My Mental Illness Story: What I’ve learned

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Hello my friends! If you are new here then welcome to my blog. If you’re a regular visitor than you may regret that decision. Just a trigger warning, this is a mental health post. Overdose and other possible triggers are spoken about.

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share this part of me with you guys as I don’t talk about my mental health on here. I have previously stated that I want to be honest with you guys, so I decided to share my story in hopes others wouldn’t feel alone.

This post is going to be very personal. January 26, 2019  was the 2nd anniversary of my overdose on prescription anti psychotics. I will be sharing my journey starting Nov 2015.

It all came to a head November 2015

Nov 2015:

I was working fulltime as a daily living assistant at Shannex. I could tell my mental health was starting to deplete but I just figured I would ignore it and it would go away.  Well in reality that’s not how mental illness works. Nov 22 I went for a appointment with a psychiatrist. This being my first time ever going I didn’t know what to expect. After asking loads of questions they told me they thought I suffered from depression, anxiety and PTSD. There suggestion was for me to take some time off work and try and get my bearings straight.

After that I was put on sick leave for 15 weeks. December 2015 went by in a blur. I would Skype my Dad every day and we would talk for about 3 hours (he was in the Netherlands, while I was in Canada). I cant even tell you what happened the last month of 2015, all I know is I was very out of it. In January 2016 I had my first appt with a psychiatrist. He spent a good 2 hours asking me questions and going over my life (what I would tell him anyway). He diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder.

*So for those keeping track that makes anxiety, depression,PTSD and borderline personality disorder*

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At this point I had also admitted that I was hearing voices (mostly suicidal ones). So he put me on antipsychotics to help with the voices. (I was also taking antidepressants).

My mental health wasn’t getting better

At the end of May I went back to Shannex and resigned my job. At this point in my life I just knew I couldn’t mentally work. I moved from my sick leave straight to unemployment insurance, I figured if nothing else it would at least provide a pay cheque till November.  By the time June, 2016 came I was hearing multiple voices, some friendly while others were suicidal. (I even had one female voice who would make lists of things that started with “B”) (buttons, brocolli,  blueberries,  things like that. )

I started going to the hospital more for the voices and just feeling unsafe. It was a constant battle. I started going to Belmont house (community mental health) a couple times a week to talk with a social worker.

By then I was really getting frustrated. I was on so much medication to just get by that I basically was like a walking zombie. I literally couldn’t function.

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From bad to worse with my mental health

As the months went by nothing changed. I was still seeing the social worker and my psychiatrist on a regular basis.  Jan 26, 2017 I went back to my psychiatrist and told him that nothing had changed. His response shocked me. He asked me if I was using street drugs. I abruptly said no (as I have never done drugs in my life). After that he told me he couldn’t help me anymore and not to come back.

I felt so abandoned and hopeless, I was a burden on my husband and family and it looked like I would never get better. So I did the only thing I thought would help. I went home and just started popping a bunch of meds. After I had done this I felt extremely guilty and told my husband. We then called Mobile crisis who told us to go to emerge.

The hospital had me on heart monitors and I was under constant watch of the social worker. I stayed overnight and till the evening the next day. The only reason the hospital let me go was because my husband came to pick me up.

After this my husband hide my drugs and razors. And I started to be seen at the psychiatric hospital.

In February 2017 I started doing homecare again but it didn’t last long. My mental health just wasn’t where it should be to hold down a job. In April 2017 I started blogging remotely. This allowed me to do as much or as little work as I wanted. Plus I was getting extremely bored sitting at home doing nothing.

By now I was hearing a new alarming voice. One that told me to kill my husband. When this happened we abruptly went to the emerge. I was interviewed for what seemed like hours (it was actually 2 hours) and sent home. By then I started going to the emerge almost every 2 weeks because of the thoughts I was having.

Trying something new

In April 2018 I went back to college. It was only 4 hours a day and I thought it would be good for me. But the thoughts continued and I was still going to emerge frequently. On my 30th birthday I started hearing 3 new voices., so I went back to emerge.

