day to stay earthside and bless us with your love and presence. ❤️❤️❤️

      • I love you, Sarah! I have been missing you and wondering how you were doing. I don’t have your cell number. I would like it, if you wouldn’t mind sending it to me. I’d love to check-in with you and see if there’s anything I can do to help. I’m sorry you’re going through this. It is unspeakably painful and difficult. Thank you for being courageous and sharing your journey. What a trial! May God show you his love and mercy for you minute by minute! Praying for you! ❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️🙏❤️

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