Sharing a story about mental health challenges can help in your own recovery as well as provide encouragement and support to others with similar experiences. Not only that, public attitudes change when people are exposed to real stories of those affected by mental health challenges. That's because they are so common and it's an opportunity to educate people. We are gathering stories for the launch of our new website. If you have a story you’d like to share that you think could help others, please complete the form below and we will contact you to learn more.
This Month's Story
The Voice to speak my truths...
Only a few select people know my story. I’ve never shared it so openly.
Over the years I’ve become more honest, truthful and forward about my battle scars with my depression and anxiety.
I’d like to think I became aware of my disease at 17 years old.
Although, I can’t say that with confidence because as I look back, the signs were all there. They were there screaming for attention, for someone/anyone to look and address all the things I was denying.
At 18 years old and a week away from high school graduation, the darkness won. The darkness that led me to my suicide attempt.
I remember that night vividly.
I felt constantly below the bar of expectations at home, being loved and accepted for ME seemed like a lost cause, and the words “what’s the point?” became my daily motto.
And that night I gave in to it all.
I didn’t want to feel, hurt, be abandoned or rejected anymore.
So I opened up the medicine cabinet in my bathroom and swallowed as many pills as I could find in there.
The first few minutes were filled with an overwhelming sense of relief, then followed by an overwhelming sense of regret.
I prayed to my Father in Heaven to give me another chance because I didn’t want to die. I just wanted my head, heart, and soul to stop aching and hurting. I wanted to speak my truths, and be HEARD and be HELPED.
The pills began to regurgitate.
My mother came rushing in assuming I was coming down with the flu, but I informed her of the truth. I told her I had just tried to kill myself by overdosing on medications, and wept into my pillow while I spilled out the words for the first time. Although I was hopeful for a different response, the truth was finally out in the open.
The actions and decisions that came after was MY choice.
I realized I couldn’t ignore the voices. I couldn’t ignore my triggers. I couldn’t ignore my compartmentalized boxes of issues I had never dealt with. I couldn’t ignore my anxiety. I couldn’t ignore my depression.
So I started a new routine, and drowned myself in what I realize now was distractions from the root of my disease.
Fast forward 7 years.
I’m a wife, a working mother, with another baby on the way.
Life was throwing massive curve balls, some within my control and others completely out.
I was balancing on the edge of the cliff which fell into a dark abyss of emotions I had ignored for so many years.
Continually treading and keeping my head above water. One night I found myself letting go, letting the voices lull me into the darkness, and the words “what’s the point?” spelled out in my head in big neon lights.
I rolled my growing belly over in the bed and saw my son sleeping soundly next to me.
The selfishness of my thoughts became clear, and my depression lost.
I got help.
I began counseling to take back control of my disease.
I began to unpack my boxes of ignored problems.
I found a new routine with new tools to use when I I find myself balancing on the edge again.
Because I know I’ll have to face those moments again. Those days where it’s a win to just simply wake up, let alone actually get out of bed. Those days where the voices, that will always be there, are on high volume telling me my existence is meaningless and that I will never be enough.
There is light in the darkness. There are reasons to STAY. There are reasons to FIGHT. Depression and anxiety don’t have to control you. They don’t dictate your future. They don’t have to hold you back. There is hope. You can be happy and joyful. Because YOU ARE ENOUGH.
I am now a mother of two beautifully radiant sunshiney boys, and blissfully married to my sweetheart.
They allow me the courage to press on, and they allow me the voice to speak my truths.
Remember always that you are not alone, and that you CAN do this.