He’s not a murderer. But at one point, his brain told him he had to be.
This man…this loving husband and father of two boys. This son, brother, and friend who goes out of his way to help anyone and everyone. This homecoming king, college graduate, and successful small business owner.
He believed he needed to kill me in order to save me.
Jeremy had been sick and his mental health medication had not been absorbing into his body. It effectively caused a psychotic break when he went back on his meds at full strength after a week of vomiting. Hindsight is 20/20.
It began slowly…my loving husband stared blankly and his eyes became dark.
He began getting “very clear” visions. He saw the words. Visually saw them. They raced across his vision and he called them out loud as they scrolled. His eyes and neck followed them. I could see he was reading them.
“God. Water. Rain. Rainbows.”
He couldn’t sleep. His mind was constantly racing and he had to write down the thoughts so he could keep up with them…knowing something was wrong.
So we chose to get help and called his doctor. She assumed the meds were absorbing too quickly after he had been sick. He needed half strength for a bit, but the damage had been done. The meds he had just taken would only get stronger in his system overnight. We assumed he could fall asleep and wake up better.
We were wrong.
As we crawled into bed, Jeremy stopped and looked at me.
My husband was nowhere to be found. Physically here, his brain was overtaken by med-induced psychosis.
He slowly walked toward me and I backed up against the wall. Like a scene in a movie, I picked up the phone behind my back. I was able to distract my husband with the words, “Hey Mike, it’s Bailey.” as I actually had dialed 911.
I spoke to the operator as though it was Mike, a friend of Jeremy’s, and told my husband to go unlock the door because Mike would be stopping by.
It worked. Thank God, it worked.
I was out of the corner, and police were on their way.
When they arrived, Jeremy explained how he needed to kill me in order to protect me. He couldn’t be too far from me, or he would “lose the game” and then “lose her (me) forever.”
But if he killed me…we would be together forever. Only by his hands. That was the rule.
My husband was involuntarily committed to an inpatient mental health facility that night. And frankly, I couldn’t have cared less.
I was pissed. No, not with my husband. We had been through too much for me to blame him. And I understood mental illness now more than ever.
I know my husband. And that wasn’t him.
I was angry at the power mental illness could have over a person. I was furious with a system that doesn’t protect…but rather chooses to judge. And to this day, I, along with my healthy husband and family, remain dedicated and passionate for change. My husband stayed in the hospital, became himself again, and used his experience to empathize with those we support. To this day, he practices mental health maintenance daily.
Jeremy takes his prescribed medications. He meets regularly with his doctor and talk therapist. He focuses on faith…a purpose much larger than himself. He discusses his mental health struggles openly, honestly, and without shame. He watches for warning signs. He stays active. He takes vitamins. He forces himself to be outside and in the sunshine as much as possible.
And today, my husband is over 6 years free of suicidal thoughts. (Insert clapping here.)
Yes, there is evil in this world. And I would be willing to bet you most of it stems from brain health issues. Caused by genetics. Caused by trauma. Caused by circumstances. Caused by addictions. Caused by toxins. Caused by unhealthy habits our world encourages. Caused by a lack of resources. Caused by a lack of nutrients.
When will we learn?
When will we finally force insurance companies to prioritize brain health? When will we learn to accept that our world needs to be educated and full of resources…who to call…how to get help…what to look for…how to report concerns and know they’ll be followed up on…
We need to demand change. Because it’s time we stop blaming people struggling with mental illness for the brain health crisis that is ravaging our world.
***Please share, follow our journey, and advocate with us at Anchoring Hope for Mental Health on Facebook and Instagram. Message us there if you’d like us to speak to your group or at your event. We would be honored to share our story with you and fight together for change.