I’m happy to say that that was my last hospital visit. I started working fulltime mon-fri as a cleaner and strangely the voices stopped. I haven’t heard a voice since September 2018 and it feels amazing. Now I’ve been at my cleaning job over 4 months. Its great to have a income again and to not have to worry about how bills will be paid. I still go to therapy once a month just to make sure everything is good.

No more hospital visits

I still have mental health issues but I have learned (and continue to learn) how to deal with it. Currently I am waiting to get into DBT therapy.  (Teaches you how to manage your emotions).  Till then I am just going to work, socializing with people and for once in my life taking time for myself.  Guys self care is so important.

Well I hope this doesn’t scare anyone off from reading my blog. I just felt like I had to be honest with you

*side note, the sicker I got, the longer my hair got*

* October 2019 update*

Hello my friends. This post was written over 1 year ago so I thought I should give a current update.

The last couple months have been pretty good, I occasionally hear voices but try to do things to distract myself till they go away.

I still have not been back to the hospital for anything mental health related. I do still feel suicidal but am trying to work on things that fuel my passions.

Last week I went for the info session and signed up for the dbt course. Of course like everything else health related there is a waitlist but I am on it. 🙂

If you feel okay with sharing your mental health stories I’d love to hear it. We are in this together. Please know you are never actually alone.

So what have I learned?

It’s taken a lot of effort to get me to where I am right now mentally. I’ve held down my current job almost 17 months now. I have been able to develop a routine which for me is extremely helpful and necessary for managing my mental health.

I am no longer ashamed of my story. It is mine and mine alone. It shows that I can overcome challenges in my life. It’s not always easy but it will be worth it. Some days I still really struggle. It can become easy to fall back into a dark place.

So to manage that the best I can I have worked on my coping skills.

Related post- what is grounding?

Till next time

Tanya xoxo

28 thoughts on “My Mental Illness Story: What I’ve learned”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story with us! If you ever need someone to talk, my mailbox/DMs are always open.
    My mental health started to suffer once I was at university. I got the results of my finals of the 1st semester and I did very badly despite thinking that I managed to succeed in all of them. I was crushed and couldn’t stop crying once I was finally in my room. After that I didn’t want to go to lectures anymore, stayed in bed and I couldn’t even go out anymore. I gained a lot of weight and the depression started from then on. I felt stupid, unnecessary, I didn’t understand why all of this was happening to me. However thanks to my book blog that I created a few months after and the amazing community behind it, I found a new purpose where I had my place. And also thanks to the support I got at home I managed to feel better. I’m still depressed some times, especially during finals week but I’m better and not hiding in my bed anymore and I also don’t think that it will ever go away but I’m managing. I’m not keeping my feelings for myself anymore. Before that I never talked about how I felt, I kept my emotions for myself but that’s over now. I reorganized my life and I’ve chosen another major three years ago. It’s just important to remember that someone always has your back. You aren’t alone in this!

  2. Wishing you the best of luck on your journey. I started DBT about 18 years ago but left the therapy. It’s one of my biggest regrets. Back then there wasn’t such a crisis with mental health resources. Stick with it, even when it gets tough. x

  3. I am so proud of you for publishing such an honest and emotional post. I’m so glad to read that you’re feeling a little better, I really hope that continues for you going forward. Not at all happy with how that psychiatrist dismissed you though, it was highly unethical.

    All my love, Han. xo | Safe Haven; Chronicles of a Creative Mess

  4. I’m glad you’re better than you were. Mental health is such a huge deal. I’m currently trying to find something that works for me, I’ve recently been diagnosed with bipolar I and changed my meds but since started my job 2 months ago I’m so anxious I throw up almost every morning and have a knot in my stomach all day, I’m exhausted by the time I get home. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression for years until this diagnosis, the new med has knocked out the manic episodes, mood swings, impulsively, and almost everything else except for the anxiety. I’ve made another appointment so hopefully we can get this figured out. I hope you’re doing well as you read this! ❤️

    1. Hi Elyse, thank you so much for sharing your story. The medication I use is called Sertraline (Zoloft), its been working really well for me personally. I really hope you can find something that works for you xoxo

