If you are currently suffering from a mental illness and it is affecting your ability to work and survive, social security disability benefits may be an option for you but can be a complicated subject for many. Knowing who qualifies, how to maximize your chance of getting approved, and how payments are calculated is crucial information to know. I recently had a law firm who offered a link to a guide about navigating social security disability benefits and includes just about everything they could think of. Check out the guide:
They put a lot of work into making this guide and thought it would be a great addition to my page. If you are local to Birmingham, AL I also know an attorney close to here personally that specializes in this same thing.
Normally when I have something published by the Mighty, a mental health website, it is usually a blog I have already published here, but this time, it is a submission I sent in regarding what helps me manage my illness. Please check it out at the link below….
So yesterday, I finally rented the movie A Mouthful of Air on Amazon. It is a movie about a woman who gets postpartum depression. There will be major spoilers in this if you have not already seen it and there are so many triggers in this. If you are easily triggered by discussion of suicide or suicide attempts, please do not read ahead. I am trying to be more understanding of people’s triggers, but I personally like to be triggered so I can face things head on. Many don’t understand it, but it is often part of how I heal. I already had seen and heard spoilers before I watched this movie, but they were much needed to emotionally prepare me to watch it personally. I was told before watching that the character takes her own life, and when I saw that the movie was rated R, I expected some graphic scenes I did not want to watch, but that was not the case. I am honestly not sure why it is rated R. I guess you cannot even openly discuss suicide without it being rated that, but why? I think it should be PG-13 personally.
There is a warning at the beginning that if you have a history of depression and anxiety this may be hard to watch and there are tons of warnings elsewhere warning many they may not want to watch. I do have that history, and it was hard to watch, but I am still glad I did. I personally am far enough in the healing process I thought I could handle it and I could. Not only did I handle it, despite the sad ending, relating to the character still comforted me in ways, that feeling again of not being alone, but it also brought so many emotions back for me again. I cried during the movie, and I cried for a little bit after the movie had even gone off. I know I am making a truly hard sell on watching this, right? But hear me out. I often feel that those close to me probably think I dwell on the worst time in my life, but that is not the case. I will never stop talking about it because it would have helped me if others had talked about, if others had warned me, that is it. I am happy now, my life is great, and I am thankful that my story ended with my daughter reading a book about how I conquered it instead of the book the daughter in the movie got. I also hope that one day my story, or at least one more like it, will become a big movie to show people the happy ending you can have, but I do also think it is important to see the possible unhappy endings too.
I am going to try to possibly get rawer in this post than ever before, which those of you know me know that is pretty raw, and I will try to turn this into a podcast soon for those of you who prefer it to blogs. I did not have a happy ending because I was braver or stronger or a better person than the woman in this movie. I also did not have one because I had more support than her, she actually had more than I did because no one around me knew what was going on because I was even better at the character at hiding it for a very long time, but even once I no longer did, most did not seem to understand and seemed angry at me instead. Even though I had never been the person it was all about, it was always about everyone else, I think for once I wanted it to be about me, I needed love and help and attention and I was treated the same as people who act like that their entire life, even though I had never acted like that before. I thought it was my turn, but instead I eventually learned to set boundaries and take better care of myself.
I never tried to take my own life. I prayed to go to sleep and not wake up, that way it would not be my fault, and no one would be mad at me, but I could still have peace and the pain could go away. I had thoughts about if an 18-wheeler swerved into my lane and hit me I would not care when driving alone and the thought of driving into a wall or off a bridge sometimes crossed my mind for a moment, but I am not sure if I could have ever actually acted on it. People are often called cowards for committing suicide, but I honestly think being a coward saved me. Recently watching the Yellowstone Prequal 1883 with my husband, a character who lost her husband and 7 children to death ends her life with a gun to her head after her last remaining child dies. While burying the character, Sam Elliott’s character mentions how brave she had to be to do that, and Tim McGraw’s character disagrees at first, but Sam Elliott continues to basically say that it took guts. I knew what he meant. We don’t want to say that because it feels like we are encouraging suicide, but that is not what he meant nor is it what I mean. The thought of cutting myself or shooting myself or doing anything else painful to myself just never truly crossed my mind and never has. However, if there had been a pill in front of me that I could have taken and known it would have happened quick, I might have done it. I had heard of people taking a lot of pills but often that did not work and resulted in them waking up in the hospital upset they were still alive and now everyone was mad at them, and they were in physical pain as well.
