A migraine saved my life.

(This is an FX Memory, from before I knew I was a carrier.)

I’ve struggled with depression since my teens, possibly longer but it was in my teens that I first recognized it for what it was. For ten years I muddled along and then I simply could not take one more step. I had hit a wall. I could not see any way around or over it. I stopped eating and sleeping and I started drinking heavily. I sat there, at the base of that wall, and waited. I had quit my job and distanced myself from my friends and family so there was nothing to do but wait.

One day, I felt the tell tale prickles of a migraine as it wormed it’s way into my head. I took Excedrine and washed it down with Jack Daniels and continued to wait. The migraine hit, full strength. After 2 days with no relief from the pain and no sleep, sleep began to seem like the cure-all. As if one can simply sleep off a migraine and full blown depression. I finally decided to give sleep a helping hand and took a full bottle of OTC sleep aids. It didn’t work so the next morning I called my doctor sobbing.

I was an emotional wreck when I arrived at her office. She gave me an injection to treat the migraine since I did not want to go to the hospital for pain management if I could avoid it. After about 30 minutes in a darkened exam room the pain was gone so completely that it was difficult to imagine I had ever felt it. What hadn’t disappeared, however, were the tears and the feeling of hopelessness.

My doctor very gently began probing for answers. She told me that she was concerned that I didn’t seem to be feeling better even though the source of my complaint was gone. She wanted to know if I had ever considered suicide and I told her that I had and added “Everyone does at some point, don’t they?” She told me no and I was shocked. I had spent so many years just casually considering ending my life that I thought it was normal. I thought it was normal to think “I could just drive under that semi” when I passed a truck on the highway or “I could just drive into that bridge abutment.”

She asked me if I had a plan and I said “No!” in a rather self-righteous way, I might add. She asked me if I had thought about how I would do it and I immediately told her I would take pills. She asked if I had access to them and I said that I did. She let me know that this was a plan.

She asked me if I had ever taken lots of pills and I had to tell her that I had, in fact, done so the night before. Holy crap. I tried to KILL myself?? It seems so hard to believe, from where I am today, but I really had no idea how badly I was doing at that point. I did not realize how close I had come to ending my life.

She then told me she didn’t feel safe letting me go home and asked me to go to the local hospital to be evaluated. As scared as I was of what I had done, I couldn’t agree to it. She insisted that I call my parents and tell them what was happening. She made me promise them that I would not hurt myself if I left her office. I did this but it wasn’t enough for my parents. They immediately drove to my apartment and brought me to the emergency room of the local hospital. They were so scared, I didn’t want to say no.

The evaluation at the local ER was pure misery. After an hour under their microscope I had no defenses left, I was shaking and crying uncontrollably. I felt as though every part of me had been laid out for the whole world to see and judge. I felt as though I could not trust myself to discern the truth of my own emotions. I can’t even identify today what emotions I was feeling. I think I was feeling every emotion, all at the same time. After three months of self-medicating and trying not to feel any emotions, it was pure hell.

This is getting really long. I’ll save the rest for next week. I don’t really have to say that my personal struggle is directly related to FX, right?   Right.

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