The Number That Changed It All

by Hannah Smith 27 days ago in treatments

Years ago

The Number That Changed It All
Photo by 🇨🇭 Claudio Schwarz | @purzlbaum on Unsplash

It started with me not wanting to get out of bed or off the couch. And then it turned into I don’t want to do this today. Only it was something I couldn’t miss, so I had to get up and I had to go.

Before, I thought, this will be easy and good for me; it’s nothing I haven’t done before. Then all of a sudden I was in my car and on my way to an appointment that could maybe make me feel better or more hopeless than before.

I was speeding down the highway, listening to music getting myself ready, trying not to completely break down.

You think you can handle it, you think this pain is only temporary, until you’re sitting in front of someone you care about and all you can do is cry. You think you’ll be okay, that it’s just temporary, until you’re sitting across from your counsellor and he’s telling you to walk into the emergency room at the hospital and ask for them to help me not hurt so much. He tells me it’s what he thinks I need because I’m “at risk” of killing myself and all it took was a few questions for him to know.

We sit across from each other in an unheated room, I have my legs crossed with one leg shaking, just like normal. I’m so nervous because I haven’t gone in so long. I want to walk out the door and go home, but I don’t.

We went over everything that had happened in the last year. We talk about me in the hospital, if I’m eating, how I am overall. Then he had to have a conversation with my mom. My heart drops. I don’t want my mom to know the amount of pain I’m feeling. He tells me he won’t reveal anything about me, that he’ll just ask my mom questions about me, the same set he asked me. I was okay with that.

Next thing you know, he’s pulling out risk assessment sheets. He’s assessing the risk of me hurting someone, someone hurting me or me hurting myself. He hasn’t even started and my heart has already dropped because I know what is about to come when it is all over.

He asks me all these questions about how I feel and what I’ve experienced. Next thing you know, it’s the last question. “From a scale of 0-10, 10 being you’re gonna go home and kill yourself and 0 being absolutely not, where are you on the scale?” At first, I want to lie, make it seem like I’m actually okay, but I can’t lie. “7” slips past my lips.

He looks at me, then at the assessment. He looks back at me and says “I gave you an 8.” He looks back at the pages he has about me and looks back at me fidgeting with my ring. He looked at me, leans forwards and begins to tell me my options.

“You could leave here today and walk right into that hospital and ask them for help, tell them you’re at risk with yourself. They will ask you all the same questions I asked you today, but they can send you somewhere. Somewhere where you will be a priority, you will have someone there for you 24/7. Unfortunately I can’t do that for you, it’s not my job, but I’m still here when you just need to talk.” His words are like acid to my brain. I don’t know what to do. Someone is telling me I need to go to a hospital. How do you digest that? I felt like I was swallowing nails with each word he said.

He continues to tell me I could go to treatment centres, that some are just over night, but some are weeks, but you can leave whenever you want. My other options were to see a different kind of specialist three times a week, or I could continue how I am now.

He looks right at me and says “You’re a talented, smart, beautiful girl. You’ll do the right thing.”

That hour appointment, which turned into an hour and forty minutes just changed my life.

I left and I sat in my car, crying. I realize that I really do need that help; I know I need it but I don’t want to admit it.

My mom calls and she sounds okay but I know in her heart she was breaking just as much as I am. He calls her and tells her everything about the hospital. I don’t know how to face her.

After I saw my mom at work, I went home got high because I didn’t know what else to do. I sat there emotionless, trying to figure out what the fuck had just happened.

Then it was 3 a.m. and my mom was lying on the couch, still awake, and I knew it was because she was terrified.

The words that fell at my feet that day changed everything.

I realized I’m so sad, I’m in so much mental pain. I’m so done with life that my body is affected. I can’t eat and sometimes I can, I can’t sleep and sometimes I can’t do anything but sleep. The biggest thing is that my body knew I needed help which turned into me getting extremely sick, I ending up in the hospital. I’ve come to realize that mental pain can cause physical pain and can make you very sick. I think I really do need help.

So what do I do? Do I walk into the hospital?

Hannah Smith
Hannah Smith
Read next: Never In the Cover of Night
Hannah Smith

Hi, I'm Hannah! Welcome to my story.

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