I watched the first season of 13 Reasons Why before they cut the graphic details of the suicide scene. I honestly never knew how people slit their wrists until seeing it portrayed in that show. I honestly thought people must just cut the bottom of their wrist and it is a spot that just bleeds so much you would die quick, but no she went all the way up one arm and then the other and died a lot slower than I thought. My arms hurt watching and not only did I not want to do that, but I had even less of a desire than ever before to ever think about doing anything like that to myself. In the movie, those around the main character were not aware of her condition at first until she tried to take her own life once and failed in doing so. When she is later explaining to her doctor and her husband why she did what she did, I did relate to that part though. She said that any time she was alone with her child she would constantly worry something was going to happen to him. If she got distracted at all while giving him a bath he might drown, something might fall on him, he might fall and hit something, etc. She thought he would be better off with someone else and someone else was on the way over to visit and she did it then because she knew that person would take care of the baby.
In another part of the movie, the main character can hardly hold a conversation with other adults because she is constantly watching her son and worrying about him even when around tons of other people. I was the same way. I worried if I looked away for a moment someone might take her, or everyone else might not be paying attention and she might run off or hurt herself or tons of other horrible scenarios and it would be my fault because I am her mother, and it is my job to protect her. My worst fear was something happening to her and the burden of constantly trying to stop or prevent that was too much to bear making me at times want to run away or wish I’d never had a child or making me wish for death for relief. In one line of the movie, I believe it is when she leaves behind a children’s book that she wrote to explain to her daughter why she did what she did, but how much she loved her, she says, “She knew the beauty she was leaving behind, yet her pain was so bad, death was her only option.” She discusses how the little girl, and her mommy were best friends, but the mommy got sick and could not get better. The mom had been on medication, but when she found out she was pregnant again when her first child was still a year old and not even out of diapers, she was afraid to take her medication because she thought it might hurt the baby and prevent her from breastfeeding and bonding with her child.
I have been in a lot of online support groups and often women have more children before they have even healed from postpartum depression. They also often refuse to take medicine despite the advice of their doctors and/or family and friends for the same reasons. This happened in the movie. So, despite having support from others, despite knowing medicine helped, she chose not take medicine but even that decision was not rooted in selfishness, it was out of concern for her child. Her OBGYN told her once in the movie that he now asked women how they were doing emotionally not just physically when they came in for appointments. When I say the movie brought back emotions, anger was one of them in moments like that one, like why was this not already a thing? But mixed with that anger was hope, that what she went through, despite the sad ending, did change people, people around her did grow from the experience and learned, but that is possible even with a happy ending I can say, speaking from experience.
I lost a fellow author and friend to suicide a little while back. This friend had already tried once and actually used that experience to blog and write books like me and try to help others. However, like in the movie, he had been through such bad childhood trauma he still could not overcome it and the second time he attempted, he did not fail. I don’t know that we can always prevent it. We want to and we often blame the person and/or ourselves, but I think our number one focus personally should be trying to prevent these traumas from happening in the first place, so people do not have to overcome them, and I do feel that overall, that is happening in so many ways. I think everyone has some trauma and some can overcome it, and some cannot, but it is not as simple as being a better person or being stronger or having more support. Support often can and does help and I still strongly encourage it, but when I say I have some childhood trauma it comes from many things, but I also still feel like I had a pretty good childhood overall. Also, when I went through what I did, my mom and stepdad did not understand at first, but like every other time in my life, they tried their best to be there for me and my daughter. We all made mistakes along the way, but we learned from them, and we learned from each other.
My friend who died by suicide was molested as a child by a neighbor and I don’t think much if anything was ever done to the person who did it. Yes, we have all been through trauma, but I had not been through as much trauma as he had been. You just never know who has been through worse and what people’s limits are. A person can only take so much. Despite the sad ending for my friend, he still impacted many lives before he passed, including my own. He helped me in being brave enough to share my story and he helped me become more confident in being my true self. Even in those unhappy endings, you can still find some good.
