March 18, 2016

I Checked Myself In

I used to think life wasn’t worth living. I thought the world would be a better place without me in it and therefore, decided to think of a way to end the life that I’ve been given.
I was diagnosed with depression a few years ago but was never given any ways to cope with it let alone how to help myself when it would strike.
For months, I walked around like a person who had a dark blanket over her head unable to see the outside world for what it really was. I couldn’t see a way past the feelings of loneliness and utter despair. I thought I was a disappointment to everyone around me, that I would never have a family of my own (let alone get married) and that I wouldn’t be able to make a difference in the world. Every girl desires to be the most beautiful woman out there but when society gets to you, it tells you that the skinny and most pretty face is what makes you beautiful. I wasn’t any of that and in turn, I wondered if I would ever measure up to someones definition of ‘beautiful’.
I couldn’t escape the negative feelings that overcame me. I would seek advice from my close friends but I wouldn’t believe what they said because I thought they were lying.
I really felt like I was alone in this battle that no one understood unless they’ve been in the same boat.
That was how I felt for 2 years. However, its different now.
April 24, 2014 will always be a day that will go down as a day that forever changed my life. I had gone in to see my counselor at school with every intention to hurt myself physically. However, after much discussion with her, my parents, and friends, the decision was made to check myself into the hospital. To say I was nervous would be an understatement. I had a good friend of mine drive me to the hospital 35 minutes away. As I walked in, I knew that it was too late to turn around but I also knew that I had to help myself and this was the way to do it.
I had gone through so many interviews as I sat in the ER waiting to hear what was going to happen. I had a nurse come in, take blood and tell me on her way out, “Everything is going to be okay.” At the time, I didn’t believe her. Then, came the interview with the counselor that would decide whether or not I was going to be admitted or not. As we finished with the interview, he said he would be back in a few minutes after he talked to his boss and their decision on what to do.
I sat in that cold room with my head against the wall wondering what the heck I was doing. I remember hearing a little boy screaming for his mom and dad and inside my head, I was screaming the same thing. The only difference in our situation was that his parents were nearby and mine were 2,000 miles away. I had tears streaming down my face because I knew deep down that being admitted to the hospital was either going to make or break me.
After 10 minutes, the counselor came in and told me I was going to be admitted. He walked out of the room and I immediately regretted the decision I made to go there. I hurried and messaged my parents, cousin, and a few friends before my phone battery died. The next thing that happened, I would never want to do again in my life. I had to ride in the back of a police car. The only thing the officer said to me was, “Life is going to get better. Just wait and see.” When he dropped me off at the Behavioral Health Center, I felt numb. I was now treated like a psych patient and the last thing I wanted was to be looked at differently.
I was brought back into this living quarter and honestly, if you were to look at it, you would think it was hell. I had to change into scrubs, get my picture taken, and all the belongings I had brought with me were taken away. I was told to sit on the couch with the rest of the patients and watch ‘Nacho Libre’. I sat down and tears started rolling down my cheeks. If I didn’t feel alone before, I sure felt alone then. At that point, the goal was to act as if things were better so I could get out faster. After day 1 of workshops and classes, that plan changed. I ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days. In the end, they were 4 days that would forever change my life.
When I was in the hospital, the nurse told me that the success stories of people who would go to the Health Center was very high. At the time, I didn’t believe it. A year later, I do.
A year ago, I lost my desire to live. I would cry myself to sleep and wonder why I had been forgotten by Heavenly Father. I had been told all my life that Christ would take away this pain that I was feeling but I didn’t feel his comfort or the strength that I had always been told about.
A year later, I’ve gained that desire to live. It didn’t happen overnight but over the course of the past year, it has grown tremendously. I no longer cry myself to sleep because I feel lonely. If anything, I cry for those that struggle with a mental illness and in no way can find a way out. There have been times where I do feel like I’ve been forgotten still by Heavenly Father but in all honesty, I think we all feel that way. When it comes to Christ, my relationship with Him and my love for Him has grown beyond measure. It is on those nights that I imagine him sitting beside me as I weep, wrapping his arms around me and crying the same tears I am. I do know without a shadow of a doubt, that he will NEVER leave me comfortless and he will NEVER leave you comfortless in your dark times.
Ironically, as I write this post, its during the time one year ago where I was in the waiting room anxiously waiting for my ride to take me to the hospital.
As I was at work today, I had a moment where I looked out the window and saw the hectic thing we like to call life. I stopped for a moment, and said a prayer of gratitude for the life that I’ve been given and for how much I’ve grown the past year. I noticed that my eyes started to well up with tears but this time, a year later, they were different tears. These tears that were now welling up, were tears of gratefulness, love, and understanding. The tears that were shed a year ago, were tears of loneliness, sadness, and weakness.
Life isn’t easy and it never will be but I know that with my different outlook, it will have a different meaning to me now. I love the life I’ve been given. I love the family and friends that I’ve been eternally blessed with and more importantly, I’m eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven who gave me this beautiful life, the beautiful moments, and the beautiful people he has placed coincidentally in my life.
April 24, 2014 was the start of a new life. It was the start of me realizing who I truly can be and who I can become.
Life has all of a sudden become a beautiful thing. Its not perfect by any means but right now, its my own kind of perfect.

My name is Kaitlyn. I am a survivor of depression. I will stand. 

This story was originally posted here: Be the change you wish to see in the world but published here with permission. 

Related Story: Stronger

4 comments:

glenda said...

Beautiful story! Best to you always!

Caitlin Martinez said...

Beautiful

Caitlin Martinez said...

Beautiful

Alison C said...

Thanks so much for sharing your story!

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