Spreading HOPE through my story of mental illness

Hold on! There’s help coming! There’s hope!

I’m holding on to HOPE!

For as long as I can remember, I have been convinced that I’m “crazy”. I always and STILL wonder if mental illness is part of my family medical history, but being an adoptee…. I’ll NEVER know.

I will always wonder if my broken brain is a matter of genetics and/or chemical imbalance that couldn’t have been prevented or if it is a result from being removed from my birth mother or being abused as a child.

I’ve been on countless different depression, anxiety and A.D.D. meds since the late 90’s. I started therapy for the first time after my 2nd Divorce (Yep, I’ve been married three times) and since then I’ve become a HUGE believer in counseling/therapy. I’ve gone off and on to different therapist for over a decade, by myself, with my kids and with Ryan.

I’ve lost hope so many times……

In August 2015, after a week in a mental health hospital I was finally diagnosed by a psychiatrist and prescribed medication that’s made a significant difference in my life.

In November 2016, I went on a trip to San Jose with friends to attend a Tony Robbins event. I accidentally forgot my anti-depressants.

To be honest, I was slightly terrified that my trip would be ruined. I had been on so many different medications to treat my depression and the withdrawal symptoms whenever I would go off was always so intense and a very unpleasant experience.

But this time, it wasn’t like that. I completely enjoyed Unleash the Power Within event and it totally had an incredibly positive impact on my life.

So when I returned home, I made the decision to not restart the medication since I had done fine without it.

To be honest, I thought I had been doing fine without it for the past two years.

One of the biggest mistakes people who suffer from mental illness make is thinking that since they’re doing great, they can go off their meds. That was my mistake in November 2016. Looking back… it’s like DUH 🙄 THINGS WERE GOOD BECAUSE THE MEDS WERE WORKING AND DOING THEIR JOB! 

But recently I had to take a step back and reevaluate the situation and I had to make the executive decision to go back on them. So on Monday, October 15th I started taking my Wellbutrin again. Within 3 days I noticed a major change in my mental and emotional state. I haven’t cried in 3 weeks. I can get out of bed easier now. I actually want to talk to people. I don’t feel so fatigued. I feel like I’m back among the living. Im back to my workouts and feeling even better. With a clear head, I can see things more clearly and looking back, I can see how my depression symptoms were effecting my life, so gradually over the course of two years that I could even see it. But now that I do, I’m retaking control over my life. I am starting to feel better now that I’m re-emerging from the fog of my depression.

“I don’t want to take pills.” and “I don’t like taking pills.” USUALLY stems from fear of judgement, from those people who don’t understand a fucking thing about trauma and mental illness… those people who roll their eyes at people who are struggling, those who refer to others as “pill poppers” or “crazy”.

END the S T I G M A

I replaced “I don’t want to take pills.” with “I want to live a life as uninterrupted by mental illness as possible.” AND “I’m afraid of what others think.” with “Your opinions of me aren’t my business and they sure as fuck don’t pay my bills!” 💁🏽‍♀️

Therapy…..

I haven’t seen a therapist since 2016. I knew I needed it again after becoming acutely aware that I was starting to fall back into a depressive state due to all of our recent life changes, mostly good changes, but others challenging.A friend who’s a licensed therapist suggested EMDR therapy for my treatment. I had never heard of it. She said it was used to treat people who have suffered some sort of trauma. She encouraged me to look it up.So I did what I typically do…

▪️Go to Google
▫️Type in “What is EMDR therapy?”
▪️Click on a link
▫️Stare at all the words that need to be read
▪️Close Safari app + tell myself that I’ll read it “later”

…….. there is no late. The page stays open forever, while the task looms over my head and stays in the back of my mind creating panic and anxiety, which leads to depression due to feeling like a failure for not being able to just FUCKING FINISH SOMETHING.

Last month I started therapy. And when I say “started”, I mean I had an appointment at a Mental Health Facility to meet with one of their therapists. “Initial visits” are ALWAYS the same. It’s essentially an assessment. You sit on a couch in front of the therapist who’s got a clipboard resting on her lap. They then start asking you questions & when they’re writing stuff down, you wonder what the fuck they’re thinking.

This therapist asked me what I wanted out of therapy. I don’t recall ever being asked this direct question.

So I told her this:

• I’ve been going to therapy for over a decade.
• I workout
• I eat healthy
• I meditate
• I listen to Personal Development DAILY
• And I recently started listening to hypnosis therapy when I sleep
• I know that talking to an unbiased party and professional helps & I believe that seeing a therapist bi-weekly or monthly is helpful, HOWEVER what I want is to try EMDR therapy (even though I have no clue what it is 🤷🏽‍♀️🤦🏽‍♀️) because I have the coping skills in place, but my brain still feels so broken. I want to follow a process.

I’ll do whatever it takes: assignments, activities, you name it… so that my brain can be REWIRED so that I no longer feel alone all the time, fearing abandonment and never fully trusting anyone.

The good news is that there is a therapist in the building who DOES specialize in this and I’ll be seeing him for the first time on the 1st. I cried hearing that. Then later that night I actually read up about it when I was telling Ryan all about how my appointment went and I cried when I read it again later that night because for the first time I felt total hope that I might not have to live with this broken brain which has learned how to do things to preserve my oh so fragile heart that’s been broken so many times.

For those of you who are wondering what it is is….. EMDR stands for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”, which is a powerful new psychotherapy technique which has been very successful in helping people who suffer from trauma, anxiety, panic, disturbing memories, post traumatic stress and many other emotional problems. It is considered a breakthrough therapy because of its simplicity and the fact that it can bring quick and lasting relief for most types of emotional distress. Extensive scientific research studies shows that EMDR is the most effective and rapid method for healing PTSD.

The EMDR therapy uses bilateral stimulation, right/left eye movement, or tactile stimulation, which repeatly activates the opposite sides of the brain, releasing emotional experiences that are “trapped” in the nervous system. This assists the neurophysiological system, the basis of the mind/body connection, to free itself of blockages and reconnect itself.

As troubling images and feelings are processed by the brain via the eye-movement patterns of EMDR, resolution of the issues and a more peaceful state are achieved.

After learning this and watching several YouTube videos on it, I realized that I have seen this on a HBO series I watch, helping a mother who suffered from PTSD after her son drowned.

I finally feel like there’s hope… not to mask my mental illness, not to learn to cope with it, but to recover. I told my sister in law a couple weeks that maybe 2020 will be my year, but I have decided that I will make another comeback.

2019 IS MY YEAR!

I keep wondering what I’d be like, how different I’d be if my brain was fixed and I was healed from my past traumas. I dunno. Time will tell. I just know I’m so excited and so hopeful that I don’t have to stay like this forever. You have no idea what it’s like to live like this.


So on November 1st I officially restarted therapy and on the 8th I begin, I begin EMDR therapy…. Wish me luck that he can help me and that I have some major breakthroughs!

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