Picture Source -Unsplash (https://unsplash.com/photos/rXrMy7mXUEs) “This is a guest post, written by Lucille Rosetti. You can find more information about her, her book Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved and other articles at bereaved.org. While I think some of this is helpful, as someone who suffers from OCD and anxiety, I realize cleaning and decluttering doesn’t always help your anxiety and sometimes having to do so may make it worse, while other times once the mess is gone, I feel so relieved. I personally have benefited many times from yoga breathing during a panic attack and it has helped calm me. I hate drinking water and have to force myself, so some of these hacks and tricks below are easier said than done, like the drinking one if you suffer from alcoholism, and of course we all have the intention of eating healthy, drinking healthy, getting enough rest, etc. but we don’t live in a perfect world and that is not always easy to do, but these things can help certain people at times, and some may be at least worth trying, especially when you want some immediate relief and don’t have medication, therapy or other methods immediately available, or if they take some time to help since they usually do…” -Amanda Dodson Gremillion
Easy to Implement Hacks and Tricks to Reduce Anxiety
If you ever have feelings of extreme stress or anxiety, know that you are not alone. In fact, one out of every five people have had some form of anxiety disorder and are looking for solutions. Luckily, there are many different natural methods that you can try to reduce these feelings and feel better overall as you go through your days. Here at Just Buy Her a Dress, we love to promote relaxation with our meditation and life coaching lessons, so we have great tips for how you can reduce the potential for anxiety attacks and live an overall happier life.
Listen to Relaxing Music
Whenever you are feeling stressed or a situation in life is starting to cause panic, take the time to listen to some relaxing music. Something soft or ochestrial will do wonders. To get the best experience, listen to your favorite music through a set of noise-cancelling headphones, which come in many different formats and sizes and you can take them with you wherever you go. Find a quality pair that fits in your budget. You won’t regret it.
When you feel an anxiety attack coming on, then you need to take a moment to calibrate and centralize your breathing so you can return back to a feeling of normalcy, and you can do that by practicing yoga. The idea of yoga is not so much about losing weight as it is about toning your body while focusing on meditation so you can make your stress melt away. Even if you don’t often deal with anxiety attacks, yoga is a great activity to pair with cardio and weights to create a healthier lifestyle.
Clean Your Home
If you often feel anxiety while you are at home, then it could be your residence that is causing the stress. This can often be the case when your home is full of unnecessary messes or clutter because the lack of organization can cause confusion and a feeling of suffocation. You can remove bad energy from your home by clearing the clutter, wiping down all surfaces, and then you can ensure that that negative energy stays away by lighting some sage and bringing it through the home so it can do its work and cleanse the premises.
Avoid Fatty Foods
There are many reasons to consume a healthy diet. The most obvious reason is that by being smart about what you eat, you will be in better shape so you can feel better overall and live a longer life, but there is also a mental health component. Many bad foods like those sold at fast-food restaurants contain trans fats which slow down our bodies and make us feel sluggish.
There are also many fatty acids that can affect our brains and our behaviors, leading us to feel anxiety. While the occasional unhealthy meal is okay, try to stick to healthier options like salads, high-protein foods like fish, and nuts and almonds that are high in vitamins and antioxidants.
Alcohol is Not the Answer
If you are feeling down, the last thing you should do is resort to drinking alcohol to feel better. The issue is that by drinking beer and liquor, you can actually feel worse because these beverages are considered to be a depressant that slows down our bodily functions and the way we think. If you are feeling depressed, the best beverage you can have is a cold drink of water because it helps your brain to work faster while improving your concentration so you can be more productive and less anxious.
In the end, trying the tips above will help you to feel better overall so you reduce the chances of an anxiety attack and live a happier life.
When I got severe postpartum depression after my daughter was born, I found myself analyzing my entire life wondering how I went from someone who was so happy most of the time, to someone who did not want to live anymore. I eventually came to realize that I had always had OCD and it caused Anxiety and I finally got help for it. I also finally realized that I had depression at one other point in my life and had not even realized it. When I was in middle school, we moved for the third and final time. I had just started 6th grade and was almost 12 years old. We had moved a couple of times before due to my stepdad being promoted. The first time we moved from where I was born in Alabama near Anniston to South Carolina. I was only 6 at the time and had just started school so the move was not devastating to me, and we did not have a lot of money before and now we would have more. I did miss some family though, so when we did get to move back to Alabama two years later I was actually excited about that move, and it meant even more money again, because we were still far from being well off. We would still be two hours away from where we before, closer to Huntsville, but that was better than how far we were now.
