Let me explain my situation to you and what I have come to realize over the last two months. On June 24, 2019 my life completely changed when entered into the hospital due to out of control panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. I stayed in hospital until July 22, 2019. During my time in the hospital, I had:
- Sever panic attacks and dissociation
- Flashbacks and nightmares and I later was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Constant thoughts of suicide and self-harm tendencies resulting from a new diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder.
I could see my purpose, value or self-worth in life. I had hit one of the lowest points in a blink of an eye. All the stressors in my life including my job and historical trauma crept up on me and then suddenly took a hold of me. I was so far gone, that I just had enough. I had enough of living and I had enough of being me.
Feelings came out that I had bottled up inside for so long. My emotions were out of control. My environment was out of control. I went from working extensive hours, attending a psychotherapy program part-time, and working on my business to dropping it all as I found myself in a mental health inpatient program.
When I got out, the first week, I had little follow up from the hospital. I found myself somehow thrown back into my life and I did not want to be in my life. The first week, I met with my counsellor twice and saw my family doctor. I was completely broken, lost in a system shock. I went through changes one after the other. I couldn’t handle it.
I was not stable enough to go back to my full-time job and I was without realizing it, around $70,000 in debt. I could even tell you had I had bought to be that much in debt. I mean sure I had a student loan to pay off like most people in their late twenties do, but I also had maxed out three credit cards, had a line of credit that was maxed out and had begun to finance a brand new 2018 car in the spring of last year.
There was no income coming in. I had used up all my short term benefits when I was in the hospital for a month and I had no idea how to pay the rent for the following month, let alone any of my bills. I was stuck and drained and exhausted. Being thrown into this mess, that I had create for myself was too much for me to handle on top of my mental health breakdown.
I thought there was no way out. I attempted suicide the following Wednesday after being released from the hospital. On the Thursday, I found myself back in the ER again, only to be let go a few hours later. Following this suicide attempt, I withdrew completely from my medications. I found myself with no other choice but to begin to rebuild my life again.
It started slowly, very slowly. I ignored the phone calls from my bank and credit card companies. I stopped going to see my counsellor and the outpatient services the hospital offered me for a few weeks. I was tired of everyone telling me how to recover, how to build my life back together. After all, it is my life and your life is your life.
What works for someone else may not work for you, despite whatever research or evidence is out there.
I began to listen to my intuition fully, something I put off doing for so long. I trusted my gut. I let go of what did not feel right in my life and started to embrace the things that did. I started to write again. Surprisingly as I did this, I began to find joy amongst all the darkness. Writing was something I always wanted to do. So I wrote for pretty much a week straight, ignoring everything else.
I started going to different Meetups and Events. I attended different writing groups and met people who liked to write just like I did. I spent a lot of time with my Aunt Susan, who has been my rock and main support through all of this.
It took almost another week until I started to make appointments, and surface back to reality again. I continued to go see my family doctor. I went back to see my counsellor and also started DBT therapy with another counsellor. I made appointments and phone calls to banks and credit card companies. I opened my bills. I met with financial consultants. I started to make repayment plans for my debts. I even quit my full-time job, coming to the conclusion that my own health and wellbeing were more important.
Along the way, there were times when things did get heavy for me and things were overwhelming for me. I have learned more life lessons in these past two months than in my lifetime. I had to find courage and fight of fear. I decided to stop ignoring my intuition and started to listen to the spiritual being inside of me.
While I am not fully recovered in any way I have made some major changes in life, that I can now see are for the better. In terms of my recovery, it will always be something I am working on. I am aware there will be good moments and bad moments. However, in this short time I took to start to find myself again:
- I stopped having panic attacks every day
- I stopped having major flashbacks, nightmares, and dissociations
- I stopped hiding in closets and small spaces
- I started to make really be decisions on things I had put of for so long
- I started to make a repayment plan for my debt
- My thoughts of suicide lessened to a huge extent
- My acts of self-harm stopped as soon as I got out of the hospital
I went into the hospital and stayed for as long as I did for a reason. I needed time and a safe place process memories and emotions I had buried for so long. While some nurses were helpful and somewhere not, some programs were also helpful and somewhere not.
I think the biggest thing that influenced my recovery as much as it did, was that I stopped listening to what other people and healthcare professionals thought was right, especially if it was not sitting right with me. I think the thing about mental health and healthcare, is that often working professionals fail to understand the complex trauma that often comes with the diagnosis. Many staff may not be trained in understanding how complex trauma and your inner child impacts your feelings, thoughts, and emotions.
I do agree with my own mental health diagnosis. However, there were a lot of individuals I met in the hospital who struggled to figure out their diagnosis as well as some who did not agree with their diagnosis. I understand, coming from a background in child welfare and social work that mental health is a tricky thing, and for someone to understand their own mental health and how it impacts them throughout the day is hard enough as it is.
The mental health and health care systems need to begin to under how childhood trauma can impact one’s behaviors and actions as an adult. I also feel that one’s inner connection with their own self needs to be focused on so that they can begin to find joy, build unconditional love in their self, and start to understand who they are.
I do not want to be the one that tells to stop taking your medications or following advice from healthcare professionals. The message I am trying to get across is for you to listen, you know to that voice inside of you, that feeling that you hold. Listen to your intuition and trust your gut.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for your own health and wellbeing. You are in charge of your recovery and your journey. When all else fails, let go of whatever it is that you are holding on to and trust your intuition.
If you take action, the universe will take action.
What are you going to do for yourself today? What is your intuition telling you?