Happy Valentine’s Day, y’all! Hope lots of puppies kiss your face today, and stuff.
A little recap/ rant on how the past ~3 months have been going for me is in store in the following paragraphs, so buckle up! I have decided that if I am going to get to a place of healing, I need to be open and honest with what is going on in my life. Partially, because if I continue to pretend that nothing is wrong, it is easier for me to avoid changing my perspectives and habits. It is easier to go about my daily life without addressing my feelings or stresses. Yep, that sure is easier…for about 35.52 seconds, and then it all goes downhill.
Back story: December, finals week, 2017 = bad.
The whole Shappell crew met Spencer and me at HCMC acute psych at midnight because things were, mentally, *not going so great for me.
*not going so great for me: i.e. really severe suicidal thoughts.
Yep. I said it. I went there.
If you are currently either placing judgments upon me, or mentally planning on which family member to call to gossip about what I just typed, maybe this blog post is not for you. 🙂
You know what acute psych did? Put me on a sleeping med and told me to exercise. I’m sure that this was coming from a place of concern and helpfulness, but when you avidly want to cease existing, the suggestion of taking a karate class to fix everything is not extremely tangible. And it is also mildly irritating. “Hi, I don’t want to get off the couch, ever, let me just participate in taekwondo classes. That’s reasonable…” “Yay, I’m healed! Better look at “karate studios near me” on Google, so I can continue to feel great!!!!!”
I did continue to pretend that I felt great, though. Until a week ago, Tuesday the 6th, when I admitted myself to inpatient psych at HCMC.
Was that an easy decision? No. Did I want to be on a locked unit where everyone mistook me for a nursing student instead of a patient, including the staff? Definitely not (although it did provide some comedic relief).
I am glad that I did it, though.
I am taking this semester off from school, and I am taking a leave from work, in order to participate in an outpatient mental health program 1-3 times a week, in addition to individual therapy. (I will still be active in my photography, though, so if you want to book a session… ;-)…)
I want to do this right. I want to fully participate in this programming, and I want to learn from it and be able to better myself as a result of it.
Mostly because I never want to get to the point, ever again, where I voluntarily agree to being locked on a unit in order to insure my own safety. Or where I have to put my life on hold to practice (and learn) self-care. If you know me, you know how much I love to take on new responsibilities and do all of the things that I can (or maybe that I even can’t) do. But my brain sometimes does things that I would rather it not do. Sometimes what I want to think and what my brain says are in conflict. Luckily, I think that we finally found a medication combination that works for me, after several years of struggling with severe depressions and–at times– very unstable moods and emotions. These medications seem to be helping a tremendous amount. But the reason I will be attending “day treatment”/outpatient mental health programming, is to try to change my habits and thinking processes. The medication helps to stabilize and solve some of my brain chemistry instabilities, but I still need to actively participate and continue to process my thoughts and actions in order to try to better myself (and to be happier, which is my main goal–and more motivated).
So, on this Valentine’s Day, I have a lot on my mind. But I also feel more self-aware, and my brain feels more ‘calm,’ than it has in a long time. This is a good feeling. Today I will, again, go to HCMC for a psychiatry follow-up. You know, to make sure that the medication levels in my blood aren’t going to kill me, or cause kidney failure, and all that. And to continue talking to people and being open, which is my new goal for 2018. In addition to exercising, and eating well, and not hiding my emotional turmoil! Easy peasy lemon squeezy…
I don’t think that this will be easy, in the least, but I do think that it will be so, so worth it.
What I have learned from the past two weeks is that it is better to be open. And vulnerable. And to sometimes it is better to step back and say “I need a break,” or “something needs to change.” That’s where I am at. I don’t have all the answers, but I know how eternally grateful I am for those who have been constantly supporting me over the past weeks and months, but especially these past few weeks–when sometimes I just needed a laugh.
I am so grateful for my family, my close friends, Spencer, and my bosses at work, who have all been so extremely supportive of me. The support that I am receiving helps me to convince myself that I really do need to actively participate and try to manage my mental health symptoms and conditions, because I deserve that. And right now, that is exactly what I need.
If any of you are in the same spot that I’ve found myself in, in the past week or so, reach out. There are people who love you and want to help you reach a point of stability and happiness. Take their help. You do deserve it. Don’t be stubborn and ignore it. Speaking from experience, it doesn’t help.