Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. ~ Hebrews 11:1
Last year, I was admitted to the emergency room under a 5150 hold. For those of you who don’t know what a 5150 hold is, it’s an involuntary psych hold that can be placed upon a person if they can’t provide shelter for themselves or they are an apparent danger to themselves or to other people. You typically would never imagine a girl like me, who has everything going for her to end up on a call like that, but I did. Here is my story about one of the most fearful experiences of my life and how I had to choose faith over fear.
On November 13th, 2017 at around 4:30pm I had a fight via text with a friend. She said some very nasty things to me and I was immensely hurt by that because I called this girl, my sister. I wanted to self harm and I did. It was just scratches on my arm, nothing that would actually cause serious damage. I confided in a friend, whom I also called sister, and both of my “sisters” decided the best thing they could have done for me was to call the cops and put me on the 5150 psych hold. By the time I was at the hospital and was admitted it was approximately 6:30pm.
Looking back on that day now, I see why they did what they did but I can guarantee you that they made the wrong choice. The better choice would have been coming to my home at University and helping me through the pain I was feeling, rather than doing something as drastic as calling the cops on me. I wasn’t a danger to myself or to anyone else even though I had thoughts of suicide running through my mind but because I had self harmed, I had to go to the hospital. There was nothing my parents or I could have done about that. It was hands down the worst experience I’ve ever had in my entire life. I spent SEVEN agonizing hours in the Emergency Room, with no food, no meds, security guards around me watching my every move, not being able to talk to my Dad who was in the waiting room with zero information about how I was doing (they couldn’t tell him anything because I’m over the age of 18). My mum was calling every hour and even she wasn’t told anything. I was in a constant panic attack state no matter what I tried to do to calm myself down.
There was one security guard in particular who was literally a Godsend for me. He talked me through every panic attack I had, he prayed with me and tried to use my methods of distraction (talking) to help calm me down. He is the one person I was immensely grateful for being in contact with during those first few hours.
The first three hours were the worst because that’s how long I was told I would be there for. But as the time past on I got more and more scared. I started bawling my eyes out just praying to God to take me. I don’t remember when but at some point during those seven hours I felt a wave of warm serenity. I felt comfortable and a bit more at peace about the situation. It wasn’t until I later, that found out that God was letting me feel my mum’s warmth and love even though I was ninety minutes away from her. I was also feeling Him there even though, at the time, I couldn’t fathom why a “good father” would let me experience something so horrific.
At approximately 1:00am when the on-call Social Worker saw me and released me from that hold. My Dad was finally able to see me and I was able to talk to my mum on the phone. The three of us did a lot of crying and saying, “I love you” to each other. I could tell that they were as scared for my life and my mental state as I was. I didn’t get back to the home I grew up in until 2:30am.
My pain unfortunately did not end there. I still had to face my housemates who were at the scene as well as other people from my University who knew about what happened. I developed Acute Stress Disorder (aka the parent to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and spent the next month getting barely any sleep, taking new medications, and trying my best to push through the nightmares, flashbacks and panic attacks that followed. I, unfortunately, still deal with those things today but they are not nearly as bad as they used to be.
This was the time when I had to put all my faith in God. I didn’t know what would happen to me, when I would see my family again or if I would even survive the experience. But now, I know that, “There is a reason I am still standing even though I never knew if I’d be landing. I will run fast, outlast, everyone that said no!” (All The King’s Horses by Karmina). I put my faith in Him and I had hope that everything would work out. I was certain that he would help me find my way back to myself again and He did. I found my way back to myself through a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
I lost a part of my soul - my living essence - that night and I was able to retrieve that missing piece of me through this therapy. I was able to “see” myself in the hospital bed and I was able to sing to her, the girl I left behind. I sang “All” and “I Don’t Mind” by the band Joseph. If it wasn’t for this therapy, I don’t know where I would be today.
I’m still not okay. I’m still not great. I’m still not fantastic. But I am doing better. And I will continue to get better each and every day, as long as I focus on the here and the now. Those memories, that experience is a part of me, but I am stronger than they are. My life is a sum of my choices not someones [with the best intentions] trespasses against me. And I choose to forgive those who have trespassed against me, just as Jesus Christ forgives me for my trespasses.
“She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future. ~ Proverbs 31:25
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