Before deciding to go ask for help, I got overwhelmed. I hit a point where I knew no matter how much work I did on my own, I was flailing at best. I was trying everything I could, and many of those things were not working out. It was very discouraging because the more positive I tried to be, the worse things got. I hit my breaking point near Christmas time.
Going to a VA hospital was out of the question, because I actually wanted to get better instead of being managed instead of treated. I wanted to be more than stable and feel alive, instead of feeling so overwhelmed that I wanted to die. Yes, I was suicidal, not because I wanted to hurt anyone, but because I wanted to stop the pain. I had been through too much and was not prepared to go through anymore.
I got on Google, and searched for Trauma Treatment Centers. A place called The Refuge popped up. It seemed like it would be the best place to go, because their treatments were trauma focused. Although I had dealt somewhat with my trauma, I knew there was much more going on inside me that had never been addressed by previous mental health providers.
I was admitted December 22 and discharged March 26. A brief hospitalization also happened during January and February so I could receive Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT). After the fourth round, I did something I hadn’t done in months: I smiled. It was hard work and digging through my past to learn about my extensive history of unresolved traumas, the roots of my anxiety, and battled bout after bout of severe depression throughout the process. All that stereotypical “It gets worse before it gets better” stuff was very true in my case. I have a few more suicide attempts under my belt, because of all the pain that came up during treatment. Turns out I was traumatized mere weeks into my life, and it caused major issues in my future.
I am not cured, because bipolar is a disease that doesn’t go away. It gets managed, and for right now, I’m on the right medications and continuing ECT. But I am counting my blessings that I decided to go get help, even though I tried to harm myself in the process. I came out tougher, happier, and more compassionate than before, which I didn’t think was possible. Now I really understand that you never really know what’s going on with people. I didn’t know what was going on with myself! I learned an important lesson:
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.