Another thing that sucks about mental illness is that once you hit adulthood, you’re basically on your own with that. What I mean by that, is that it’s your responsibility to get better and seek help. It’s up to you how you want to live with it. It’s up to you if you want to go see Drs, be on medicine, find support groups, etc. As an “adult” I have sought help more than once. I had been to doctors and told them I was depressed. That things were very intense for me. That my mind was fast and wouldn’t turn off. I’d had generic personality questionnaires, psyche questionnaires, etc. Which is all fine and dandy. I’m sure those tests have been helpful to them at some point in history, but when you have a mentally ill person in front of you, can’t they just talk to them? If a person is seeking mental health treatment, they’ve made steps to get themselves there already. And trust me, it’s not easy to get to that point. Thank you American government and insurance companies for that by the way. Now that you have a mentally ill person jump through hoops and wait months to be seen, the best we have is generic tests where you fill circles out with a pencil? And don’t worry, if you don’t want or can’t wait months, just admit yourself into a mental hospital or ER. Gosh, glad to know I have such good options. I just told you I’m depressed. I just told you I think about suicide. I just told you what I’m feeling. But yes, let me just make you a smiley face on your fill in the circle test now. I was a pro at those tests. Give me one right now. Let’s see what I can draw up.
See, I was a punk. By the time I made it in to seek help for my mental health, I had already been using drugs on and off to treat myself. I can’t tell you how many times in my life medication has just been thrown my way without anything else. Medications that have made me feel worse than I was prior to taking. Medications that have failed me time after time. Medications given to me after having me fill out circles for half an hour, after I just told you I can’t remember what I read after I read it. That I can’t focus. Medications that would throw me deeper into depression. When I tried to kill myself once, guess what I was taking? Medication prescribed to me. Even after I’ve told doctors that those medicines made it unbearable for me. I’m pretty sure I have a bag with at least 20 bottles of pills. All which have failed me. Come to find out recently that anti depressants will make mood disorders worse. So for a long long time I was anti meds. Not anti meds for everyone, but anti meds for me. I told you guys I had a lot of strikes against me. I thought my pain and suffering was for the most part self induced. I just needed to get my life together and then I’d feel better. I didn’t need medicine or want it.
The system and “help” had failed me before, but I had also failed them too. I was never fully honest with them. I never gave anything a full fair shot. I was young, manic, possibly on drugs, etc. I’m not sure I really wanted to stay alive then. I knew I felt bad and needed help, but I don’t think at that point I saw a way out. Even now that I have a team of people behind me (profesional and personal), somedays I still don’t see the way out. I’ve lived the majority of my life truly believing that I would forever be alone in my pain. That no one would ever really know my deep dark pain. I still believe that now, but that’s not my focus most days. I can’t let my mind run off with that, because who knows where that unstable beast will go.
This time I was so terrified that if I reached out for help again, the same things would happen to me. Except for this time, I was terrified because I have so much to lose now. I didn’t want my illness to kill me and I knew that medications and “help” had failed me so much before. What if they couldn’t help me again? What if these medications didn’t work again? What if they made it worse again? What if I tell them I’m dying and losing my mind, and they give me a questionnaire to fill circles in? I couldn’t handle impersonal care again. We were talking about my life and my family’s lives. At this point I needed to be able to trust a professional with my life and it couldn’t be done with impersonal care. I was at such a bad place and now with a family of my own, what was I goin to do, if this didn’t work? I was in great fear that it would throw me over the edge one way or another. To be honest with you guys, that’s still a great fear for me. I’m at the beginning of this recovery journey and sure I might feel better now, but that’s not saying much considering I was fighting suicide a couple weeks prior. I’m still in the early stages of my recovery. My medication is still being adjusted and changed as need be. I’m still working closely with a psychiatrist trying to pin point my type of crazy. Oh excuse me, in his words, “This isn’t about crazy. This is about a mood disorder.” I guess he’s right, I think the crazy part of my brain is actually just my personality. It’s just this mood disorder thing I’ve gotta fix.
My mind has lived with the mentality of, “just make it to….” for so long. It’s similar to a normal person’s, “if I just make it to Friday…”. Except mine just keeps goin. If I just make it to bedtime, if I just make it to tomorrow, if I just make it to wherever whenever, etc. That’s how I’ve lived. Tricking my mind to just make it through another day or week. Just to get where? Just make it till then for what? I’m exhausted of just making it to whenever. I don’t want to live like that anymore. I don’t know where I’m trying to make it to? Maybe to some relief? Salvation? My death? Even now that I’m receiving treatment, I’m still waiting. If I just make it through “balancing out.” If I just make it to the medications trials and tribulations. If I just make it… However, I know now things are different for me. This time I’m seeing things in a different light than I ever have. My view now is if I can just make it through finding me the right medicine, I will be unstoppable. If I can just make it through letting medication stack up in my brain and get it working right, I will be able to appreciate some of the hard ass work I’ve done to build myself an amazing life. This time my fight is different, because I am different. I want this to work. I need this to work. So I’m giving it all to the team behind me. Hiding nothing. Probably over sharing I’m sure. Everything I’ve learned about myself to this point and all the work I’ve done during my 7 years of recovery needs to come out now. This is where it was bringing me. I’m going to have to be strong as hell to fight my mental illness, because I’m fighting my own mind.