Third Mental Break

Life can build up slowly to a load roar. What were once soft murmurs of life’s day-to-day struggles can become a deafening roar without you ever remembering the volume increasing.

It seemed one day that my ears burst with the noise of my life. The constant struggle with this thing or that thing became a heavy burden that crumpled my mind. It was done; time to shut down; not really wanting death, but the release of sleep would be just fine. A long, deep sleep, with the promise of better on the other side. A week might be enough, maybe two would be better.

A phone call ending in sobbing tears, and an admission that made my soul scream and my heart feel like it was being ripped from its position in my chest. I let the words I had been feeling – for what I realized was probably months – fly from my mouth. “I want Brian, Ella and Bre to leave. And I don’t want to want that!”

My mom swept down with the aid of a friend and I was taken to the local hospital. I handed over my phone, my purse, and my responsibilities to the promise in her voice that it would all be taken care of. I had to take care of me if I were to remain to even see the pieces of what would be left after this.

This would be my first time in a mental health facility. And I must say, it was not what I expected. The people were nice, but firm. My first 24-48 hours was probably like most peoples’. I was lost, I was weepy, I took Ativan for the first time in my life. I reorganized their entire pile of mixed up puzzle pieces, broken crayons, and coloring sheets. I was started on a sleep aid and I did need it there, as it was never dark, and I shared a room with 5 other girls and their bathroom schedules.

It was day 3 when I could start to think about the pieces of my life. What pieces would I be able to pick up where I had left them and what pieces needed to be left on the ground? I made 10-minute phone calls, attempting to unstress and adjust to medication, while trusting others to put my puzzle together from 3 hours away.

My household turned into an upheaval of stress, fights, and arguments. You see, Tanya had gone away. That person that never said “No” and ran around fixing the sinking ship was gone. The ship was sinking, and the passengers noticed that they were actually in a hurricane. It didn’t help that the 1st mate was telling everyone that the caption had abandoned ship. No one would believe her because Captains do not abandon ship.

When my time was up at the mental health facility, I still refused to come home. I had made some hard, but firm decisions and new I would crumble if I went back home straight away. That the soft murmurs would pull me back down into their rhythm and I wouldn’t notice the roaring again until it was to late. I escaped to my sister’s house, where I remained for about 2 weeks.

Things are still not were they should be, even 2 months after my release. I am still ridden with guilt that I will probably never get over. While I only “abandoned” my birth children for a little while, they have now seen that I am a fragile shell that can be lost. My stepchildren, (I cringe to even call them that. I working so hard throughout the years to make no difference in my heart between birth and non-birth children) have seen that I was incapable of giving them the time, energy and bits of myself I so badly wanted to give them. I failed them, and for Ella that is two mothers failed. She needed me not to fail.

I have a new job. I tried to choose one without death.

I have a new lover, a partner, an old love that was easily rekindled into the burning flame that was there years ago. I feel in love and scared out of my mind at the thought. I chose Brain because being in love is not always a good thing. I was never “in love” with Brain. You lose control in love. You lose yourself in love. You lose who you were and become someone new and sometimes that person is not who you thought you were. In love is terrifying and joyful and passionate, and I am lost.

Author: Tanya Gadd

Tanya lives in Northeast Georgia with her well-loved, ungrateful children, one of whom won't do her homework, even under punishment of death. When not being a full-time mom, the rest of her time is spent working as a Certified Nursing Assistant, but her secret inner-life reveals her to be an avid reader who is always writing stories in her mind. Tanya hopes eventually to live in a world with few people, no phones, an awesome Internet, and more science fiction/fantasy books than she can ever hope to read.

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