I could say it started on June 4th, 2018. I could also say its existed my entire life.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that I endured major suicidal ideation last summer. A lot of things came to a head for me; job stress, personal self-doubt, past family issues, feeling like I wasn’t ever good enough for anyone or anything. It was a bad combo.
Before reaching that point, I did learn that I had a generalized anxiety disorder and was also depressed. So why didn’t I take care of it when I was first diagnosed the year before? My honest answer: I didn’t even want to believe that was what anxiety or depression was. I just thought I was really stressed, and that there wasn’t much I could do about it.
Sure, some stress seems “normal,” but to endure it since you were 14 and never get treatment for serious bouts of it can certainly lead to a breakdown. At least, that’s what I learned in 2018. Like I said, it all came to a head then.
I quite literally felt like my mother, society, and corporate America had rejected me by the time I was 28. Obviously, these thoughts were and weren’t reality, but they sure felt real to me.
It was all so overwhelming that when I did seek treatment as an adult, the floodgates opened on the couch of my primary care physicians’ office. Who knew that taking a damn survey would open up emotions that you didn’t know were there? It took a survey for me to confirm (to myself and my doctors) that I was depressed.
About a year after that, I did want to kill myself one night – on June 4th, 2018. My husband stopped me. I wanted to take whatever pills I could get my hands on in my apartment and simply never wake up. I just wanted the pain of my self-doubt, rejection by my mother, the constant micro-managing of my former boss/job stress, and missing home (Pittsburgh) and stability to go away.
A week after that episode, I got to the Emergency Room. The funny thing is, I was smiling and taking selfies with co-workers three hours before heading to the ER. I probably should’ve been there before then. The Emergency Room led to group therapy at Mayo Clinic.
I found group therapy to be harder simply because I already felt like I had no business being there. Those people “needed more help than I did.” I was taking up their time. I didn’t open up right away. I didn’t want to. Why should I waste their time talking about things they have no reference for? They didn’t know my former boss, my mum, or anything about what led me to that room. Some of them actually knew me “from the radio,” which honestly made my presence more embarrassing in my opinion. I thought, “Great! They know the radio girl has mummy issues, and her job actually sucks at times even when she’s supposed to be providing a good time on the air.”
I did enjoy forming a routine thanks to social rhythm therapy and recreation, however. I found practicing “mindfulness” to be really beneficial too. I still try to practice having those dark thoughts become fleeting moments that pass. Some days are easier than others.
I’m “okay” now, but being “okay” takes work. I fight like hell to have balance in my life. I make sure I work out, get social, spend time with my husband and cat (instead of sleeping away my emotions), and explore hobbies. Group therapy taught me that when I have that balance I am happiest. I learned the hard way that I needed “more going on in my life” than just shuffling to and from work.
As always, it’s my hope that sharing a few more details about the hardest part of my mental health journal reaches you. Seek help if you need it. Speak up. I let things (my thoughts) go on for too long. That’s an instance that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy… even that former boss of mine, or my mother.