Personal Stories

You Are Not Alone

In June of 2015, my life changed forever. I admitted myself to a mental care facility and hospital because I felt that I had lost control of myself. Both mentally and physically. I’ve felt depressed, anxious, and even nervous my whole life, as far back as I can remember. So here is some of my story. I’m sharing this in hopes that someone who is badly sick like I was/am will read this and get the help they need.

After losing my Dad in 2011 to cancer, I become more depressed than I already had been. I attempted to kill myself by overdosing. I was alone in my home at the time in Kentucky and one night, I took a handful of pain medications and went to sleep. I was in a loveless relationship that was abusive and I had just found out he was also regularly cheating on me. Which made my depression and anxiety much worse. By an act of “God” I got sick to my stomach and threw up all the pills later that night in my sleep.

I woke up the next day and there was vomit all over my nightstand and floor. I cleaned up the mess and never went to the hospital. I figured that was a sign that someone wanted me here for a reason so I tried to get help. I had made appointments with mental health facilities for evaluations but an unfortunate turn of events prevented me from ever getting to those appointments. So I went back to trying to control myself, to control the constant flood of horrific memories of childhood abuse and now abuse as a grown adult. I tried to repress the thought of watching my father fade away right in front of me, I watched him take his very last breath. Control started to slip but I was confident in my ability to know myself and what I am capable of. I kept trying.

The next few years were incredibly hard on me. Not being able to hold down a job, fleeting friendships, problems with my family, not having a stable place to live, the list goes on and on. My life was slowly, but surely, falling apart right in front of my eyes. And there was nothing I could do about it but grit my teeth and try to get through it. Being poor and uninsured during most those years made it impossible for me to ever get help. And at the time, I didn’t have the resources or support system to reach out to a support group or see a low-income therapist. 

Struggle after struggle, I finally felt like my life was halfway stable. I had a semi-decent job, a really great relationship, a house with my boyfriend, everything I needed for a happy, healthy life. Later on in 2014, I quit my full time job in hopes to pursue a better job which ended up falling through and I was unemployed. During that time, I started to have manic episodes much more regularly than ever before. That’s the snowball that sent me tumbling down the mountain. For 8 months, I isolated myself in my house without spending much time with friends and I was still unemployed.

Most days, I sat at home alone watching TV or playing video games. Other days, I sought relief from the bottle or from drugs. I continued to fight. I continued to try to control myself, to try to break myself free from this mental prison I was trapped inside. I would breakdown, literally, on the floor. Always crying hysterically, sometimes screaming and breaking things. Other times I couldn’t move and could barely breathe. These breakdowns were unpleasant but nothing I felt like I couldn’t handle so I pushed through them. They’d only happen once every couple of months, I figured I could get them under control.

I pick my life up once more. I get a new job and start to build my life back up again in hopes of stability. Almost a year has passed and my breakdowns went from every 2-3 months to monthly, then weekly. They quickly graduated to a constant occurrence, sometimes happening days in a row. I would lay in bed and cry my eyes out for hours, sometimes with reason sometimes not. I would cry all day and not get out of bed. I would be so distraught some days I would call out of work because I physically couldn’t get myself to stop crying. Then in April of 2015, my mother passed away from cancer. That is what I believe finally sent me over the edge.

A week after my mom passed away, I had a manic breakdown, drove to an overpass and planned to jump off it onto I-24. A homeless man ended up talking me down. So what did I do? I got in my car and drove home and continued to try to control myself. But I knew it was too late. I knew that my control was long gone. That’s when I knew I had to make some very important decisions or else I might not live through my 3rd attempt. So I admitted myself to the hospital shortly afterwards. I can say without a single doubt in my mind that it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I suffered for years and will for potentially my whole life. But from what? I’ve always wondered what was wrong with me. Everyone around me passed it off as me being ‘crazy’ but I knew I was sick, I could feel something wrong. I knew that this was not normal. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD and bipolar disorder. I got the bipolar from one of my parents which put me in an already fragile state so the abuse I endured throughout my life made it really easy for me to develop PTSD. Most people only develop it after witnessing a life threatening event or had their life threatened themselves. But abuse, especially in children, makes it really easy for PTSD to make itself a home inside your mind. And unfortunately, that’s what happened to me.

I had a crappy childhood and one crappy relationship along with two very sick parents. My doctor thinks I may never recover from my PTSD. If it gets any worse, I will have to go on disability. My flashbacks are so severe sometimes, it’s crippling. When my doctor told me what was wrong with me, I cried. It’s hard to live your life knowing you’re suffering because the people you loved and trusted abused you. Some of the memories I think about for days. Sometimes I can’t sleep except for a couple hours here and there. I’m still very early into my treatment so I still suffer on a daily basis. Not nearly as bad, thankfully but it’s definitely still there.

I wrote this because I want to share my experience with others who are also suffering and are still trying to push themselves through the tough times. No one deserves to live like I did for so long. It’s not fun not knowing yourself or what you may or may not do. I encourage everyone I meet now that is suffering like I have to go get help. I was so against help for so long because I was so misinformed and I think a lot of people who grew up like I did are misinformed as well. I was always told the medications change who you are, they make you feel unlike yourself. That is not true. If anything, my medication made me remember who I was and gave me the ability to be myself again. Again, going to the mental facility was one of the best decisions I ever made. I recommend everyone who suffers from any mental illness to take that route first. It provides a safe and calm environment to face your demons with others who are fighting the same battle that you are and I cannot stress enough how grateful I am for the friends I made while there. No one deserves to suffer, especially in their own mind.

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