I had a life-altering event happen to me on Easter Sunday. I'm not a religious person by any means (I consider myself agnostic), and mostly the date was a coincidence, but its just ironic to me that it happened on the (celebrated) day of Christ's resurrection.
Monday morning I transformed into a brand new person.
I'm always nervous about revealing too much of my personal life on this blog, but a big reason (primarily just a rationalization/justification) was because I couldn't be honest with myself. So how could I write anything of substance about myself without being honest with myself? I couldn't. So, my only option of living a fulfilling, joyous and free life starts with an end. An end to lying to myself and hiding myself from others who love and care for me.
So, here goes.
I have been battling with Dysthymia and GAD for the past 3 years after 2 years with Major Depression. The week of April 5th was a slippery slope to the bottom, and Sunday I fell to the very pit of the hole. It was either ending my life or getting serious help. Even though I was scared as hell, I told Matt that he needed to take me to the hospital immediately. I was brought into the ER, and they placed me on a 72 hour hold in the mental health unit.
Sunday night was the worst. Being in that empty hospital room, with no TV, no personal telephone, and all my possessions taken away, and being completely alone and locked up behind closed doors. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't stop crying, and I heard chilling yells and screams from a different part of the ward that echoed within the depths of me. I was shaking, having cyclic cold and hot sweats, not being able to distinguish the sweat from the tears on my face. I had an all night panic attack, which perhaps isn't that notable considering that I had been pretty much having a continuous panic attack since Saturday morning.
In the morning, the nurse came in to talk to me for quite some time. She almost instantaneously made me feel better, and told me that this branch in the unit was for high-functioning people (with a few exceptions) with intense Depression and/or Anxiety and/or drug addicts who had threatened or attempted suicide; people just like me. The real "crazies" were in a completely separate part of that floor. Soon after the Psychiatrist came in to get my life story and get me on the right medications that will actually work. I've gone through 4 different anti-depressants within the past 5 years, and I was never prescribed any anti-anxiety medications even though I insisted. I think I'm finally on the right ones.
The most important part of that inpatient program was the group setting and the group leaders/facilitators. They had groups every hour that you were highly recommended to attend and they covered many aspects of what we deal with and how we can cope. You got to share your experiences with others, and resonate with other peoples stories. A big part of depression is isolation and feeling worthless, which I'm really good at, and that makes it all the more convincing to think that you're all alone and don't deserve help. Hearing those stories brought a sense of peace, at least in knowing that so many people struggle with all these things as well, and that many people are unfortunately worse off than I am.
Depression and Anxiety are the common colds of mental illnesses.
I was there for four days, and was discharged yesterday with a brand new outlook and perspective on my life. The sun never shown brighter or felt warmer, the wind never felt as refreshing, and an Iced Decaf Soy Caramel Macchiatto never tasted sweeter. ;) I can and will live pain free. I do not have to resign myself to pain and hurt. Although I am not responsible for my illness, I am responsible for my treatment.
Finally letting go and asking for help was the most important and best thing I could have ever done to better myself and my life.
So, here's to living a fulfilling, joyous and free life.
As always, thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts and words.