Note – This post discusses a knife attack as part of my mental health story from 2018 to 2020 and may trigger unwanted thoughts or emotions in those that have suffered traumas. This post is part of a story told chronologically.
From March until June 2019, I wandered through varying degrees of consciousness. The anti-depressant and psychiatric drugs numbed my senses and clouded my thoughts. Evil thoughts still came, but I didn’t worry as much about them because I didn’t have the means to act. I floated in the land of the dead for most of the day and relied on others to drive me, particularly in the evening when it came close to taking medicine.
When I did drive, I didn’t feel in control. Like the experience I had in February 2006 when I totaled my truck, God was in control. I drove from Ft. Hood to Austin, Texas, to meet a friend and his potential wife. I knew there was a storm coming later in the evening, but I didn’t leave the restaurant soon enough. I skidded on black ice, then rammed into orange barrels. I lifted my foot from the pedal and tried to steer the truck as it knocked over a light post.
As my truck careened down a hill, hit a tree, then flipped onto its side, memories flashed through my mind like a reverse VHS tape. Strangely, as soon as I flipped over, a man appeared in this ditch that was in the woods off a state highway midway between Austin and Killeen. There wasn’t much around. I remember very little about the man except he had a brown complexion, and he was alone. He helped me climb out of the truck, then he disappeared into the woods.
A tow truck driver arrived no more than ten minutes later. He told me he had been waiting near the bridge because he expected accidents. Soon after flipping my truck, another car crashed into the bridge guardrail, and he helped that car. Then he drove me to the nearest gas station a quarter of a mile down the road where I called my parents and my friend. Two hours later, my friend reversed course on his way to San Antonio and slowly drove in the snow on I-35 and picked me up.
I should’ve left Austin earlier to avoid the storm. Likewise, I should’ve avoided sharp knives when my mind was cloudy. One Friday afternoon in mid-April, I chopped carrots. I forgot to chop one carrot piece, and so I reached behind me to grab the washed knife from the dish rack. As soon as I grabbed the knife and turned towards the table, the knife slipped, and a force pushed me forward.
Maybe my mind was so terribly foggy that I hallucinated this feeling of being forced. It happened so suddenly. I stepped back, yet lunged forward at the same time. I tried to remove my hand as quickly as possible, but the sharp edge of the knife hit my right pinky finger. It missed the bone but cut very deep. Immediately, I screamed and yelled F***. I tore a paper towel and wrapped my finger. Panicking and pacing the floor, I noticed blood drops had scattered across the walls. I ran upstairs and called for my roommate.
I asked him to take me to Urgent Care. He searched online for the nearest one, and we got into his car. It was a Friday afternoon, during rush-hour traffic, and a fifteen-minute ride took twice as long. My anxiety soared, wondering if I could save my pinky finger. Ten minutes into the drive, the blood stopped seeping through the paper towel. As a result, my breathing slowed, and my spirits improved.
I checked into Urgent Care and signed forms with a pen shaking in my hand. While signing, my roommate jokingly told me to look at the television on the wall. I laughed as soon as I saw the scene. A woman was chopping vegetables, of all things, on a cooking show. A doctor stitched the wound, and I left Urgent Care feeling much lighter.
For the first time in seven months, I slept through the night without a sedative. Cynically, I fantasized about having more of these deeply emotional events so that I would sleep better. Then, my mind would heal more quickly.
Two weeks later, the same doctor removed the stitches. The location of the cut had healed, although my right pinky finger had noticeably puffed. After telling my psychiatrist this knife attack story, we agreed to try a different drug. Unfortunately, the drug gave me incredible shakes throughout the day so I stopped taking the drug and occasionally relied on sedatives to help me sleep more than three hours a night.
For most of May, optimism ruled my moods. My health was improving. The cloud fogging my mind stabilized as I took sedatives more regularly. Homicidal thoughts attacked with less frequency when visiting family and relaxing at the beach. However, the good times didn’t last long. I cringed each time I walked into the kitchen and saw a knife. Some voices warned about the threat, whereas others ordered me to cut my throat. These voices ramped up their threats over the ensuing weeks and assaulted my mind with full force during a dark night on June 2, 2019. I will tell that story in the next post.