Wednesday, February 5, 2014
You might guess by the last several posts, I was falling quickly. After a panic attack that landed me in the ER on Sunday (the 26th), we made the choice to check me in to an inpatient mental health facility. It wasn't even a difficult decision for me... I just knew it was the right thing to do.
I didn't realize how bad I had gotten until that Sunday night and the next day at the intake appointment at the hospital.
Going in was the best decision I could have ever made.
I still have a very long road ahead of me, but I have come a long way in a short period of time.
Robert and I learned so much through this experience, but the biggest thing is that we needed help. And SO many reached out. We had friends watching the kids, picking them up from school, helping with meals, and today we have someone even coming to clean our house. It is crazy just how much support we have.
Robert has been amazing and has completely taken over everything.
I feel so undeserving!
One of the biggest things that I'm really coming to terms with is that fact that mental illness is an illness just like any other... and needs proper treatment. I haven't found the right meds as of yet, but we're working on it. The inpatient psychiatrist started a new one on top of what I was taking, and the outpatient doc is adding another one. It's hard taking so many meds... but with anxiety (possibly OCD) AND depression, I have a lot of symptoms to treat. The doc reminded me yesterday that the benefit of doing this in the hospital is that I have constant monitoring. They are able to quickly see if something is or isn't working.
Inpatient care was HARD in a lot of ways... a lot of freedoms are taken away including not even being able to have shoelaces in my shoes, have our phone, or even music. But, it's all for the safety and treatment of the patients. We had a lot of fun as well, and I made some new close friends. It was a nice break from the reality of the world... food is cooked for us (and pretty good), lots of activity time (yoga, arts/crafts, etc), lots of down time (did a lot of writing in journals, reading, and coloring), and I had a lot of laughs. We had a lot of time to share our struggles, pray, read God's word, and just focus on getting better.
Outpatient is very different in that we have our freedoms back (and we go home at the end of the day), but there is more processing time... meaning we sit for hours and listen to people talk about what's going on in their mind and heart... as well as share our own "stuff." It'll be really great in the long-run, but it's mentally/emotionally/physically draining in the meantime.
Another big thing that happened in all of this is that Robert and I have made a lot of decisions and big changes.
Like I said before, he has been so amazing and completely, 100% supportive of me. In every way possible.
We have decided that I won't go back to teaching.
This is a huge decision, and one that was met with prayer... but we just knew that there was no way I could go back. It is a huge trigger for me, and I can't function as a full time teacher. I've tried so many times, and every time, this happens. We're not sure how we're going to make it, but we know that God will provide as he always does. I'm not sure what the future holds, but I am taking things one day at a time.
In the meantime, I am making it my job to focus on myself for a bit (which feels so selfish)... but I need to in order to get better and be the wife and mom that I need to be. Being a wife and mom is hard enough without all the other "stuff" piled on!
I have hope right now, which is something I've been longing for. I know I've had hope before and it came crashing down, so I'm taking this one day at a time. I'm thankful that the stigma behind mental illness isn't near as bad as it used to be, and so many are understanding that it really is an illness, and we need just as much help as someone with any other illness that just came out of the hospital.
Saying "thank you" isn't enough, but I truly am thankful for all that everyone has done for our family. I can't wait to see what the future holds.
Robert and I wrote this family mission statement this morning:
A Jesus lovin' family who has the freedom to be different, is adventurous, finds beauty in simplicity, is intentional with our resources, and serves others together.
Until next time...