We ended up living in this new place for almost four years and it ended up being my favorite place we ever lived. We moved right around by 8th birthday so I remember my family taking me to Chuckecheese because I did know anyone else yet. We lived in the country on three acres. My mom and stepdad still rented the brick house we lived in, and would not finally own their own home until our next final move. We got a new dog once we had been there about a year that my parents would end up having until she died of old age when I was 23, the year I got married. I will never forget the day we got her. My parents called us all into the living room and we thought we were in trouble, then my stepdad walks in with a little mixed weenie dog puppy from the pound we named Sissy. Sissy was a major part of my childhood and truly a member of the family. She was always following us kids around wanting to be involved in everything we did, and finding her way in to most pictures. I eventually made a best friend who was like a sister. We were always at each other’s houses. She loved my dog too and I loved her cats. We both took baton lessons at the same place outside of school. She got off the bus with us the day of the Blizzard of 1993 hit until her dad could come get her, and we got the closest to making a truly large snowman we ever had as Sissy was hopping through the snow nearby chasing rabbits.
When another move and possible promotion a couple hours away near Birmingham, AL came up not long after that, I was not happy about it this time. The dog even had a hard time with the move, because we went from the country to the suburbs and she went from 3 acres and wandering as she wished and coming back in the house whenever she wanted, to a fenced in back yard when she was not inside. My mom had to start taking her for walks in the morning, and she would often break free if we left a door open too long, but she always came back usually within about 3 hours or less. She also once learned how to jump their small fence until my stepdad found something to put at the top of it to stop her. The move was hard on my mom as well. Where we used to live she would get off at 4pm every day and went to the gym regularly with my stepdad. In the new place, with the same company, they often worked her to death and she would sometimes work until 9pm. Our allergies seemed to get worse and we all got sick more too, and I think it was partially due to living closer to a bigger more polluted city like Birmingham.
Right before we had moved I got a call I had made Silver Belles, which was the highest honor at my baton place. High school girls were in it and I was going to be in 6th grade! My mom had trouble finding a baton place like the old one I went to at first and I never got put back into it. By the time I could try out for majorette in high school, which they would not let you do until 10th grade here, I did not think I was good enough to even try to make it anymore. I think my sister had just made the dance team before we moved, so I know she went through her own similar troubles. My stepbrother was in college by this time, but our move to the country I loved so much, was the move I think was the hardest on him. He was in high school and went from a big city to a country high school, and just did not feel like he fit in, and he had to leave his long time girlfriend.
I would eventually understand his pain. In this new school district, there were as many people in the high school for 9th to 12th grade as their had been at the entire K-12 school I went before. Yes, every grade was in one school so it was an adjustment to say the least, especially at a time I now realize is hard for most kids that age regardless of moving. My daughter is now 13 and in 8th grade and 6th grade was a rough year for her and most of her peers. Everyone is hormonal and mean and going through so many changes. I felt like there were already cliques here and we did not have those yet at my old school, or maybe we did but I had so many friends I had not noticed them until I had no friends at first. Even though I had always enjoyed school and did well in school, the first couple of years I cried a lot and I missed a lot of school due to migraine headaches. My mom had migraines before and knew how painful they were, so she did everything she could to try and help me. She would miss work, which I felt bad for, to take me to a headache clinic, I had an MRI done and was checked for jaw issues, etc. We never figured out the cause, but the headaches eventually stopped. I now realize it is because over the next two years I would eventually have a good group of friends and was very active playing drums in band and loved it. I also enjoyed high school even more and ended up meeting my future husband there. The fact he had to move here in 7th grade and leave his best friend was probably what bonded us the most.
Back when we moved, we did not have Facebook and face time, etc., but now we do and I do keep in touch with my childhood best friend. She lives in D.C. now and I have met up with her time both times I visited. Instead of mourning how close we might have still been today had I not moved, I now realize I might not have my husband or daughter if we had not, and moving enabled us to have opportunities we never would have had otherwise and resulted in some generational curses being broken. I truly think I had depression back then now. It was not talked about as much back then so my parents nor I had any idea, but I feel like if the same thing happened to my daughter today, I would realize it and be better able to help her, and I think that means we have made a lot of progress in society, although we still have a ways to go of course.
