Warning: The following video may be a trigger for those who have experience with depression, suicide, or pure joy.
Some of you have noticed I have been a wee bit quiet recently on here. And while I don’t feel obligated to explain where I’ve been, after the journey I’ve embarked on, I want to share my experience for those who may not feel like they can or should talk about their own journeys. Or that there’s a certain way and tone they have to use in order to share scary, hell terrifying, stuff they’re going through.
We’ll jump right into it here because you’ve gotten a whole bunch of behind-the-curtain peeks from the title and that trigger warning.
On Sunday, May 30th, with the support and encouragement of my family, I admitted myself to an inpatient behavioral health facility. Or a mental ward, for the everyday human who isn’t processing insurance paperwork. I admitted myself for anxiety, depression and suicidal plans.
Now these things haven’t affected my life overnight. No-ho-ho they did not. If I could trace it back to anywhere I’d say the symptoms of my impending diagnosis in the hospital had been present and coped with poorly, for at least 15 years.
I spent five days in the hospital. I met daily with a psychiatrist and participated in group sessions to learn more about myself and other people who are suffering in their own way with the same or similar diseases.
The chemical side of my diagnosis was stabilized and regulated with medications that I could not be more grateful for. Thank you science! ::self-high five::
What was my ultimate diagnosis, you may be asking yourself? Bipolar II. And what, pray tell does that mean? Well, remember I’m not a doctor so please no self-diagnosis here. This is not even WebMD, m’kay? Bipolar 2 swings more on the depressive side of things. So instead of not sleeping for five solid days, I’d want to do nothing but sleep for five solid days.
That’s something I need more than better organized time and meditation to cope with. I need chemicals to balance my whacked out chemicals. And that’s okay. If anyone, ever, tells you that’s not helpful or, worse, that it’s detrimentally hurtful to your body, they are wrong. You should never feel ashamed of the naturally failed processes of the human body. Not ever. Stop feeling ashamed right this instant.
So now that I’m out on the other side of the hospital stay, I’m currently still in Arizona and participating in a voluntary, intensive outpatient therapy. I go three times a week for the 3 hours each night and it’s changing my life. It’s changing the way I heal, the way I handle things, the way I am able to function. I am learning so much about myself. And finally, finally, making myself a priority in my life.
Is it scary? Yeah.
Are there a multitude of unknowns? You bet.
Am I happy? Yes. I am.
One thing that I’ve learned about the stigma of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, suicide, is that there’s this societal nervousness associated with learning that someone you know of, care about, love is suffering with these things. As if the moment they share their struggle, I dump truck of egg shells fall at everyone’s feet. I’m here to let those of you know who are struggling about talking to someone, saying it out loud, asking for help, to push through the struggle. Say the words. Say them to who you need to. Not who you think will hear them. But who you need to have hear them.
And for those of you who are listening to that loved one. 1. Hug them. Even if they hate hugs. 2. Listen. That’s it. Just listen. 3. Treat them as you always have. They are not now this fragile, porcelain tchotchke that needs to sit on a shelf for fear that they could be dropped and shattered into a million pieces. They are who you’ve always known them as. They’re simply sharing the harder parts of themselves.
My hope is that I can inspire those suffering or those living with them, loving them, to take the static out of the line of communication. And if you are sitting there right now and you don’t feel like there’s anyone to talk about the darkness in your mind, there is. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, please know that there is someone out available to listen and to help you. Call on them.
Please use them if you need them. They’re there to help you.
And specifically if you are thinking of suicide I want to leave you with this reminder.
Suicide does not end sadness, it prevents happiness.
I love you all. Platonic butt taps.