My world came spiraling down after months of not taking care of my mental health. Between going to school, working full-time, kids, and my marriage falling apart, I realized I couldn’t make it to one more day without help. I couldn’t get out of bed, I cried endlessly, and my anxiety was through the roof.
One night, I checked myself into the ER.
I didn’t know how they could help me. Meds? Maybe. But they did something I wasn’t expecting. They kept me on a 72-psych hold, which, at the time, I felt was a bit dramatic.
So, I spent three days in a psych unit. I spent most of that time crying or sleeping. Sleeping and crying. Wondering how I got here? What is it about my life that made it so unbearable?
After my release, I quickly realized I needed more help. My 72-hour psych hold was not dramatic, it was imperative to breaking the depression and anxiety cycle. The doctors there thought it would be good if I did an aftercare program, so I found a nearby hospital that had a partial hospitalization program.
I quickly began my journey back to health.
I put everything on hold – my job, kids, and school. I needed to focus on myself and getting better. I have always been told it is best practice to put on your gas mask before putting on anyone else’s mask. So, that’s exactly what I did.
I spent three weeks in partial hospitalization, where I met a wonderful group of people who were struggling, just like me. It was like we were family – like I had known them my entire life. We spent hours upon hours processing our trauma together, so it makes sense why we would be so close.
I then started Intensive Outpatient Treatment at the same hospital. It was similar but I spent less time there than before, and I even started working part-time again. It was tough re-adapting to my old life without taking on too much. My colleagues were very supportive but unaware of what I had just been through.
My kids had been staying with their father, while I put the pieces of my life back together. I had a truckload of mom guilt that I couldn’t keep them while I was in treatment, but I knew they were taken care of while I got the help I needed. I eventually had a conversation with them (two 6-year-olds and a 4-year-old) and it went well. I told them mommy had been sick, but was feeling much better.
And I was – finally.
After I completed my treatment and went back to work full-time, I was told I was “glowing.” Everyone close to me said I seemed happy. Content. Very different than who I’d been just a few months ago.
In the end, I realized I had not been dramatic in going to the ER, seeking treatment, and taking care of myself. I needed to completely lose my mind to get to a place of contentment.
So, I encourage you – if you need help. Get it. You’re not being dramatic. You’re not too much. You just need a little breakdown to grow into the person you’re meant to be.