The Story that is My Life

My life as it has been and as it continues to unfold is a story. One story made up of many stories. One complex, yet simple story. One sometimes messy, but so beautiful story. One story that I wonder if it might be interesting to be told.

This blog is my attempt to put part, or parts, of that story into words, pictures, or whatever form my mind can wrap itself around or create from within myself to express what it is like to be the one inside Cindy's Story. This is an exploration on my part and on yours in reading, and seeing, and maybe even hearing. It is not necessarily chronological. It might not always make sense, but it is my expression. It is me.

You are invited to see how my story unfolds.....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Brief Description of My Experience With Mental Illness and Recovery

Here's a little silliness, then a brief description of my mental illness and recovery.

     I was first diagnosed with a mental illness in 2001. I had just returned from living overseas. I became majorly depressed with anxiety, agoraphobia, and psychotic symptoms. A friend of my family got me to go to a counselor, who got me to go to a doctor. I began antidepressants that then triggered mania. More medications were prescribed to help my Bipolar symptoms. Over the next years I became suicidal. I started cutting myself and hurting myself in other ways to cope. Finally, I made a suicide attempt, and I ended up in the psych ward. I have been it the psych wards in three different hospitals for a total of six or seven times of attempting suicide or self-harming behavior. After the 2nd time in the hospital, I could not leave until I was set up with outpatient therapy doing DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) for my Borderline Personality Disorder. I continued in that program for two or three years. This taught me how to survive and helped me learn how to reenter life. During those years, because of my depression, messed up sleep, and trying to get my medications right, I fell asleep while driving and totaled my car. No one was hurt. After I learned all I could from DBT, I still had many questions about God in the midst of all that I was dealing with in my life. I switched to a Christian counselor. He had taught the Bible for years, and could understand and help me through my questions. I also found that I was not the only Christian with a mental illness. I joined a support type group at my church. Another thing that I have had to deal with was PTSD related to my car accident and driving (which I quit for 7 1⁄2 years). I finally went to a Psychologist who used EMDR to help me to get over not being able to drive. I can now drive my car without the intense panic attacks that stopped me. Also, I no longer have the need to cut as I have learned other ways of dealing with negative emotions. I have realized that there is a reason for me to be alive, and I no longer have suicide as an option. I have accepted myself and my mental illness as God accepts me. I no longer hate myself. I now have a great compassion for other people who struggle like I do. I want to help bring awareness of mental illness and what it really is to people so that there will be understanding, so people can learn better ways to help us, and so that those who find they have a mental illness will not feel like they are the only ones who feel “crazy” and “bad” as I had thought. Hopefully, bringing awareness can also help reduce the stigma and fear we face as people with mental illnesses. 

~ Cindy