“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
It all went to shit in December 2015. All I wanted to do was sleep indefinitely. Death seemed easier than living. I thought about all of the ways I would do it that would be the quickest and least painful. I just wanted to be gone. I wasn’t thinking about my son that needed me. Nor were my family, friends, and boyfriend on the top of my priority list. I just didn’t want to hurt anymore. Life felt heavy and I couldn’t breathe anymore. My anxiety attacks continued to get worse and the Lexapro would just make me feel even more tired. I literally could not move. After speaking to my therapist who I had been seeing all year, he suggested I look into an out-patient program that focused on helping people with mental health issues. I had already been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and the talk therapy/meds weren’t working. If I wanted to stay alive, I needed extra help. If I wanted to see my son’s 7th birthday, I would have to do something quick. I couldn’t promise anyone that I would get home safe from work or wake up the next morning.
I called the center the same day and went in for an evaluation the very next to see if the program would be a good fit. I remember waking up that morning thinking how did I get here. I used to be so strong. I went through a divorce for god sake and that didn’t break me. Why now? Why me? As I drove down the highway I contemplated driving my car into the medium. I felt hopeless and scared. But I made it to the center. I walked in and was greeted with a warm smile. The waiting area was welcoming and it smelled like coffee as the clinicians were just getting in themselves. My scared shitless feeling transformed into just nervousness. A Hispanic pregnant woman, lets call her D, called my name and we walked into the consultation room. We chatted a bit about her pregnancy and got right to it.
D asked me what was going on and had me fill out all these questionnaires. It felt so overwhelming and I was scared again. If I tell them I’m suicidal will they send me to the hospital? What will happen to my son? But I answered honestly. She suggested I enroll in the program and I’m so glad I did. The program was a gift straight for God. As overwhelming and scary as it was, it completely changed my life.
I met so many wonderful people struggling with mental illness who had their share of challenges on coping. Coping is a funny word. For some it means completely brushing things under a rug and not dealing with it aka avoidance. For other it means dealing with it head on. I learned a great deal of coping techniques that really helped me get through this really difficult type. I learned about cognitive distortions and dialetical behavior therapy (DBT) life skills. I’ll definitely share some of these in later posts but definitely google these things if you don’t know what it is. It really helped me turn around my suicidal thoughts and self-harm attempts into a thing of the past. I won’t lie, depression is a life long struggle and I find myself skirting that slippery slope but as long as you’re aware of your emotions and thoughts, it becomes more manageable.
Through this really agonizing journey, I learned a lot about myself and in a really strange way, I’m glad I went through this hell. I learned that:
- you’re mind is a powerful thing and it lies to you all the time. it’s your job to put it in check.
- that i’m a lot stronger than i thought i was
- even though my family and i don’t agree on most things – they still love me as best as they can
- my mental, physical, and emotional health are worth more than anything else in life
- you give people power. you give your thoughts power. you can take it back
- bad thoughts stay longer with you than positive thoughts
- it’s my job to handle my insecurities and only i can fix my issues. it’s not fair to put your problems on your parents, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc.
- it’s ok to ask for help. doesn’t make you a weak person or a failure. asking for help is a sign of strength
So I guess that’s it for now. I know I haven’t written in a while but my goal is to write more often. I’ve been busy trying to sort through things and working on bettering myself. More to come on this. xoxo.