This morning as I was sitting on the couch, my mom looked at me and said, “It’s been 3 years.” I was confused for a minute until she specified that it has been 3 years to this day that I attended my first appointment with my psychiatrist. All day I’ve been thinking about the past 3 years. All that has changed. I’ve adjusted at least 5 different medications, seen 3 different psychologists and I’ve attended 5 semesters of college.
3 years ago, I was in the lowest of lows. I have never felt so depressed then I did then. I wanted to die. I wanted to completely give up because it felt like something was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I hold down a job? Why couldn’t I hang out with friends or even make friends for the matter? Why did I feel like people hated me? Why did I hate myself? I felt like nothing was working. I couldn’t fix it. I was doing what I was told; I was going to the temple, trying to make it to church, praying, reading my scriptures, nothing was changing.
I remember going in and sitting with my doctor. He looked at me and asked me what was going on. I burst into tears and told him everything from the start. All the death in the family, me being bullied, my panic attacks, my constant fear, the thoughts I had about stabbing my mom. He listened intently as I described it. I explained that another doctor told me I was bipolar and that I had the potential of killing someone. (Never say that to a person battling with their mental health) And then he asked, “Do the thoughts of harming you or others cycle?” I told him yes and he listened a little longer before telling me, “I think you have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.” (Something to that extent, I can’t remember the exact phrasing) He explained to me what it was and for the first time I felt like someone actually got it. I wasn’t doing this for attention, I wasn’t lazy. I had a mental health disorder.
He had my parents join us and explained it to them. It seemed to make sense but I still felt like crap. Over the next 2 years I would be adjusting medications and going to therapy on a weekly basis. I would be putting myself in uncomfortable situations and trying to move forward.
By 2017 I started college again, in April of that year I got a summer job. Unfortunately, my employers didn’t seem to understand the severity of my mental illness and decided that they couldn’t provide the accommodations I needed and I lost my job 4 months in. After that things fell apart for another couple of months. That’s when I decided that something wasn’t working.
January of 2019 I met my current psychologist and since then things have taken a really good turn. Don’t get me wrong, my other psychologist was amazing. He helped me through a lot of hard things in regards to anxiety but I found that my current psychologist really understands OCD. He has helped me with my compulsions and I can honestly say that I am doing better.
Today I decided to work through a fear of mine by going for a drive. I don’t like driving, it’s very scary for me but it’s one of my next therapy goals. So, I drove my mom to a grocery store that is placed in a spot with not too many people. As I was driving home we were talking and I told her that this year has been the best year of my life. I have never felt so secure about myself, I have never felt like I wanted to set goals or to keep going. My life has direction and most importantly I love myself.
I am almost in tears as I type this out because 3 years ago, I truly wanted to end the pain. I didn’t see a future. And now here I am going into my last semester of college before I have my associates in business. I’m driving on occasion, I’m attending my church service for both hours, I’m communicating with my parents, I’m helping my mom cook twice a week and I’m happy.
I want you to know that I know how hard life gets. I know that it may seem easier to give up, but it’s not! You can be happy, it will take time, it will take patience, it will take work… but I believe in you. Please reach out to someone if you are struggling. Please give yourself more credit for all you do. You’re problems and struggles are real. Don’t let anyone tell you that your feelings don’t matter. They do.
Thank you for your support, it truly means the world. Please be kind to yourself, you’re doing your best and as always remember You Got This!