  5. I am still battling my anxiety and it has been 30 years now. I know I do not want to live my life out like this. I am going into therapy in November. Thank you for your story of survival. Good luck ahead

  6. I read this after I clicked a link you posted the other day about your therapist. I’m so sorry you went through that and I really hope they resign.
    I do listen and read your posts, even if I don’t comment that much. You are being heard.
    I had pretty bad postpartum after my second was born. I still feel like I haven’t recovered over two years later. I never asked for help, because of the stories like yours about going to emerge and nothing being done, and the other stories about new mothers reporting it and cps comes and takes your kids away. I would have thoughts about just up and leaving my kids, jumping out of moving vehicles, walking up to the bridge and taking the quick way down. I always put the baby down and walked away for a few minutes, but it was bad. I SHOULD have been on medication but the stigma is so bad and I didn’t want my kids to go into the system. I’m *better* now (don’t want to walk into the middle of a highway) but I could definitely benefit from professional help. I have days where I can’t get out of bed. Like I just can’t. Did you see bigmouth? The depression kitty is quite accurate lol

    1. Hey Cynda, I’m SO sorry you had/are going through this. I share my stories like this in hopes that people realize they are not alone. I am well aware that postpartum depression also comes with a stigma, which I think is complete bs! “Baby blues” is clearly backed by science, I’ve noticed lately that more celebrity mothers are talking about it. I feel especially now with 2020 a couple days away that mental illness and postpartum depression should be well spoken about and in turn the people affected offered help.

      You wouldn’t believe how angry this makes me. One day (hopefully soon) the world will be full of people who don’t shame others who are having a hard (whatever that may mean to them).

      You know where to find me if you ever need to vent/talk. I’m always willing to lend a ear. Postpartum is something I can’t speak on personally as (Riley) never developed that far along. There are places that are really great supports around us. If you are interested I could do some research for you. Let me know.

      I’m always hear for you xoxo

  7. This was so brave of you to share, Tanya! I think your story will help a lot of people who are struggling or have struggled as well. I’ve dealt with some form of anxiety, OCD, and depression from the time I was 5. It’s had it’s ups and downs, lots of doctors appointments, medication, hospital visits, treatment centers, etc. But thanks to the internet and lovely people like you, I’m finally opening up and sharing about it, in the hopes that it’ll help people not feel so alone. I wish I knew people like you when I was younger. I wouldn’t have felt so different and ashamed. I’m so sorry you’ve struggled with this for so long.

    And I’m so mad at that psychiatrist for accusing you of taking drugs and then dropping you??? How atrocious!! But he sounded like an awful human being, let alone a doctor, so in a way I’m glad you didn’t see him anymore. Ugh.

    But I’m so glad you’re doing better. I know we’ll never be where we want to be in life, but I hope that for each us of, we get to a good place with our mental health. And I’m so glad you signed up for DBT! I hope it helps <3

    Thank you so much for sharing your story!

    Emily | https://www.thatweirdgirllife.com

    1. Thank you Emily, I needed to hear that more than you’ll ever know. I was not the same person when I was younger. I was scared and ashamed, mental illness wasn’t spoken about at that point. It was just this scary thing everyone just swept under the rug. I changed a lot in my 20s and believe (or hope to believe) I’ve become a better person than I was.

      As for my first therapist, I hope hes no longer in this feild because he clearly didn’t have the empathy or people skills. Haha. My therapist now is really great. He’s going over some dbt stuff one on one with me till I can get into the course.

      I hope your doing okay today. One day at a time. We got this <3

  8. Thank you so much for writing this and sharing. Being honest and open about our mental health really is the first step to feeling better. I hope your health continues to improve.

    1. Thanks Jody, I’m as honest as possible because life isn’t perfect. It’s loud and messy and confusing. But you don’t have to go through it alone <3

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It’s a sensitive subject but I know that the one thing you learn from having mental illness is you never know how brave and resilient you are until you have to be. And that’s exactly what you are. You are very brave for giving us a glimpse of your life and you are resilient because you’re still here and you’re a thriving blogger. 🙂

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