Year 3

Three years ago today, January 3, 2014, was the first day I realized I was in serious trouble. January 3 – I recall answering a simple question out loud and then saying internally

“they have no idea I want to kill myself”

This wasn’t just dealing with the blues where I took medication for 6 or so months and did some online course and all would be well.

My world was about to change drastically.

Here I am 3 years later – and yes – there have been drastic changes – some I never would have imagined. It took over 2 years to find the right combination of medications – drug changes are NEVER fun. It’s not like  Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. It’s not barbaric… It is humbling though.

To realize that in many ways you are not in control:

  • a happy pill doesn’t exist
  • there is no magic day where the sunshine is just right to make it all go way
    • especially if you just take a nice walk and get some fresh air
  • your thoughts are going 1 million miles a minute
    • many of those thoughts can be of self- harm
    • many others are of suicide
  • many of your friends don’t know how to deal with it, so they move on
  • your family life changes
    • you HONESTLY believe your family would be SO MUCH BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU
    • People who you had leaned on you – you now lean on them
  • at times you just want to curl up and die
    • you write suicide notes
    • you plan your funeral
  • your self-respect is gone
  • you are not who you were before all this
    • you will never be that person again
    • at 9 am you realize you are thirsty as you lie in bed
    • at 1 pm you are just more thirsty as you still lie in bed
    • having a shower is monumental
      • no joke
  • you can’t work – seriously you can’t
  • your brain is actually changed – there is a physical change
  • you are dealing with stigma
    • you realize you had been one of these people
      • people need education
  • you NEED medications
    • sometimes several
    • some have nasty side effects

Clinical Mental Health is a LIFELONG BATTLE

So – three years later – where am I at?

I’m stable – for 2 years I ran the gauntlet of admissions and med changes. I’ve been stable for just over a year.

I have 3 mental health diagnosis

  • Clinical depression
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Borderline Personality disorder (Quite type)

I’ve learned that mental health is a complex illness
some is genetics
some is environment

I’ve learned coping skills – about bad days and good days.

I’ve learned warning signs

My family has learned warning signs

The silver lining in all of this has been developing a good network of family and friends. I’ve learned about dealing with hurts and habits and hangups. I’ve learned about having a good network of family and friends.

About 5 months after my diagnosis I was in the hospital going through another medication changed. I had actually attempted suicide. My note was right on my phone – all they needed to do was swipe the screen. Obviously it didn’t work but my point is – I really couldn’t get much lower.

A friend of mine was celebrating his 60th birthday – his last thing on his bucket list and was on a different ward who I went to see – and I saw an old friend. She saw the hospital bracelet and talked to me – she invited me to CR at the church. I was released on Tuesday and on Thursday I went. There were a few people I knew from years ago – and I felt nothing other than acceptance. CR stands for Celebrate Recovery – a Christian version of the AA 12 steps but with 8 principals based on the Beatitudes of Christ. The 2nd step is what I remember from that first night

2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)*

Sanity – that’s what I was needing. I don’t remember anything else from those first days other than love and acceptance and support. I left with a few phone numbers to be able to text people. My support network was starting to build.

I’m a very blessed person. I have a loving family. I have a great network of friends who accept me just as I am – no mask needed to pretend I’m okay.

I know without a doubt if I didn’t have my support in place I would very likely be dead or a statistics homeless person.

Am I preaching about CR? I guess I am – if you had figured out a way to win the lottery – wouldn’t you share it? Check it out – it something that has been going for 25+ years.

Celebrate Recovery

*Baker, John; Baker, John. Stepping Out of Denial into God’s Grace Participant’s Guide 1 (Celebrate Recovery) (Kindle Locations 116-118). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.


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