Disclaimer, this series of post will focus on my opinion, my fight and me. For me this takes a lot of courage, I might face fall out or bashing but I know the support I will receive and the information I can give to others will help make it worth it. Please read with an open mind and leave your judgy pants at the blog post door.
I recently posted my story about falling to rock bottom. Luckily for me that was not the end of my story. It was my beginning to a new me.
After having my suicide plan stopped I spent a week in the hospital. At first I was upset. But as doctors started testing me, finding my right diagnoses and started treating my illness I started to realize that I had a new shot. By Finally having a full mental illness diagnosis I was able to receive the correct treatment I needed to live a health happier life.
Things weren’t better right away. I still struggled for a while. Being in the hospital and having to face my demons was scary and it was hard. But like I said before, my family was my rock. They visited me everyday. I also found support in the other patients. Being able to connect with others who have Mental Illnesses is probably the best thing that can happen for us. Yes I can talk to my family or friends but it is not the same as the connection you can have with someone who has been there. I am incredibly blessed to still have some of those new friends in my life a year later. My family, these new friends and old friends are what helped me get through this challenge and I am so grateful I have that support. Not everyone does. I hope if enough of us start speaking out we will be able to gain the support that other organizations and illnesses have.
While there, I found out things I already knew but I could now put a label on. I have severe Panic and Anxiety Disorder, Severe Depression and slight borderline personality disorder. By stating this on the Internet I am opening myself to a world of backlash and judgment. Most people hear Personality disorder and think this person is crazy and needs to be put away. I am putting this out there to break that stereotype. I am proving that people with these diagnoses can move on to live normal lives. I think that is my new purpose.
After going home an attempting to live a normal life I hit a few more bumps. Because my medication treatment had been stopped previously, I was now restarting from scratch. This meant, my panic attacks were frequent, and my anxiety never went away. My depression had lessened a lot but the panic was crippling.
After 2 and a half weeks I finally moved back to Brookings. I wanted to get back to my job and act like it didn’t happen. The problem was I know longer had the support system of the hospital, my family or my friends living outside my bedroom door. Being back alone made me back slide a bit. I only went to work and home. I didn’t go anywhere else. Sometimes I couldn’t even make it to work. My panic had taken a hold of my life. I thought I was going to have to go back to the hospital or move back home. I didn’t want to do either. I liked my life in Brookings and I wanted to keep it. After my family had to come to Brookings to take me grocery shopping, because I hadn’t been in 4 weeks, we had a new family intervention and we decided something needed to change. There was more talk of moving home, or talk of getting a roommate, and then my mom said something I laughed at.
“Maybe you should get a service dog”
I remember thinking the typical stereotypes; service dogs are for mobility, or guide dogs. I had heard a little bit about seizure alert and other medical alerts but I never considered there might be a dog for me. As I have said before that is when the research began. You can check out my blog post called “Finding Bella for more information”
During the search for Bella, I looked towards friends for help. I got one of the best pieces of advice from my friend I previously mentioned. Sometime between being released from the hospital and finding Bella I went to my friend and former youth Pastor Brian. I credit him a lot with my strength because as I mentioned, I felt guilty that he was struggling with cancer and I almost gave up my life. Being wise as always he told me something few people ever say to someone with a mental illness.
“You are fighting for your life just as much as I am for mine.”
He then challenged me to use it. He told me God had a plan for me and finally, a year later I am embracing it. Now that you know my story, I feel that I can really rally to be a Mental Illness spokes person. Recently I have seen support for ALS research, Children’s miracle network, Heart health awareness and more. I don’t think you can go on a social media site without seeing support for some type of foundation. My goal is to start doing that for mental illness. There are so many great programs to support. NAMI (National Awareness for Mental Illness), Lost and Found, and supporting Service dog programs are just a few of the programs I want to support.
If you need Help, if you are struggling, reach out. You are worth it. If you are not struggling Please I beg you, start listening to those around you. If someone is struggling, listen to them and help them find help. Every life is worth fighting for. Remember that.
So my friends, Lets start this change and help to raise awareness on mental illnesses and stop letting victims suffer in silence.