A week ago a friend of mine tried to commit suicide. At four months pregnant, she downed a full bottle of her anti-depressants, a bottle of Tylenol and to finish it off, 10 codeine tablets. Her loser boyfriend, whom she had supported for a year, had left her and she just couldn’t take being alone anymore. And that was just the tip of the iceberg.
I live next door, and luckily she called several people as she was dying. As the paramedics wheeled her away, barely breathing, I realized the trauma had just begun. What followed was a peek down the rabbit hole of insanity and the precarious edge we all ride to stay sane. After pumping her stomach at Hollywood Presbyterian, she was transferred to BHC, a psychiatric hospital in Alhambra. After 72 hours to stabilize it was time to find a place she could face her demons and work her way back to what we call ‘normal’ living. She asked me for help to find a place for her where she could get care for a month or two…. not a hard task, I thought. She has insurance and a pretty healthy savings account. Ha! I was wrong. Finding a bed for someone with a thin grasp of reality, a history of drug addiction, and suicidal tendencies…. who is also pregnant…is nearly impossible in this town. After calling 6 places here in LA, I branched out to Arizona, Boston and Dallas in search of a place where she could get healthy…I hit dead ends everywhere. Finally, with the help of another friend of hers, we found a place called “Creative Care” out in Malibu. And believe me, it ain’t cheap. It’s a whopping $28,000 a month paid in advance, with no chance of refund should you bail. It isn’t easy or cheap getting healthy.
By wading into this messy world of insanity, the one thing I realized is that it’s a very thin, fluid line that keeps all of us going and on a track to keep keepin’ on. Delusion is common, and there aren’t many landing places for people when they jump off the edge.