Your mental health is important.
This is a companion to my post about ending my involvement in Minecraft modding, and explains a bit more about what happened with my mental health in the past year or so.
In 2014, my grandpa Marvin died. That event was the impetus that pushed me into a downward spiral. About a year later, I was seriously contemplating taking my own life.
I am here today, writing this, because of a few close friends who refused to let me retreat completely inside my own head. They talked with me. They encouraged me. The helped me get help.
If you are struggling, please tell someone.
If someone tells you they are struggling, make sure they get help.
I cannot emphasize these two points enough. Talking to other people, opening up and being vulnerable about the whirlwind of thoughts scouring your mind, it is not comfortable. It doesn’t feel safe. Please, please do it anyway.
It took me almost half a year to get help.
Initially, despite a very obvious indication that something was very, very wrong with my mental health, I did not want to seek help. I went from my house, to my job, to my other job, back home, and went to bed to repeat the process the next day. I didn’t make time for it, and it took me several months to be ready to seek help.
When I say “took me several months to be ready to seek help”, what I mean is that it took me several weeks to overcome my fear of telling someone about my mental health struggles. When I finally did talk to a medical professional, the doctor I spoke to said that all my problems were caused by lack of exercise and sunlight. The doctor sent me to a behaviorist. The behaviourist tried to push me to accept depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts as the new normal for me.
I stopped going to therapy sessions with the behaviorist after a month. I was coming out of each session worse than when I went in. I had started calling in sick to work because I couldn’t handle going out of the house and dealing with people. It took me several months of effort to finally seek help again, and only then because I’d had another brush with death.
With help from several friends, I sought help the second time, with a different doctor. Within a half hour discussion, the doctor identified what was going on, and was helping me make a plan that involved therapy, exercise, medication, and several vitamin supplements. A month later, they doubled my medication dosage, and my path back towards mental health really got started.
That was about two months ago.
Now I’m talking about it. I want other people to know that a mental health problem is just as much of an injury as a broken leg or a lacerated arm. I’m healing.
I’m alive. I’m healing. It’s a slow process. But it does get better.
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