I have never been what you would call a helicopter mom. Even when my child was pretty young, I would not hover over her at the playground, fearing every boo boo that might come. Even now that she is older, I am one of those moms who would let you fail if you just refuse to do your own homework. This has never been an issue though because she does it, usually without help, but I do help when occasionally needed of course. However, when it came to things that could be life or death, such as swimming, or getting into things once she could crawl and walk, I constantly worried and hovered. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and it causes Anxiety. It got severe postpartum before I finally realized I had always had it and got some help. Medication, therapy and a lot of other things helped. Once she got old enough to not get into everything that helped as well.
Looking back, I would have maybe done more to make me feel better safety wise too. I mean I baby proofed and took certain precautions, but years later I now work in a preschool where the environment is set up for kids to play freely without constant fear of them getting into everything. It is harder to do that with your entire home, but maybe with certain areas at least you can. Also, when it came to swimming, I would have scheduled swim lessons sooner, as early as possible. You can even teach babies. What happened to me though, apparently happens to a lot of people. It is like that overprotective mama bear goes overboard. You take sole responsibility for this new life and think anything that happens to them is now your fault and responsibility, even things that may be out of your control. Of course it is good to be protective of your child, but not to the point that you are in a constant state of panic and anxiety.
Many women have thoughts of something bad happening to their child, and when they have them as often as I did and they become obsessive, you will often hear them called intrusive thoughts. Sometimes, these even turn into thoughts of the mother hurting the child. This did not happen to me, but I will say as I have said many times before, that if a mom admits to having these thoughts and ask for help, she is asking for help because she feels guilty for having these thoughts. She does not have control over them and she does not want to hurt her child. She is being a good mom, doing the right thing, and deserves to get help without judgment or without having her children taken away. I had a friend tell me she once thought about driving into a pole with her child in the car years before when she had postpartum anxiety. She thought for a moment that she would be doing the right thing by taking her daughter with her. I instead wanted to run away at times, or prayed to not wake up, or had thoughts about driving into stuff when alone, thinking my daughter would be better off without me.
It was so conflicting to be such a protective mama bear, scared to have anything happen to a child you love so much, but at the same time feel so overwhelmed being this mama bear, that you just felt like you could not keep going sometimes. It is because no one can keep going in the state I was in, and no one should have to. They need the help I eventually got and wish I had gotten sooner. My daughter is 13 now, and deep down, my worst fear is still something happening to her. I do not think that fear ever goes completely goes away as a parent, so a little fear of that is normal, just like a fear of death in general. As Eleanor on the show the Good Place once said, “All humans are aware of death, so we are a little bit sad all of the time. That’s just the deal.” I think she is right, that is the deal, but I have learned to live with it and to not let it consume me anymore, because that does not have to be part of the deal.
We have probably all heard the term “trust your gut”. I have even told a younger person while giving them advice, that if you ever get that gut feeling that tells you this might not end well, to listen to it. Then I realized, maybe this was not the best advice. I mean this had been true for me at times, but so many other times, it was not. Actually, I often had that feeling in my gut, but nothing ever actually went wrong. I spent so many years in fear of having fun because, well, something may go wrong. I often thought of the worst case scenario. Ironically, the times in my life when the worst scenario did happen, I never even saw it coming.
Thanks to this, and thanks to of course finally getting actual help for my Anxiety, I started relaxing and having more fun. When you have Anxiety, your body is often stuck in fight or flight mode. Your body thinks you are still living as a caveman constantly worrying about some wild animal attacking you. However, sometimes this is a good thing. In this blog, when I talk about the kind of anxiety everyone has, I will keep it lowercase. If I capitalize it, I am talking about the other kind of Anxiety. The other kind is when you are anxious all the time, or at least so often that it interferes with your life. It is when you feel anxious for what seems like no reason.
