Thursday, December 18, 2014

I'm sorry

I thought I had endured the most painful day of my life. I was wrong.

It was a day full on tension as finances were gripping their sharp claws at our bank account. With Christmas rapidly approaching, the tension became a monster I tried so hard to flee from. I withdrew, I laid alone in our bed, hoping that the monster would give up, and allow us just a shred of hope. The day passed as my anxiety and depression came to greet the monster, feverishly searching for me. The room became dark, the house stood silent. I arose from my hiding place and went downstairs. I was calm, collected, as the darkness grew. I grabbed a drink and went upstairs and began to write my own "I'm sorry". I kissed my kids and told them I loved them and always would. The growl was now coming from inside. I knew there was no turning back. It was my time. I was doing them all a favor. Allowing the monster to consume me in order to spare them. No longer seeing their Mom suffering. No more tears. No more pain. No more grief.

I began to swallow a 3 month supply of a deadly dose of medications. Over 200 pills, handfuls at a time. Desperate to swallow as many as I could. With all 3 bottles empty, I laid back down hoping I had put a end to the monster that so often ruled my everyday life. The last thing I remember is my body trembling and then everything went dark. Success.

Until I awoke from the cruelest of nightmares...

The room was filled with warm light and I couldn't believe it. Sigh, it was just that, a nightmare.

Until I sat up and saw my note and the empty bottles next to me. I went downstairs, told my Husband what I had done and began to make calls immediately trying to find a bed at a behavioral hospital. We decided it was best to go to the ER to check me out physically and to expedite finding a bed. They took me to the back right then and there when I told them what I had done. My blood pressure was through the roof and my pulse was racing. They put me on heart attack watch, and did an EKG every half hour. After a bag of fluids, my pulse and blood pressure lowered. The doctors were shocked that I woke up. Telling me the patient next to me went into a coma with the same medications. That I should have been dead. I spent almost 24 hours in the ER on suicide watch and got no sleep as I heard nurses laughing, patients yelling, snoring and machines beeping. I still couldn't believe it was all real. I was in shock.

I was then transferred to St. Luke's Behavioral Hospital and spent over 3 hours in their waiting room. I was given my phone for 5 minutes to get phone numbers from it and so I could let people know where I was. The shame began to flood in as I sat there alone crying. I couldn't believe what I had done. I always swore to myself that I would never put my family through what I have been through. It was something I felt so strongly about. I think it's the thing that kept me from an attempt all this time.

7 days and 7 nights of intensive therapy, new medication and a bunch of new tools and coping skills to banish my monster. Breathing exercises, meditation, group therapy, individual therapy, classes, groups and even creativity based therapy! It was a very healing and eye opening week.

Seeing the doors open and the bright smiles on my loved ones as I ran to hug my beautiful daughter. Tears swelled up and ran down my cheeks. Tears of pure joy. I didn't want to let go. I held on to my Husband's hand the entire ride home as I felt like I was seeing things in high definition for the first time. Colors were brighter, and I felt like I was flying as I turned on my phone and was overwhelmed with all the texts, messages, and posts. How did I not notice before?

I am ashamed of what I did. I can't take it back. I can't make it go away. But I CAN make the most of a bad situation. I CAN be thankful for what I gained. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

I've had a few people ask me why I am so open about the mistakes and trials I have had to endure. It's easy, because mental health should be out in the open. Discussed just like any other illness. It affects people of every age, race, religion and sex. It can result in death if not properly treated. No more shame, no more stigma!!

If you are struggling with your own monster, please seek treatment. If you are seeking treatment and the monster still looms over you, seek a different provider. Until you get the real you back! Fight for your life! I promise you, it will be the best thing that has ever happened to you! Don't settle for "okay"! You deserve to be happy! If I can be after everything, than I know you can be too!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mini Update

I haven't written in a while. Not sure why, but I am back! :)

Things have changed a bit since my last post as life always seems to do.

I ended up ending my Whit Did It business after it became very apparent that I simply don't have the appropriate space to do my projects. I am proud of what I did create and if we do someday upgrade the size of our home, I will definitely get back into it! I love me some creativity!

I did get a camera from my Husband, so as the weather cools down, I have some shoots scheduled :)

The kids are doing great! They really love their school and are both excelling. Plus they are just such a joy to be around! I am amazed daily at the wonderful individuals that call me Mom. I am so very blessed!

Recently my Daughters close friend from school was diagnosed with Leukemia and just started Chemo. If you have even a few dollars to spare, please consider helping this family in their time of need

 http://www.gofundme.com/f1o3m8

I am in a good place and really see bright things in store for myself and my family. Regardless of what I have had to endure to get here, I am glad to be here!!

Never give up! Life is so worth it!

Love and light!!

