One year ago today I officially reached rock bottom and had the scariest wake up call of my life.
Most of you may remember, some of you have never heard, but I was admitted into the hospital with a nervous break down and almost took my own life.
For those who have never heard my story, I am not at all ashamed to tell it. Those who know my story, you know why I share it. If a mother of three, married, with everything to lose can fall so low, it can and does happen to anyone. If I can help one person feel like they are not alone and give them hope, then sharing my personal story is worth it.
Since I was 15, I've suffered from severe anxiety disorder and depression. A lot of this stems from losing my father at such a young age. I was 9 years old when my father suffered a massive heart attack and died at home with my mother and I present. It was by far the most traumitizing event of my life and it has affecting my emotions ever since.
My anxiety attacks became debilitating over a year ago. I was having multiple attacks daily, rushed to the ER more times than I can count with heart palps, shortness of breath, black outs, shaking, and feeling like I was losing control. I couldn't work, leave my house, or even participate in simple things such as a family dinner without having an attack. The worse it got, the more depressed I became. For a solid month I didn't leave my bed for more than a couple minutes at a time to use the restroom and eat something small. I was popping xanax more than I was eating. I lost many friends, my family was desperate to get me back and frustrated that nothing seemed to help, and my children were losing their mother. I finally reached out from my dark room one night and wrote a letter on 0409, crying out for help. A dear friend of mine immediately contacted the police and I was admitted into the hospital the next day for a week, closely supervised, and forced to deal with my demons. Even through all that, I still felt as though I wanted to give up. It wasn't until my children and husband came to visit me one night and my son handed me a card he had made at school. It had a big pink heart on the front and said "I miss you mommy". On the inside he wrote "I can't make it without you". I don't think I've ever cried as hard as I did that night, laying in a cold bed in a room with nothing but a small desk and dresser with a few of my clothes. No pictures, no family, no friends, no phone, no computer, no tv, no radio, just me and this card from my son. The first time I read it I thought, "oh he misses me because I'm in the hospital", but the more I read it over and over again, it hit me. He misses his mommy.....period. The mommy that took him to the park, the mommy that baked cookies and cuddled with him at night while watching a movie. He missed his old mommy. Then something else hit me. "He can't make it without me". I almost put him and he's brother and sister in the position that they would have to. How would that affect their life? The way it did mine when I lost a parent as a child? WAKE UP CALL.
After I was released from the hospital, I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would never again let my anxiety control me. I would never again lay in my bed, feel sorry for myself, and give in to trials of life. I wake up every morning, despite what kind of day I had before, and I thank God for it. My relationship with the Lord is 100 times what it was a year ago. Lots prayer, faith, and determination got me to where I am today. I still have anxiety attacks occasionally, but instead of giving into them and letting them win, I give myself 10 minutes to meditate on what's causing the anxiety, pray about it, and LET IT GO. I don't lock myself in my room and swallow a bunch of pills. Instead, I give it to God and trust that he will provide.
When I begin feeling down, depressed, overwhelmed, or like I miss the old behaviors, choices, or friends that enabled my breakdown, I pull out that card from my son (its in my bible) and I read it. Nothing is worth my son........or anyone in my family.....having to "miss me" again.
If anyone suffers from anxiety disorder or depression and needs someone to talk to, NEVER hesitate to contact me. There is light at the end of that tunnel and you can get through it. Don't let giving up be an option.