Out With It

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    Out With It is the story of a nurse who lives with Borderline Personality Disorder and the events leading up to diagnosis. The title Out With It comes from the desire to come out about Borderline Personality Disorder, which carries a huge stigma with it and the hope that the stigma will be broken.

    I sat there in library working on one of my many papers and projects that I had due. I was exhausted--exhausted physically, mentally, emotionally; I was done with it. Suddenly, a thought came to my mind to kill myself. I finished what I was doing and packed my materials up for the day and went home. I grabbed some money, told my mom I was going to study with a friend for a test I had (I put some books in a bag to make it seem realistic), and drove to the store. I picked up some duct tape, wine, beer, and cups. I went to pay for it and the cashier made a comment something to the effect of "duct tape and wine, you must be going to have some kind of party." Little did he know that I was planning to kill myself. After I left the store, I went to the ABC store and bought vodka. Then, I got on the road.

    I made it approximately an hour away from where I live and then, it got dark and harder to see. I pulled off the exit and started looking for a hotel to check into. I passed the community hospital and I thought "that's where I will be taken to, if I survive or that's where my body will be taken, if I succeed." I did have a fleeting thought of going to the hospital and telling them that I was suicidal. Then, I thought "no, I want to die. I am tired of everything." I found a hotel and checked in. After I got into the room, I started pouring the wine and vodka into the cups and started drinking. I became a person that didn't mix hard liquor with anything--just straight (not shots, into cups, drinking it like a normal drink) and I drank wine in cups, as well (as opposed to wine glasses). I started feeling to affects of the alcohol.

    I went into the bathroom because I started vomiting. I didn't want a huge mess on the hotel room floor. I was ready to get the bag and duct tape. The plan was to suffocate myself by putting a bag over my head and wrapping duct tape around my head. I hated myself and really thought I deserved to die. I put the bag over my head and wrapped the duct around my head as tight as I possibly could, thinking of how awful I was and how much I deserved what I was doing to myself. As I wrapped the duct tape around my head (before I got eye level--I started at my mouth and went upwards), I started seeing little petechial bruising appear around my ankles. A little voice (kind of like a conscience) was screaming "Stop! Please stop! You are going to be a nurse! Please stop!". I wanted to be a nurse more than anything. I realized at that point if I didn't get the tape off, and I survived; then, I would have no future as I was quickly running out of oxygen and would likely be in a vegetative state. I left the room and went to the front desk.

    I have no clear recollection of what happened between going to the front desk and being in a room in the emergency room. While in the emergency room, I was visited by an officer from the police department. The original impression from the various personnel was that it was an attempted homicide. However, when they questioned me, I was honest. I told them it was a suicide attempt and I broke down. I remember sobbing that I needed help. They were very compassionate and promised that they would get me help.

    I went through a couple day stay in the ICU, psych evaluation, and then, I was taken in a security/police car to an in-patient psych hospital as an involuntary commit. My admitting diagnosis was Major Depression. I spent three days there and the psychiatrist could not figure out what was wrong with me. I had to go to a court hearing, where they moved to have my stay extended. My request was that I be released as I was going to fail my classes if I stayed; then, there really would be problems with me being suicidal as I would have nothing. The decision was that I be released with a court order for mandatory outpatient treatment. Any violation of the order, I would go back to in-patient. I left the facility without a diagnosis.

    I was compliant with the order and was completely honest in my evaluations during outpatient treatment. The psychiatrist, that I had at the time, came up with a diagnosis of Bipolar I.

    It was about the time to apply for my nursing license. This was the diagnosis that went down on the application. That psychiatrist retired; therefore, he was not the one who wrote the letter to the Board of Nursing. The new psychiatrist came in and did an evaluation. He came up with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder and I did not have Bipolar I. The letter to the Board of Nursing, and my Board Order, reflects this diagnosis. I was offered a pre-hearing consent order (PHCO) in lieu of an informal conference hearing, in which I had to agree to enter into the Health Practitioners' Monitoring Program (HPMP). I took the deal as opposed to facing an informal conference that could end in denial of licensure. I received my Authorization to Test (ATT) and scheduled a date for NCLEX. I took the NCLEX and passed first try with 75 questions. I received my nursing license a little over a week later.
    Last edit by Joe V on May 2, '13
    Blanca R, sapphire18, julieface, and 17 others like this.

