2.17.2014

The reason I am in Washington.

If we are friends on Facebook, then you know what has been going on for the last week.  If not, I am going to tell you.
Just so you are warned, this post is very raw account of my struggle with mental illness. I wanted to write it for a few reasons.

First, it is part of my story now.  Not a happy part of my story, but a part that will hopefully help me and others.

Second, I am not ashamed of my mental health issues. I have is a disease that requires treatment.





Over the last few weeks, I have had some bad days.  Some really bad days, where all I wanted to do was sleep.  Every time I left the house, I would think about how I should cancel my plans with my friends so that I could sleep.  I wasn't doing very well, but I was also hiding it pretty well.

Then one day I hit rock bottom.

I wanted to go to sleep and not wake up; I wanted to die.  Luckily, in a moment of clarity, I called Ben.  In tears, I told him that I wasn't doing very well, and he knew something was wrong and came home from work.  I sat and cried and he held me. I called our medical person, who got me in touch with the Regional Psychiatrist.  When she called that night, I told her exactly how I felt, and that I had suicidal thoughts. It was suggested that I go to Washington DC to seek help.  Both Ben and I felt like it was the right thing to do, so we started making arrangements.  I called my mom, and she and my dad did everything they could to get her to Sri Lanka so she could help with the boys.

The next 48 hours or so were a blur.  I said goodbye to Ben and the boys, and I wasn't sure when I would see them again.  I was still having suicidal thoughts at that point, and I wasn't sure if I would see them again.  Also, if I was able to overcome the suicidal thoughts, I wasn't sure when I would be allowed to come back to post.

I arrived in Washington DC, and got settled into an apartment.  That is when I announced on Facebook that I was in DC for depression.

The good news, I am doing much, much better.  I had some changes to my medications, and I have found the desire to exercise again.  I have been getting out everyday, and keeping myself busy.  I am meeting with a Psychiatrist here, and things are looking up. The suicidal thoughts are gone, and I am able to enjoy life again.

The good that has come of this:

I have never felt so loved in my entire life.  My friends and family have really shown their true colors.  I have received the sweetest messages.  Some of my friends put together a video of the song "Cups" from the movie Pitch Perfect for me- which was awesome-thank you Lisa and ladies.  One friend dropped of cookies.  Several friends in Colombo have taken the boys on play dates and made sure that Ben was doing okay.

I know that God loves me, and is aware of me.

If my life could be measured by my friends and family, then my life is perfection.

I have new medication and a new diagnosis that will help pinpoint the problem, and help solve it.

I will keep moving forward.  Life is good.



18 comments:

Kelly said...

I am so glad you had that moment of clarity and that everyone moved quickly to get you to where you needed to be! I hope that if it is the right thing you get to go back to colombo but I also hope that what ever IS the right thing will happen. I am glad you are seeing how much you are loved because it is a whole lot!
Virtual hugs
Kelly

Just US said...

You are such a strong woman!

Connie said...

(((((hugs!)))) I am so happy for your healing and in awe of your strength. Knowing that you needed help and that you were able to ask for it and follow through ... that's strength! And (((hugs))) for the friends and family standing by you now, they've got their own worries and I am sending you all many prayers and good thoughts!

Kelly Wilkins said...

You are such a brave soul, Emily. What courage to be so open and honest--you have probably helped myriads of people who struggle with similar issues. You are in my heart and my prayers and I wish you joy and
peace. At church today, someone shared this quote: "Sometimes the Lord calms the storm and sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child". I pray you are finding the calms amidst your storms. Love you....




Liz said...

I love you Emily. I am so proud of you for getting yourself the help that you needed. You are an incredibly strong person, and an inspiration to me.

Jodie Horgan said...

Love you loads. Praying for you!

Sarah said...

I am so proud of you for speaking out about mental health issues - it is something to be treated, just like any other health issue. We need courageous people like you who are committed to being authentic and reducing the shameful stigma around depression and mental health. We are all cheering you on - know you are loved.

Brooke said...

Emily - Huzzah for you for fighting! Depression is such a difficult thing to figure out and deal with. I'm so happy that you are doing better and taking care of yourself. Sending my love and prayers

Brooke

Sadie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story, and I'm very glad it is working out as well as it is. Depression is nothing to mess around with, and kudos to you and your husband for taking things seriously and getting help. Glad your support system is functioning so well in Colombo and DC; I'll be thinking of you and rooting for you in the days and weeks to come.

D. James said...

We're so glad you're doing better!

Chelsea Perkins said...

I had no idea that this was going on with you this week! But then again, I haven't spent more than a few minutes on fb each day. I want you to know how much I love you and I'll be thinking about you. You have a strong outlook and I commend your honesty and your being so open about it all. You are amazing Emily! I'm so happy to hear that you are doing better and that they have adjusted the meds accordingly! Love you!!!

Lynne said...

Thank you for sharing this.

LeesOnTheGo said...

What courage you have & how gracious of you to share your story with all of us.

Daniela Swider said...

You are so brave, Emily! I am so glad you found the strength to tell your story! I didn't and suffered alone for a long time about 8 yrs ago. I was so ashamed and afraid to tell anyone and many of the people I did tell did not understand, including medical professionals. When I first sought medical help after months of being in denial and feeling worthless, a nurse said to me, "You have a beautiful child, a husband who loves you and a nice job - What are you depressed about? She was right about my child, my husband and my job but completely clueless about how depression works. I sought a therapist and found one who seemed decent. At my first visit I told her I thought I have depression. I don't know what she was thinking but after three months of seeing her weekly, she finally told me she thought I was depressed but really good at masking it. I was so livid at these people, I figured if a nurse and a therapist didn't understand, how could I expect anyone else to? I didn't say anything to anyone at work because I was afraid if people knew I had depression, I would loose my job. My mom tried to help me but she too didn't understand. My husband was as nice and supportive as he could be but depression can be really hard on spouses and ultimately asked me to find another therapist (he was right). I switched therapists and found someone who actually helped me. I also went on antidepressants (though I hated the idea of being on antidepressants) for a while before things got back to normal. I think it took close to two years for me to see light at the end of the tunnel. I so am glad things are looking up for you and that you have the support of friends and family. And so very proud of you talking about it because the stigma needs to end.

Rebekah said...

I know I've told you before, but I'm going to tell you again. I think you are amazing. And such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your WHOLE life with me.

Anonymous said...

I admire your courage to put your life out there when so many fight the same battles and hide it and suffer alone with their troubles. Good luck with the new meds and the steps forward. You have a cheering section cheering you on :)

Bethany Davidson-Widby said...

I too know the depths of the well you were in...I felt like you were writing my story. One day at a time...sometimes two steps forward and one step back. Keep looking towards the sun!

Bfiles said...

Just checked in with your blog after a long time away and I'm so sorry to hear what you've been going through, but really glad you are getting the help you need. You are absolutely right that you have an illness, and there is no shame in talking about it and seeking help for it, so you can keep taking care of your family when you get better. If there is anything i can do to help (I'm here in DC), please send me a message. take care of yourself.
PS we are having a bloggers dinner on April 4- come!

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