My Mental Health is MY Mental Health

Mental health is a real thing, and the awareness of it is extremely important. There are days I think back to when I used to be in so much denial of it, and tried to ignore all of it. There used to be so many days when I couldn’t face it. Days I wouldn’t face it and I would say I was fine, not to just those around me but to myself. Until the day that it broke me. It broke me inside. It broke me on the outside. Most of all, it broke me of the fear to face it.

I think Back to 2012, I remember I had tried to admit myself into Springwood and as the doctor started putting me on medications I had told them I had been on that DID NOT work I left AMA. I knew I wasn’t well and I knew it was time to do something before it didn’t end well. I took a leap and I did try to reach out for help. But, at the end of it, I thought, what for, so I went back home? And just a few weeks later I had my suicide attempt which landed me court ordered as I sat in Millwood Hospital in Arlington.

At first, I was just mad. Mad that I was there. Or anywhere for that matter. As the days went on and I continued on with my daily group therapy sessions I began to learn some very important things; I WAS NOT ALONE IN THIS! THERE WERE PEOPLE SIMILAR TO ME OUT THERE. I WAS NOT CRAZY AFTER ALL (much to what I had been told or made to believe and was so ashamed of) . MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS, DEPRESSION, ANXIETY, IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU’RE CRAZY. IT MEANS YOU’RE HUMAN!

I went through my inpatient treatment and was finally able to go home but I wasn’t done yet. From there I had to go for outpatient treatment several times a week for several weeks. At the end of it I got my marbles back, Legit Marbles.. I still have them. They may be the only marbles I have if you ask anyone who knows me.. haha. At the end of it all though, I was thankful. Thankful to be alive and thankful for the help, thankful for a new insight and all I had learned. It was a lot to take in each day but it gave me coping skills. And most of all strength. Not just on how to deal with the mental health side of it, but also on how to deal with the day to day issues I was facing that were causing much of the problems.

On the day I walked out with my marbles it was the end of all of my self harm, the end of all the disassociations. Something happened in my time there. Something that saved me from myself all together. While it wasn’t something that completely cured me, It saved me and that in itself was a blessing to my life.

I know that I can be hard sometimes. I also know I can be the hardest on myself. Some things hit me harder than they do others. I am always overthinking things and always in a constant worry. Things depress me a little longer than they probably should and most of it to be honest, is really out of my control. It is an imbalance I was born with and for so long I spent so much time blaming myself and wondering what was wrong with ME as a person. Finally, I had to learn that no matter what, I needed to love that person, even when no one else could or would.

I have come to terms with the fact that not everyone will understand mental health, not everyone will try, not everyone will even care. Those that choose to care, will do so. I have also realized that while I can not explain it all, I have tried and to be honest, most days I don’t understand but the good thing is there are resources out there to help understand. And I also know that no two people are the same, my anxiety is not someone elses, my depression is not someone elses, we all handle it different, but in some way we all relate.

Today, I can look at myself in the mirror and tell myself ‘its okay to be sad’ or ‘its okay to have a bad day’. I have had to come to terms with the fact that through all my attempts to see a psychiatrist and get on medication for my depression, that its just not all that possible, I have treatment resistant depression. I mean, I can. But, the changing of meds every few months because that is about how long they work before we have to change it wears on me more so than it works. So, for myself that if its 50/50 either way on or off, the odds seem the same. I also know that if I ever see myself as bad as I was, then I know when the time is to try and get back on, and I know what to be aware of. I did so back a couple years ago when I felt a slip.

Author: Dana Gidner-Kristal

perfectly imperfect

Spill your brains...

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