Things That Are Hard to Say – Part 3
Though I was taking steps in the right direction, things would continue to get worse before it started to get better. The next few months, though significant won’t be mentioned here besides to say somehow I passed my classes for first semester and at some point during second took a leave of absence to try and focus on my health and my family.
I moved into my grandmother’s house on Memorial Day. The plan was for me to live with her and help her with her errands etc., as even though she was sick she was still mobile and did for herself. This was 5 days before she suddenly slipped into a coma and went to the hospital.
It was after my grandmother’s death that I had my first psychotic episode. Since that time I’ve had 4 more. It wasn’t until my 3rd psychiatrist that someone was able to name what was happening to me: PTSD, anxiety disorder, major depression, borderline personality disorder. It would take another two drs before I had a combination of meds that seem to be working for me. No one knows why mental illness manifests when it does, but most believe it is a combination of nurture and nature, genetics and lived experience. What I know for certain is that because of my experience, my lived experience will be forever changed moving forward. But I’m here and I’m determined to survive.
There are some things I can’t do right now. Loud noises and big crowds make me panic. Going to the grocery store is my number 1 most difficult activity. It’s been slow, and hard and I’ve cried so many times I lost count months ago. I’m not anything like the person I was two years ago, and at the same time I’m exactly the same.
5 months ago I adopted the sweetest, most loving service dog-in-training. He has been perhaps the single greatest blessing in my life behind my wonderful and loving boyfriend. He makes sure I get out of bed everyday. If you know me, you will probably meet him; he comes with me everywhere.
But this is not meant to be a sob story. I’m figuring out how to live this 2nd chance at life God granted me. I am healing. I am more fit than I have been since high school. I am in a relationship that is supportive and affirming and good. I haven’t thought about suicide in at least two months. I wrote these words for you to read because I’m tired of being ashamed. I’m tired of being bullied by those who want to control me with my secrets. I miss my friends and I owe them an apology. Truthfully, I’ve been avoiding many who I love because I was embarrassed and afraid about how they would react to me; to this; to all of it. I know they love(d) me but would they accept me as I am now? Would they believe me? I don’t know what will happen when I post this, but I’m going to do it anyways.
I don’t want to continue this twisted duck syndrome-esque dance that apparently continues after college. There isn’t supposed to be a huge lesson here, but if I had to say something it would be ask for help even if you’re terrified. Write it down if you can’t say it. Draw a picture if you can’t write it. We’re all fighting a bunch of invisible battles, I’ve (not at all) simply decided that mine won’t be one fought in silence any longer.