Whitney

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and because of it, I'd like to share my own dealings with Mental Health issues. Why? Because there is NOTHING to be ashamed of. The stigma behind Mental Health needs to be erased. We need to stand together and share our stories to help those who won't help themselves.

Anxiety has been an issue most of my life. I remember getting so sick to my stomach before any sort of performance and then feeling find by the time I hit the stage. Now it is being controlled by medication and visits with my Psychiatrist.

Depression came later, I had a few months of an issue with it after my son was born. But it was never bad until my separation from my Husband and the diagnosis of my Crohn's Disease. Then my Father's suicide made both the depression and anxiety MAJOR issues. It affected everything. The way I thought, the way I reacted to things, my mood, my overall quality of life.

Thankfully I am medicated, I am stable and I am at a point where I am hopeful instead of depressed. I am happy more than I am sad. I am getting back into Photography. We have a new truck that has blessed us during a time of need. I have a lot more to be thankful for than not. That is for certain. This glass is half full.

If you are feeling down, alone, worthless, like no one cares, or any similar feeling, please know that help is out there. That life does get better and with some work, you can smile again!

You are loved! Never forget that!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Two Cents Tuesday

I usually have a theme when writing, but this time I'm winging it...

While growing up, no one prepared me to deal with the aftermath of finding my Father after he shot himself. There was no handbook to help me through the difficult times. No class I could take, or book I could read that would prepare me for everything I have endured these past 3 years. Instead it's been a day by day, minute by minute experience.

Some days being great and full of wonderful things and other days filled with tears and agonizing grief. It's the part about losing my Father by suicide that I was never prepared for. Days where I feel paralyzed by the undying sadness I feel. Days where all I want to do is lay in bed and sleep away the hurt.

I was not prepared for this to last so long. 3 years down and you'd think I'd have the hang of it by now. Nope, not even close. I am still surprised at the level of grief I still carry with me daily. It's like a dark cloud following you constantly while you are desperately trying to feel the sunshine that is shining bright right in front of you.

While I may carry a cloud with me, I also always bring my sunglasses in preparation for a bright sunny day. I am always ready for the sun! The sunshine is my children, my Husband, my family and friends. Our animals. The belly laugh coming from my Daughter as I tickle her while she's cuddled with me, the smile on my sons face when I pick him up from school each day. The love notes left behind by my Husband. The phone calls with my Mom. The texts, phone calls and time spent with friends. These are the things that brighten each day. No matter how big the cloud.

I have learned that I must keep trying to focus on the positive, not let a bad day get me down, and that I can make it through anything. There is life after loss, but it comes at a price.

If you have thoughts of suicide, harming yourself in anyway or have feelings of being alone and unwanted...please take a moment to step back and realize the aftermath you'd be leaving behind. It's brutal and something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. YOU ARE IMPORTANT, YOU ARE LOVED and YOU MATTER! The bad day will pass, and soon you too will need your shades!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

3 years different

3 years and 10 days have passed since the day my Father took his own life.

It has been the most challenging time of my life, without any doubt.

It has forever changed me, I am now a different version of myself. A grief stricken 31 year old Mother who carries a heavy load daily still.

Life for others has gone on without a missed step. January 19th is just another day, and Wednesday's are just Wednesday's, instead of the day he chose to terminate his existence on this Earth.

During these three years I have said goodbye to a lot of people I once loved. Some on my terms, others not... But I have finally learned that it is better to be surrounded by a small army of loved ones. Family and friends I know will stand beside me endlessly. It is them who inspire me to keep going and to keep focused on the positive and who allow me to feel less pain each day that passes.

My focus these days is on my family, I can honestly say there is zero drama in my life. Zero! It's refreshing and eye opening for sure. How easily I got sucked into negative things that had nothing to do with me or my family, yet I was wrapped up in so much drama. Always trying to save someone, or be there for the person that no one else was. Yet it got me no where and the one with all the blame. Fool me once, twice...not anymore. No thank you very much!

I can't fix other people, I can't fix stupid, and I can't fix crazy. So if it doesn't involve me, I stay the hell out of it. I have enough in my own life to focus on that doesn't allow for the insanity that lie outside my own personal group of loved ones.

So going forward I will continue to be myself and grieve and live in my own terms. Cause it isn't up to anyone else, I am in charge and have made it through the deepest depths of depression and grief and don't need anyone to help me. Well other than my loved ones of course!

I wish I could say that 3 years have passed and I am cured. Free of despair and agony. But that would be fluff and I don't do fluff. I do real. I am a survivor and proud of it! I am different. I have changed. But I have grown, learning most lessons the hard way. Some of them even several times. But I am who I am today because of the good and bad things. Life isn't easy, you have to work hard to make your dreams come true and you have to believe in yourself. I am on this Earth for a purpose. I matter, and so do you!

Peace and Love

Whitney