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My Mental Health Journey, Dealing With Anxiety, Depression and PTSD.

In December of 2018 I quit my job of nearly four years to follow a new career path that I had no experience in. It was a total leap of faith and it was something that, unfortunately, did not turn out to be what I was expecting. I decided that I was not able to continue my employment and I quit. I did what I thought was the right thing for me to do, and at the time it was, but little did I know that with unlimited time on my hands, things that I had buried deep down would rear their ugly little heads.

 I can't tell you what triggered it, I can't pinpoint the exact moment my brain decided it was time to misfire, but it did and it was bad. I began to think about all of the things that I had done wrong, that I had never apologized for. The pain of years infertility, a miscarriage, and sudden deaths of grandparents came crashing down over me, enveloping me in the misery that I pushed down deep inside. I was lost and I was mostly alone. Cory and I have no family that lives close and he works 10 hour days, so I was all alone in my thoughts and drowning in depression.

What started out as mild anxiety every once in a while, turned into everyday anxiety and panic attacks. I began to ruminate on thoughts that I couldn't control, convinced myself that things were going to happen to me and that I was the worst person in the world. I couldn't handle being alone with my own thoughts and would watch the clock looking for anything to get my mind off of things, but it never worked. I would sit on the couch and stare at the clock, heart racing, tears streaming down my face in pure panic, not understanding these new thoughts and feelings, barely being able to function on my own. I began turning to CBD edibles and the like for quick calming and relaxation. Needless to say, they did offer stress and anxiety relief when I needed it most.

God bless my husband, as soon as he got home I would cling to him and cry for hours on his shoulder. He would try to tell me that everything was in my head and that I was going to be alright, but that only seemed to make things worse. I realized that I couldn't be home alone with my thoughts, it was too dangerous and I needed an outlet to escape it. So, I decided to explore Tulsa. I've lived in Oklahoma for almost 11 years, but I really didn't know my way around Tulsa, even though I lived there for a year and a half. I loaded myself into the car after my shower every morning and would try to space out my time so that I would only have a few hours left in my day once I got home before Cory got home from work. I did this for three months and it was hard on me and my car. I put a lot of miles on my car, cried a lot of tears in there, and had many conversations with God. I tried everything I could think of to get the thoughts in my head to stop, but they just kept coming and getting worse by the minute.

This part is very hard for me to write and admit to myself and others, but I was very closing to ending my own life. I began to think that there was no way out of my own misery, that I had failed as a child, wife, and not being able to be a mom. I couldn't find a job and I felt like an even bigger failure that I was not able to be the person that I once was. I hated myself. I struggled with this decision as I believe that if you commit suicide you go to Hell, and I was not prepared for that. I want to see my Lord and Savior in Heaven and could not bring myself to leave my loved ones. I couldn't bring that pain upon my husband or my family. I prayed long and hard, I asked God for an answer and he led me to my wonderful  Doctor, where I soon realized I was right where I needed to be.

After a few hours of talking with my doctor, I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and PTSD from something that happened in high school that haunts me to this day. I learned that what I was feeling was not normal, but it was ok to not be normal and that I did the right thing in seeking help and not inflicting harm upon myself. Admitting that I needed help was one of the hardest things to do, but it was what I NEEDED to do. I needed a space to speak free of judgment, space where my experiences were being heard and not tossed to the side. Where I wasn't viewed as crazy, but a person seeking to better themselves and receive help.

For me, my treatment is medication which has been a lifesaver. I don't push medication on others and I don't condone taking it unless your doctor says that it is needed. For me, I needed it. It's not a fix, it's not a crutch, and it's not something that I plan to use for the rest of my life. When I'm ready, I will seek out a therapist to help me understand what has happened in my life and find ways to cope with them. I'm not ready for that just yet, but when the time comes, I know that I have the best support system around and that I will be met with all the positivity and help I'll need. I still have my moments every once in a while where the stress of the day can get to me, but I try to meet the day with a positive attitude and continue it throughout my day.

Please take care of your mental health, it's so vital and important. Don't let others lead you to believe that you are your diagnosis. You are stronger than that, you will make it through with your head held as high as you can, and I'll be here cheering you on! Know that you are not alone and there are others like you who have walked a similar path and who are here to talk with you. You can find resources for support at BetterHelp, 24/7. Don't be silent, please don't suffer alone, you are loved, you are wanted and you are important. Reach out to someone you trust and ask for help. There is no shame when it comes to your mental health. Don't let anyone make you feel like you are not worth it, because you are and so am I!

If you are considering suicide, please seek out help by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:1-800-273-8255.

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