Mental Health Awareness Week

Being in a position where I have suffered and continue to live with mental illness gives me a unique perspective. It’s not the road that everyone has to travel, but it is one that many people are living and traveling!

Some of the strongest people I have ever met in my life have struggled with some form of a mental illness in their life.

I just want to be out, loud, and proud of how far I have come, I want others to know that are suffering that they are absolutely not doing it alone.

Some of my truths regarding my mental illness:

I was diagnosed with depression in October of 2008. I went to the Dr and told him I was just not happy with my life, I was snapping at my husband and my daughter. I was angry or sad with no middle ground. I felt run down and like I was crawling in my own skin.  I was put on Effexor and that helped me tremendously. I felt like my old self again, I was able to push forth.

In July of 2010 when my sister passed away, my world came crushing down. I started having my first panic attacks. I remember clearly one day driving down the road, a funeral procession was passing so I pulled over, and I was stuck. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see clearly, my throat felt like it was closing, my chest hurt. I was drowning in my grief.

Shortly after I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), social anxiety disorder, and severe depression.

There were days I couldn’t get out of bed. I would cry and cry until my eyes were so swollen it was hard to even open them to see. Panic attacks came fast and steady. I would walk into Walmart and immediately start shaking and sweating profusely. I couldn’t drive for fear I was going to be in an accident. I didn’t want to see anyone or be near anyone because I didn’t want to bring them down. I thought I was a burden, I wanted to run away and yes in February of 2011 I made a plan for suicide and wrote letters to Maddie and Trev to say goodbye. I was put in the hospital at that time for a week, and started with the roulette of medications. While in the hospital I was also diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Which I probably have had for most of my life.

Those days of my life were the hardest I have ever had to live. The pain was so immense and so big I couldn’t see around it. The light that was supposed to be at the end of the tunnel never seemed like it would get here. Trev would hold me while I sat on the edge of the bed and sobbed. He cooked, he cleaned, he took care of Maddie, and I did a whole lot of hiding from everything.

For 2 long years that was my life. Living in the depths of hell I was sure I wasn’t going to escape.

Slowly with the right combination of medications, I started to come out of it. I wanted to be around people again. I started to smile and laugh more. I went to therapy. I was able to be happy for the big and small things again. I could drive.

It was truly like being born again into the person I always wanted to be. I still have panic attacks, anxiety is a common thing in my daily life, I have horrible insomnia, and some days I do still get pretty low.

Now I am apart of this amazing Depression and Anxiety support group, that I get to be a part of and help grow. I feel truly blessed to be able to spread the word and help break the stigma that surrounds mental illness. I want to bring a face and voice to those that just don’t have it in them to stand up right now. Being involved in this group, and helping to expand it to help others has been such a blessing. Its absolutely my passion.

I don’t put these things out in the universe for people to feel sorry for me, you don’t need to, I am super blessed with an awesome husband, daughter, and 3 furry babies. I tell you this because if you are suffering, don’t do it silently, get any help you can get, reach out, kick and scream until the right people take notice.

Depression won’t always be a dirty word!

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