Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Mental Health Awareness Month

It has been 5 months since I tried to end my life. That is hard to even type, let alone openly blog for anyone to see. But, the most important thing I have learned in my journey, is to be open and honest. If only to help erase some of the stigma attached to suicide and mental health.

Things have changed so much since my hospitalization. I simply cannot explain how free I feel. How at peace I have become. I am often shocked to find that I rarely actually think about the day my Daddy took his own life anymore. Grief no longer holds a tenacious grip on my everyday life. A beautiful release came the day I chose to live, and to seek out treatment.

This doesn't mean that my depression, anxiety or PTSD have suddenly dissipated completely. I am just finally able to cope and deal with my disease. Yes, DISEASE. I suffer from a mental health disease. One that without treatment, almost killed me. Without the proper medication, therapy and coping skills, my disease can and will destroy my ability to handle everyday life. This took me 4 years to admit to. I was so ashamed of my own feelings, thoughts and actions.

I hated myself. I hated the thoughts of doubt that consistently filled my days. I hated my own reflection staring back at me in the mirror. I had convinced myself I was worthless, and unable to love. I hated that this disease was killing all the things I once loved about myself. I hated that I couldn't make it through a single day without seeing flashbacks of my Daddy in our kiddie pool filled with blood. I hated waking up, simply because I knew it meant it was another day I had to suffer.

I had completely convinced myself that this world was better without me. So much so that the only thing I wanted, was to die. I daydreamed about my own death. Hoping some freak accident or heart attack would finally put a stop to the never ending agony. That my death would bring peace to those I loved or even those I have wronged. I was totally obsessed with finding a way out. Until the thoughts turned to action.

5 months ago, I sat on my bed, feverishly swallowing hundreds of pills. I desperately prayed that I wouldn't wake up. That my pain would be forever erased from existence. What I never expected, was to wake up the next morning with a will to live I've never felt before.

That will to live is still thriving inside me. It keeps me motivated, confident and sure of my path. I now know that my story needs to be shared. That there are so many others out there suffering that need a voice to speak for them when they cannot. I have always said that I was going to use my misery to help ease someone else's struggle. While at times it has been hard to share my deepest and darkest moments, I know that removing shame and stigma is the ONLY way we are going to make mental health a priority.

Life is hard enough. If you are struggling with your own mental health, I urge you to seek treatment. If nothing else, take advantage of the National Suicide Prevention Line 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Use this month of awareness to get your mental health back on track. YOU MATTER!