The World is a Fucking Psych Ward!

There I was on a Wednesday in December 2012, sitting on the rug, a bottle of coke in my hands, and the first mouthful of tiny yellow pills downed. Then another mouthful. Coke makes everything better, I tell you. I can’t remember if that was before or after I scribbled the last suicide note with a pencil. The memory remains fuzzy. I could feel the end nearing. I didn’t even care about dying or what dying might mean. I just wanted a cessation of all that I was feeling.

I'm the nutcracker, leading my army of gingerbread men to victory. Oh crap, I'm nuts.
I’m the nutcracker, leading my army of gingerbread men to victory. Oh crap, I’m nuts.

When I opened my eyes later, a doctor was peering at me, asking if I tried to kill myself. No, I didn’t, my grown-ass self thought the meds were M&Ms. If I had the strength, I’d probably have begged him to kill me there. But all I had was a blank mind, and the all-too-familiar gnawing sense of failure. In the days to come, I’d realize that although there hadn’t been anything about living, there was something about not dying.

I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder about a month after my 24th birthday. It was a miracle that I’d made it to 24. Since I was 9, I had had an inkling that something was wrong. But see, I thought it’d go away if I pretended that it wasn’t there. I thought that if I ignored it long enough, no one would ever notice that it was there. It didn’t go away but people didn’t notice that it was there, at least not at first, and not a lot of people.

If you’re sick, you’re sick, and no amount of praying, curling into a ball or trying to will yourself to death will make it go away if you don’t get help. It’s like a cancer; it continues to eat into you till it becomes obvious to everyone that you’re sick.

When I was 24, it became obvious to the people around me that I was not quite mentally stable. In the last few months of being 23, I had, repeatedly, lost my ability to function properly. Because I worked from home, it was not obvious to anyone except those closest to me. I continued to sink into the vortex that is depression till I could no longer explain what was wrong even to the 2 who knew. All I could tell them repeatedly was: “I’m tired. I want it all to end.”

I thought about death a lot. I cried a lot and lived on fruit salad. I spent my days lying in bed; I lacked the mental and physical strength necessary to get out of bed. When I wasn’t sad, I was angry. Deep, inexplicable rage that scared me because it left me feeling like my heart would beat so fast that it would burst out or my head would explode from the intensity. I got a new job. I went away. Then I came back. For brief moments, I was okay.For the greater part of 2 months, I pored the internet for materials on suicide. I even settled on a method that I thought would not only be painless, but would also be swift. I had it planned out. I knew the exact combination and amount of milligrams of my meds I needed to overdose on.

I wrote one suicide note, then another, and another, and each time, something or someone brought me back from the edge before I could actively attempt it. Then that December morning, I flew off the edge on the wings of dozens of pills. I was tired. I wanted the sad and mad to end. I didn’t want to look in the mirror and wonder who the crazy, glaze-eyed zombie staring back at me was. I wanted it to end.

There was no white light, no angels and I definitely didn’t get a golden halo. It didn’t end. I’m here and actively trying to give this thing called life a real chance. I’m using meds, undergoing therapy — ok, I’m a truant when it comes to therapy 😦 — and I’m reading a barrage of books. Then there’s this blog. I’ve always written and I recently thought about how much writing helped me to keep my head while I was in the Psychiatric Ward after the attempt. So, I’m going to imagine that this whole fucking world is a psych ward and we’re all mad. Yeah, I like to not be alone.

Hello, my name is Rayo and I have borderline personality disorder. What are you in here for?

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19 thoughts on “The World is a Fucking Psych Ward!

  1. Sometimes, it’s difficult to describe with words. Sometimes it’s just enough to thank God for a life spared. Lots of people will find comfort, information and succour from your writing. In your own ‘little way’, you are helping . So many people have mental health challenges. You are giving them a voice, and hope that life is worth living. Keep at it. The sun will always shine in the morning

  2. Rayo, you are a beautiful soul and I am blessed by your courage and strength. You are an inspiration to others, bless you.

  3. For a second, it felt as though I ws reading ‘me’. Although I haven’t actually attemped suicide. The thought has crossed my mind severally. Its a relief to know I’m not just a psycho.now it has a name..borderline personality disorder..thanks for this piece.

    1. Hi Ogor, there are several mental illnesses — BPD is just one of them. What I hope to do with this site is have resources from professionals and patients etc. So that people like you and me and others can have a better understanding of what mental illness is. Also, I hope you choose to see a professional some day about the thoughts in your head. It will help you.

      1. Excellent write-up, Rayo. Very powerful in its simplicity and message. I am a mental health professional and your response to Ogor was also spot on. In this journey called life, we need all the resources we can muster….and a very important but often under-rated resource are the benefits of a close and supportive psychosocial network of friend(s) and family. Online information and support is one possible channel…and it is gratifying that you have pioneered this with your writeups. I will be very glad to contribute and help in anyway possible. Hang in there….we are all innit together.

  4. I see Rayo and i see Strength. I see that you have inspired many that you have never and may never meet. A lot of times, i think what scares you isn’t the frailty it appears stares back at you, but the incredible strength and drive that you can’t believe that you carry. We all have our stories to tell. i guess what differs will be that confidence we face them with and the drive to go on.
    I am happy we have an advocate like you. Hopefully and by the grace of God, the attitude and outlook to mental health will change. And change for the better!
    Thanks for sharing Rayo. And like i always say, most times, though you find it hard to believe …..YOU INSPIRE ME!

  5. Sweetie, this piece brought tears to my eyes and I honestly dunno the words to say so I’m sending one massive, bone crushing hug, from one ‘sister’ to another, hoping it’ll do what a million words can’t. And about your question at the end, well I’m Tipsy and I’m not sure yet why I’m here. Maybe I’ll be a not-coward like you and find out one day.

      1. Hey Boo! Miss you real plenty too. Got to read your Blog again today after a long while and I realized how much I do :(. I’m in Lagos atm, we really should catch up…

  6. I am here because I have a sweet friend with mental illness. Also, this is not something we take seriously in this part of the world. This isn’t something to be ashamed of. A lot of people have one form of metal illness or the other but are either in denial or ignorant. My friend has accepted who he is and he is taking medication. A colleague of mine who when stressed mentally forgets what day it is, and everything she has done within the past few days and even doesn’t come to work thinking its weekend. I understand issues like this but many people don’t. When this colleague asked me questions on what she did days before, another colleague said, ‘what kind of stupid question is that?’ I had to chide him. When I told my colleague to visit a psychiatrist after she had a week rest from work, she said she isnt mad and nothing is wrong with her. I tried to make her understand the possibility of the amnesia reoccuring since it has happened twice and could worsen with each occurence, but being deeply religious, she rejected it.
    Rayo I’m so proud of you for coming out with this and I’m happy I know you personally. I’m still trying to get my sweet friend who is bipolar to come out with it and stop hiding it. I tell the friend the illness doesn’t stop her from achieving her dreams and friends who care will stay. Fortunately, the family is extremely supportive.

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