For me, it is when you are just going about your day and it suddenly feels like you are having a heart attack, it truly hurts and scares you. Actually, after it happens enough, it does not scare you as much anymore. You know you will be okay and that it is just a panic attack, but it still scares you a little, because the fact you did not see it coming and the fact that you are already on medication for it, and have been for a long time, means you still do not have complete control over it, and that scares you. It also still hurts and sometimes makes you cry. You also wonder if one day you might have a real heart attack and just think you are having a panic attack.
Even when you have this type of Anxiety, you still have the normal anxiety everyone else has. It is often hard to distinguish the two. When an actual panic attack occurs, it is easier for me to tell the difference of course. I know that I am either having one when there is nothing to be anxious about in the moment, or having a more anxious response than most to something it is normal to feel anxious about. Even when it seems there is nothing to be anxious about, I often think that maybe it is because there are things I have been anxious about, and not dealing with that have built up. I also sometimes get that heart attack feeling in a moment where any other person would be anxious, but most not anxious enough to have a panic attack, so I know the panic attack part is still a symptom of my Anxiety. I saw my stepdad experience this when he once had a stroke and he kept losing feeling in half of his body in the hospital. Every time, he got anxious, worrying it might be permanent, like any person probably would, but his kind of anxious, was the capital A kind and he had panic attacks. Luckily, it eventually quit happening and was not permanent.
There are other times, where I feel anxious in a moment where anyone would feel anxious, and react the same way most people would react, yet I still question if that is what is happening. I have explained this all to my daughter, because she seems like she might have the capital letter kind like me. I was hoping she would not, but at least she will know earlier than me to not always fear your gut, and maybe she will get help and relax and have more fun earlier than I did.
When my daughter was a toddler, like many, we used to joke it often sounded like she was speaking a different language. She talked early and often, but at times only my husband and I could understand her. As she got even older, and we were still sometimes the only ones that could understand everything she said, some started suggesting something might be wrong. Maybe it was because I was still recovering from severe postpartum depression at this point, but that bothered me so much at first. I don’t know if I felt it was my fault or I thought it somehow made me a bad mother, but it made me defensive at first. My husband and I also did not have any speech issues that I knew of when younger, but some of our family did. Eventually I gave in, got her the help she needed, which turned out to just be speech therapy, and we saw almost instant improvement. This therapy continued for a bit and helped make sure she was ready for Kindergarten.
However, in second grade, one of her teachers, who we still call the best teacher she has had even years later, noticed something with her speech that most probably wouldn’t. She only noticed because her daughter had the same issue. This time, I had no guilt, and did not hesitate to accept the free speech therapy offered by the school, (well, not really free, but paid with our tax dollars, but still, we had to pay the first time, so this was nice). My daughter continued this therapy off and on through the years until recently, and it has helped her tremendously. There are other children I have known, who are now adults with a stutter, because they never got the help they needed, whether it was because the parents felt guilt or shame, or did not want their children to, or for other reasons, I do not know.
I often try to imagine if my daughter had turned out to have a more serious issue, and how I would have handled that. Looking back of course, it seems silly for me to have been so defensive about my child possibly needing speech therapy, when others have much more serious issues. Maybe one of my fears was finding out it was a more serious issue, or it was my daughter experience shaming for having it, like she wouldn’t if we tried to ignore and it and did not get help for it. Of course I felt a little guilty in retrospect, but I have learned it is important to not harp on guilt. As I recovered from my postpartum depression for instance, I also noticed positive changes in my daughter. This made me realize something I already feared, which is yes, I think our children do pick up on our depression, and the hard part is to stop dwelling on the guilt, and to work on getting better for them, and for you. My daughter does not even remember any of it now, but she does know about it, we do talk about it in case she ever goes through the same. She is now my biggest fan and encourager!
Even though her speech issues are resolved for now, she still shows signs of anxiety like me. Because of this, she often talks too fast for others to follow, especially when she gets excited. Of course, I think a lot of people, or maybe even everyone, does this to some extent when excited. I am the same way, because, even on medication, my mind is often full and I try to get it all out before I forget at times. This made some worry she still had speech issues at first, but the speech professionals agreed that was just fast talking, possibly from anxiety and possibly just from normal excitement. My daughter may have speech issues again later in middle school, or in high school, and if she does, I would again not hesitate to get her the help she needs. She also does not feel any shame, and realizes it is to help her. She is proud of how far she has come, and wants to maintain her progress, so I hope if she has any speech issues, anxiety issues, or anything else as an adult, or if she has children with them, that she does not hesitate to seek more help.
