I didn’t know if I wanted to make this a “(Yikes)” blog or an informative/my opinion blog. I decided to do neither, and really bare my heart; this is going to be a story time blog. I want to say my mental illnesses started after the car accident I was in, in 2007. Often traumatic events lead to PTSD and other mental illnesses. I had a concussion and was an in an induced coma for a few days. When I came back to reality everyone told me I was different. I went to see my first counsellor a few months after school started again because my grades were dropping and I had troubles making friends again. Everyone was really nice to me in school once I came back hobbling in on crutches with half my head shaved revealing a huge nasty scar. I was offered a special cushion for my chair and had a personal bathroom because I needed a specialised toilet. I hated it, I didn’t want to be pointed out as different. I wanted to fit in with everyone else. I remember one day asking the girls at school if they could just treat me normal again. They did, which I didn’t know would mean ignoring me. When I asked one of the girls about why they were being so mean suddenly, she told me it’s what I had asked for. I remember it so clearly, “This is how we treat you” she said. Grade 7 was harsh. But it’s okay, by the time grade 8 rolled around I had my hair back and my first of many eating disorders started so at least the boys liked me again, I knew because one of the “popular” boys would try and put his hands up my skirt and down my shirt. That’s what happens when you have a low self-esteem and you’re not taught the definition of self-respect until you’re 21.
The anxiety attacks didn’t start until grade 10. I think I was seeing another counsellor then because I started self-harming and having sex. I didn’t like her, and I could never really tell what she thought of me. I saw her for a few months I think, but she made me feel crazier than I thought I was. In the sex/party scene I didn’t have many friends either, anyone I could have been friends with heard I was a slut so any chances I might have had were D.O.A. I didn’t know what the anxiety attacks were, the way they were explained to me wasn’t what I was experiencing. I felt more like I needed to scratch my chest out. I learnt later that anxiety attacks comes in many different forms. Now my anxiety attacks are a lot less screaming a lot more crying, that claw my chest out feeling is still there.
In grade 12 I started seeing a “good boy”, we met at a Christian concert and he was amazing. We broke up later just before prom, he wasn’t that great. I’ve met him again since we broke up, we’ve hung out and he’s still not that great.
When I left for college the depression and anxiety left too. I moved three and a half hours north to Kitchener with someone who was very good for my health. He taught me important things like being passive aggressive is a disgusting personality trait and everyone expresses themselves uniquely. This gentleman and myself are no longer close but I wish him only good things in his life. I was hoping to find a job in Kitchener so I wouldn’t have to move back to my home town. That was unsuccessful so there I was, after my one year of college, back at my mom and dad’s place with my 10pm curfew. I was determined to move back to Kitchener, but as fate would have it I found a job a few minutes from my parents’ place, got a car, and found a place to rent a few minutes from work. Life was good for a 20-year-old. Some bridges never burned and I was right back in this anxiety ridden town. I was very broke and the money I didn’t spend on house bills, car payments and insurance and my poor excuse for groceries was spent on alcohol. Alcohol helped me sleep, it gave me something to do to make the day go by faster and it meant I could invite people over for drinks.
I was unravelling again and at an impressive rate. I started seeing counsellor number three. I’m still seeing this guy (update: I’m not seeing him anymore, he’s readied me with the tool belt I need to overcome my anxiety, the rest is up to me.). Firstly, he explained that I had been sexually assaulted and raped. Having believed otherwise for five years this was difficult to accept, after all I was a slut; I thought the disrespect was self-brought (blame the victim). I went so far as to get a tattoo reading “forgive yourself”, after talking with a Pastor I’ve learned I need to learn to forgive these men. It’s not easy they are still the cause of a lot of my anxiety. I constantly need reassurance from my husband that I’m loved; PTSD. This new counsellor told me he believes I was incorrectly diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome, which I was heavily medicated for in the past. He’s explained a lot to me, which is why I still see him and recommend him to other people I know need help.
My husband and I reconnected six months after I moved back from Kitchener. He just got back from fitness training in Quebec. We met on Tinder, like I said, I was unraveling. He asked me out to coffee and the rest is history.
I’m happily married now, my husband and I live in our shoebox (house). I’ve decided to join a baseball team for this summer to get myself out of the house and socializing with other women. I’m valued at work, my car insurance has gone down, and with Jake living with me it takes a lot off my plate financially. I’ve paid my credit card off. We’re saving for a house and I’m able to pay off my car. We’ve been very blessed. That girl cutting herself in the shower 5 years ago would never have been able to foresee this. Every day I struggle with my mental illnesses, some days are good and happy. Other days I’m a complete mess sobbing through the phone to my husband who comes home and holds me until I feel okay. He’s amazing.
Every day is a new blessing and a new challenge. At the end the only thing I except of myself is to be stronger and healthier than I was the day before.
Mental Health Help Line: 1-866-531-2600