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Detrimentally in Denial

"I am NOT sick!" I shouted at the nurse. "You are sick. We had to send you to the emergency room three times to stick an IV in you because you were not eating. Yesterday, the guard had to drag you in your chair back to your room because you would not get up and return to your room. You are sick," said Urwin... followed by my silence. "Will you please take your medicine now?" said the nurse.

There were so many incidents such as this that I am finally able to put together with the help of my family. On one of the incidents when I had to go to Court, I refused to put my shoes on. They did not know, nor did I, that I was catatonic. They ended up strapping me down to the wheelchair, arms and legs. I went to Court that day, barefoot. I learned from my mom that this was so unexpected by everyone and caused an uproad in the courtroom. This probably does not happen much but even the District Attorney, whose job is to slam me, remained silent and accepted whatever recommendations my attorney recommended.

My mother told me later, there was so much compassion, from the Judge, to the Bailiff, to the Court Clerk, and again, the District Attorney. This is the hearing where they requested Penal Code 1370, that made me incompetent to stand trial, and ordered a psychological evaluation to determine what they were going to do with me. My mother, my grandfather, and my aunt were in Court sharing this emotional moment. Well, emotional for them, but I was emotionally removed from the entire situation. My mother told me that while this court session was going on I sat in the wheelchair, still. Did not move, did not lift my head, nothing. She believed, in fact, that if a bee would have even stung me during this time, I would not have even flinched. Up until this time everyone believed I had been on drugs and that was my problem. My mother told them that I was antidrugs and NO, that was not the case, that I was sick.

Yes, I was catatonic, because I was praising God. I had remembered in my Bible readings that I was supposed to stay still and "praise God." I did not eat, because I thought they poisoned my food or that there were bugs in my food. I was not showering, because I thought that the soap would burn my skin. I was not taking care of myself.

"Ashley, you need someone to represent you, and whatever problems you have with me we have to deal with that later. But right now you're out there by yourself, you need to let me help you" my mother pleaded me.

I had a straight blank look on my face, and I ignored mother's advice, again.

Finally, they forced me, or court-ordered me, to take my medicine by having the SWOT team hold me down while the nurse gave me a shot in my behind. This routine went on for quite a while until I finally gave in and took the oral form of the medication. I found out later that my mother had to encourage my attorney to have the Judge actually mandate that I take medication because I was slipping away.

I am no longer in denial about my illness. I accept the fact that I have a serious mental illness, and that it requires medication to recover. I am taking a drug called Abilify that gets rid of my symptoms.

I am using this blog to heal, network, and to reach others out there with sicknesses. I never ever want to go back to where I was, hearing voices, etc. If there is anyone out there debating, or neglecting their medication, PLEASE take your medication. Where I am right now, versus where I was is like night and day. Now understanding that I am not completely healed, it is an ongoing process, but I would not be able to do the things I am doing right now without treatment.

There are so many other horror tales I could share with you and maybe I will as we go along. But, nevertheless, understand I am so thankful for medication.


Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I'll add you to my feed reader so I can keep up.

Take care!
Laura said…
I'm so glad that you're sharing your story with others. It provides the much needed hope that is sometimes hard to find.
La Pixie said…
thanks for educating us! Ive said before and Ill say again, youre brave, Sweetie. keep at it.
Eme said…
This is a wonderful tool for others struggling with this illness. Best of luck to you.
kw said…
Hey darlin',

Good lord, keep on writing. You have a compelling message that may help countless others.

I looked into the European mental health treaty that I wrote about, and came up with another post, thanks to you. Here's the link:

Or, you could just stop by my blog and check out the most recent post.

Language is a strange and strong medium. I learned, thanks to your comment on my previous post, how important those little nuances can be.

As an odd aside, my best friend of twenty years has noticed that I've reverted to the English words that I learned growing up. As in, I'll say a word that she's never heard me use before, out of the blue.

For example, I was talking about a "skip", which is what we call here a large "dumpster". So, please forgive any misunderstandings around the word "treaty".

Oh, and I'm a little familiar with involuntary commitment. One night, I called the Suicide Hotline, just because I needed to talk. When they'd ascertained that I'd cut myself, they let me know that the cops were on their way.

I'd been calling from my cel, but it was a land-line, originally. I went downstairs to let them know that I was fine. I didn't want them waking up my room-mate.

I'd shaved my head the week before, I was barefoot in shorts and a painting shirt. Oh yes, and bleeding. I told them I was fine, but they weren't having it. They brought me in.

I ran away from the E.R., but I was caught. How far can a bare-foot, bald, fat, paint-spattered woman get, even when the police aren't after her?!

Thanks for all that you're doing here. The more we speak; the stronger our voices sing.
HektikLyfe said…
Good luck. You have a daily challenge to face and it takes a lot of strength and willpower.

I hope everything turns out OK.

Can you talk about why you were in court? Have you already and I missed that particular blog?
Ashley Smith said…
Hektiklyfe, I already said why I was in court, read the post titled "My Nervous Breakdown" for details.
Ashley Smith said…
Everybody, thank you for your comments and support. I hope you will visit my blog again for more information about schizophrenia.

Thank you!
Warwick Evans said…
The fog is descending, but the fog will clear. When the walls of the maze are impenetrable, simply knock down the walls and all will be revealed and become clear.
Jumbo 96A said…
Thanks for creating this blog. It is really helpful for me. In the Philippines we do not have any organization or support groups that cater to families and friends of people with schizophrenia.
Ashley Smith said…
Jumbo 96A, Thank you for reaching out. I appreciate the reality check that recovery is not always an opportunity that each of us can engage in especially in other countries. I am glad you found a place to connect. I encourage you to comment again on your take on the topics at hand. Continue to connect with others, you will undoubtedly help our peers with your experience and feedback.

Ashley Smith
Lark said…
Where you considered an adult when your mother went through the courts to get help? I have a mother that has been diagnosed with paranoia schizophrenia. And everyone is telling me she would have to be suicidal or kill or about to kill someone to get help. So I have to "risk" my life or the boys to get any help from the courts in DC. And info you know about how your mom get the court to issue treatment would be much appreciated.

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