The worst day of my life was when my husband left me. We were both twenty-eight years old. I am now about to turn thirty-eight in less than a month. We were high school sweethearts. Our daughter was two years old. The day he left also happened to be the same day he had asked me out twelve years before. We were both sixteen years old. I remember the day Jay left in bits and pieces, like most things then. He probably remembers things differently than I do. I remember being up with Aubrie because, as usual, she would not sleep. I think I had to be up for work in about four hours. I could not wait for Jay to get home to offer me some relief. He was closing that night. I would often get excited at the sound of the garage door opening. That night, Jay texted me that he was going to Waffle House with some coworkers before he came home. This upset me and that upset him. I am pretty sure at this point he said he could not take it anymore and that he was leaving.
When Jay left, he did not take Aubrie with him, even though I was a mess. That was the moment I realized he still expected me to be her main caregiver. I just wanted him around more, and now he was leaving for good. I was angry that I was going to have to raise Aubrie as a single mother. I wanted to run away to the beach the day he left, and I thought about it. I knew Jay believed I would not do it. I wanted to prove him wrong. I wanted to make him, and everyone else worry. I could not go through with it. Even in this state, I thought too much about the consequences. I was so tired of thinking about the consequences. I think I even drove down the street at one point, and came back before I left the neighborhood.
The worst day of my life was also my first day towards recovery. It was the first time I acted in a way that finally made me, and everyone else around me, realize that something was wrong with me. I would later realize that I had always had #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety, and that both got severe after losing my father, having a baby, losing my grandfather and then losing my job. I also got so depressed I did not want to live anymore. I decided to stay with my parents and get some help. I went to the doctor and to therapy. I only missed one day of work. At the time, I worked in a retirement community, and we had a therapy dog. She must have sensed the pain I was in. She came into my office and put her head in my lap a lot that week.
After a year and a half of being on and off again, my husband and I eventually worked things out. Over the years it has made my marriage stronger, and I finally got help for my #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety. I no longer try to just power through both without help. I have also shared my story to help others, because the one thing I wish I had known was that I was not the only one thinking these thoughts and going through this. My experience changed me so much. I have always had an open mind and will continue to, but I eventually realized what my own beliefs were as opposed to what I was raised to believe. I truly found myself, and became more comfortable being myself and sharing my true feelings without shame. I kept trying to get back to the same person I was before, but that was not possible. I was different, but I finally realized that was not a bad thing. If I ever went through the same thing again, I would be more prepared. I was stronger. Even if I never went through the same again, I know I will go through hard times. That is just a part of life. Now I feel better prepared for this though.
People say time heals, and it does, but you are forever scarred. Most of the time, it is hard for me to remember feeling as badly as I did. Occasionally, something, often a song will remind me, and I will remember that pain just for a moment. If Jay had never left, I think I would have gotten better without getting as bad as I did and without needing as much help as I did. However, I might have not gotten the help I needed for my general #ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder and #Anxiety like I did. Also, like a lot of other women, I am not sure I would have ever completely realized I had #postpartum#ObsessiveCompulsiveDisorder/#Anxiety/#Depression. After sharing my story, I have had many women tell me they think they had it long ago without even realizing it. I think I was starting to get better right before Jay left. I was starting to realize something was wrong. I recently saw a quote that said, “Even though your wounds are not your fault, your healing is still your responsibility.” This took me a long time to realize. Most of the time you don’t get rescued. Even if someone tries to, they often fail, despite their best efforts. You must want to get better yourself. You must fight and save yourself most of the time.
I never thought I would relate to people who did not want to live anymore. I used to get angry at people who died by suicide. Like a lot of people, I thought it was selfish. I now know that the people who get to that point do not mean to be selfish at all. I have more sympathy and less judgment. They don’t realize they are just passing the pain onto others who love them. They truly believe you will be better off without them. They are suffering so badly, and just want to make it stop. There are better ways to make it stop. I never tried to kill myself or planned it out, but I did want to die at times. I am not sure if there had not been a pill in front of me that I could have easily taken at certain points, that I would not have. I am glad I did not. Life is better than ever for me now, and I hope to make others realize it can be for them too.