It’s been a while since I’ve written anything and I’m not going to lie, writing hasn’t been the first thing on my mind lately. But, today as I was slaving away working I realized two things.
#1 Writing makes me happy. And when you’ve found something that actually makes you happy, why would you avoid doing it?
#2 My point of starting this blog was part of healing process, yes, but also because I need people to hear my stories. Because I need people who have been through something similar or love someone who has been through/is going through something similar to know they are not alone. Feeling lonely sucks. It sucks a whole lot and maybe no one reads this blog now (because I am a lousy promoter and haven’t the slightest idea what I’m doing), but eventually someone is going to stumble across this and hopefully something resonates.
This idea of not being alone is the topic of this entry today. At the end of June. right after my PMDD official diagnosis, I decided I had to seek a more drastic intervention to help me on my path to recovery. For me, this meant I would take a week out of work to enter a group therapy day program. Basically, it was six hours straight of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy courses, group therapy with a bunch of strangers, one on one therapy and a medication consultation. The decision to go into the program wasn’t easy. The night before my first day I couldn’t sleep because I kept thinking to myself, “What the f*ck am I doing?”. The even more f*cked up part is, even though I am someone who clearly suffers from mental health issues, I did the very thing that ENRAGES me when other people do it– I stereotyped. I was convinced I was going to go there and it was going to be like a scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Clearly now I recognize how dumb I was being, but in the moment that’s how I felt.
Well, let me tell you right now, going into the program was the best decision of my life. I’ll talk more about what I’ve learned at some point–but I’ll tell you what happened on Day One that gave me my wake up call. I walked into the group terrified and expecting the worst, but instead I was received with kindness and compassion. Everyone had their own unique stories, but the core of our issues was the same. These people were parents, business owners, teachers, nurses, rape victims, addicts—all from different places and from different paths but all there to heal. There was one guy ( who I swear was a dead ringer for Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) that was completing the program that same day. He was telling the group that while he was anxious to go back to his normal routine, he knew he had the tools to cope. He said when he first came in, on the verge of suicide, his biggest struggle was no one in his family understood what he was going through. He felt completely, 100% alone. Then he met other people in the program who said they felt 100% alone. And even though these people were complete strangers, knowing they were both feeling the same things, fighting the same battles, took away that feeling of isolation and instead made him feel a part of something bigger. I just sat there listening to him, tears free flowing down my cheeks, thinking that somewhere out there in the world there is another person like me, going through the same shit. At the end of the day, our feelings aren’t unique. They are unique to us, if that makes sense–they are our feelings yes, but at some point everyone has experienced some form of those emotions or those thoughts. Everyone. Accepting that first and foremost helped me to get rid of my own stigmas of mental illness and ultimately make the most of my time in the program.
I’m sorry if that sounded a bit cheesy or woo-woo for ya. I swear I wasn’t brainwashed 😉 This is what happens when you are finally properly medicated. Yay for drugs that actually work!