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  2. About wish_me_luck

    Wish_me_luck is a new nurse in her mid-twenties. She has an interest in Community and Public Health, Med-Surg, and Psychiatric nursing. While waiting for her first nursing job, she stays active helping out within her community, which includes advocating for herself and other people living with a mental illness.

    From 'Virginia, USA'; Joined Sep '11; Posts: 1,281; Likes: 1,243. You can follow wish_me_luck on My Website

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    67 Comments so far...

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    I can feel your heartache and your pain. It takes a lot of guts to lay your soul out on paper. I want to thank you for sharing your story with us. Every story reaches out and helps someone else, you might have saved someone's life tonight......I am sending my positive thoughts and prayers for you to continue on the path to wellness....((HUGS))
    pinkiepieRN, tewdles, joanna73, and 10 others like this.
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    I thank God that not only did you survive, but that you are my colleague. The perspective you bring to the bedside is priceless.
    Welcome to the world of nursing: where you can transform your worst personal experience into an asset in human care!
    tewdles, salvadordolly, poppycat, and 7 others like this.
  5. 4
    Wow....I hope that you are on the road to healing....I hope that writing was cathartic for you and helpful for someone else. Stay strong!
    tewdles, Esme12, anotherone, and 1 other like this.
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    It took a lot of courage for you to share your story. I admire your strength in working so hard to get well. I hope you continue on the path to wellness and you have a wonderful life and career.
    pinkiepieRN, tewdles, joanna73, and 7 others like this.
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    This is one of the most triumphant personal-experience articles I've ever read. You truly have done a great service, not just by educating your colleagues about a terribly misunderstood condition, but by proving to the world that people with mental health issues are NOT "crazy" and can be successful no matter what their diagnosis. Well done!
    pinkiepieRN, tewdles, joanna73, and 7 others like this.
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    I want to thank you so much for posting this article. I am still in nursing school and I also attempted suicide and ended up in the psych ward. It is a very shameful feeling and you encouraged me that I can still be a nurse, and hopefully a good one. That there is another side. Thank you. Maybe I'll share my story some day on here as well.
    sapphire18, jadelpn, edie1, and 3 others like this.
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    Quote from wish_me_luck
    ...I received my nursing license a little over a week later.
    a big deja vu for me, wow. Were you there when I tried to kill myself? ok different method but a lot of these details the same. Hope that things are much better for you. THANK YOU for outing yourself. You are not alone and now you have made it so others know that THEY aren't alone.

    My initial diagnosis was borderline PD, they changed it to bipolar.

    Congrats on your license!
    pinkiepieRN, tewdles, joanna73, and 5 others like this.
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    Just a quick note to tell you how truly, sincerely glad I am you are here today.

    May you be a beacon in someone's darkest hour and grant them the understanding they need and deserve.


    Sent from the congealed cesspool of evil, AKA my smart phone. In other words, when it comes to spelling, all bets are off.
    tewdles, poppycat, VickyRN, and 2 others like this.
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    While I've never gone so far as to prepare and act on a plan to kill myself, the dark part of me said, "gee that would probably be an effective way to go if no one was there to stop it.". I'm relatively stable right now but just earlier today I had a fleeting thought of what would happen if I walked in the middle of the street to cross and no one stopped. This is a morbid disease we have. It seems that with most other diseases, the fear of dying is so great, but with mental illness, it can be seen as a relief or an end to that which will not end on it's own.

    That must have been so scary to go to the hospital and then be admitted on an involuntary hold. While it's not commendable that you signed yourself out, I am glad you were able to leave and hopefully complete school as you'd wished.

    Thank you for sharing your story. It's not easy, but the more we talk, the faster the walls and stigma around mental illnesses will come down!
    sapphire18, jadelpn, Esme12, and 4 others like this.

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