Friday, March 31, 2017

THE UPDATE



I can hardly believe that we're already almost done with three months of 2017. It seems like just yesterday it was New Years Eve and the idea of starting fresh was all anyone was talking about. Now that's died down and things have gone back to normal but I still haven't been writing on here. It's not because I don't have anything to say - I honestly just haven't had the time or energy to sit down and write about what has been going on. However, the other night a lovely friend stopped by my house with flowers and the loveliest of cards and as we sat talking for a couple of hours I realized just how much I've been keeping to myself lately. I have my family and a select few friends that I've let into my life on a daily basis but everyone else I've pushed away. I've let myself be isolated and stopped talking to anyone about what is going on and what I'm feeling. Now that I've had this realization I don't want to do it anymore. I need to share what's going on with me and be better about not isolating myself so much. So here I am taking the first step and writing about how I've been and where I'm at in my recovery process.

At the beginning of January I was admitted into an intensive outpatient program run through St. Luke's hospital. This turned out to actually be a partial hospitalization program which meant that I would spend five days a week 9am - 2pm at this treatment center for an unforeseen amount of time. For 6 weeks I faithfully attended treatment and I really liked it there. Don’t get me wrong it was a lot of hard work but I was learning a lot and seeing the benefits. During the time I was there my doctors were also messing with my meds and trying to stabilize me. This came with lots of bad side effects. I even ended up at the emergency room a few times because of it. My doctors and I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to be taken off of my main mood stabilizing medication (Lamictal) and put onto another (Lithium). Together we decided it would be safest if I checked into St. Luke’s hospital to do this. So March 2nd I checked in and I stayed at the hospital for 3 days in order to make the medication change. The experience was my no means horrible but it definitely is not something I’d want to ever do again. Since getting out I’ve still been trying to adjust to this new medication. The number one thing that it’s been doing to me is making me super sleepy. I can’t seem to wake up when I’m on it but with some recent adjustments I’m hopeful that maybe we’ve figured that out and things will get better.

I continue to remind myself that this is a journey, it’s not always going to be easy and it’s not always going to make sense, but it will be worth it. I’m still not 100% on board with this new medication, it does make me feel quite weird, but I’m hopeful that with time everything will straighten out. On Monday I start back up at the treatment center I was previously going to. It’s been nice to have a break but I have realized just how much being in treatment has helped me and I am very excited to go back and be able to learn even more. I also just want to say thank you. Thank you for your messages, letters, prayers, random visits and everything else you’ve done for me. It seems like whenever I have a rough day I receive a letter, text or something from someone that puts a smile on my face. You’ll never know how much the little things you’ve done have impacted me. I have felt and continue to feel your prayers on a daily basis. I could not do this without the support of everyone around me and I am eternally grateful for you all.

So that’s my update for now; this thing isn’t over yet - but I think we’re making progress.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 - A YEAR IN REVIEW

Dear 2016,

As I ring in the new year alone to the sounds of fireworks outside I can't help but reflect on the year you've been and the things that you've taught me; the really important things you've made me understand. I've realized just how truly wonderful and amazingly supportive my family is. I've learned that the bond the four of us have is important - perhaps the most important thing in my life. Together the four of us can get through anything. It might be hard and we might struggle but eventually, if we stick together, we'll figure it out. You've also shown me just how awesome my extended family is. That my aunts and uncles and cousins impact so much of my life. They've each been there for me and probably without even realizing it. I love them for how understanding they are when I'm often distant. 2016, you taught me to cherish these people and never let them go. Family is everything, and I truly know that now.

2016, you taught me that relationships are hard. That they might not always be as strong as I'd like them to be. That they will fall and crumble if I don't take care of them. That taking care of them is hard work; really hard work. 2016, you showed me that sometimes relationships aren't meant to be. That even sometimes I might have to take a break from certain ones. I'm not always in control and I have to learn how to live with that. I learned that not everyone is going to stick around. Even people I thought would always be there for me. But those core group of people who do stay, they truly are pretty astounding people. Sometimes I'm even going to have people reject me because of my diagnosis. People who don't understand and don't want to associate with the 'crazy person' because it's not always a walk in the park. 2016, you taught me that even romantic relationships are hard - especially with the diagnosis. I've realized that sometimes people aren't going to want me because they are afraid of me in the future. Afraid of what I bring to the table; my instability, disorder, and all that comes with it. I learned what it's like to have my heart break because of yet another thing this disorder has impacted. It's been a really hard lesson to learn but maybe it's better to find it out now.

Oh and 2016, One of the best things you've taught me is to trust my instincts. Even if they might not be popular with those around me. You've shown me that I know me best; better than anyone else in fact. I learned that if I trust myself, with myself, then I always end up where I'm supposed to be. It's been hard to learn how to take care of me first, but I think I've gotten the hang of it. I've learned that it's okay not to be okay. That it's okay to say no to things. That you can't help/take care of others until you do so for yourself. 2016, you showed me just how strong I really am. How much I truly can endure. I never knew I could do something like this. I never in a million years thought I'd be able to handle a diagnosis like this. It comes with so many parts and so many trials. There are so many factors that are out of my control and that's frustrating. But despite all that, you've shown me that I'm so much stronger than I have ever known.

So 2016, despite ringing in the New Year alone - You will not defeat me. I am stronger than you. You've taught me a lot but I'm not sad to see you go. I've learned that I really am all I need, all I've ever needed. I know I'm strong enough to do it, even if sometimes I feel like I'm doing it alone. I will not let what happened this year get the best of me. Here's to 2017. The year I focus on what brings me happiness. The year I sever ties with negativity and the people who bring it. The year I learn invaluable information for my future.

The year I truly find myself.

Sincerely,

Mandi

Sunday, November 6, 2016

THE ATTEMPT



This is potentially the hardest blog post that I will ever write. I contemplated even sharing this experience with anyone outside of my immediate family and yet here I am again telling the Internet. It's weird how life works out that way for me time and time again. I prefer to write when I'm in an okay state of mind but I'm absolutely not in that place right now and haven't been for awhile. Despite that, I've put off writing this for too long and I feel so strongly that I need to tell you this. So here it is - I'm really struggling right now. After my last post I really wish I could come back here and talk about all the progress I've made and how I've embraced this new information that has been thrown at me, but I'd be lying. In fact, I'm so far from embracing it that I have used any and every excuse to not learn about bipolar disorder. Every single time I sit down to learn more about it I end up overwhelmed and in tears.

My first mistake - I started keeping all these emotions inside and not letting anyone know I was struggling so badly. I know that bipolar disorder is the answer I've been searching for. I can very clearly look back at points in my life and see them as depressive/manic episodes. As I look back I realize that this started when I was in high school, maybe even earlier, and now here I am 26 years old and barely figuring my life out. It's hard not to feel like my life up to this point wasn't mine. Like these past 26 years were a dream and here I am now, facing a reality I never thought I would have to face. I've been living with this disorder for years but I'm just now realizing how ill I've been all along. I can't help but to feel at times like this disorder has taken everything from me. Before this I was working/going to school and was finally becoming a proper adult ready to take on life. In an instant that all changed for me. I’m unable to work and go to school because most days it’s a miracle if I make it out of bed and that frustrates me. I’m so dependent on others that it’s hard to deal with at times. It makes me feel guilty and like I have nothing to add to this world. Which leads into this very personal very scary experience that I feel like I need to share with you.

A few weeks ago I tried to commit suicide.

I've had suicidal ideations for months now but this time was different. I subtly said goodbye to people. I wrote goodbye letters to my family. I had the plan and this time - I attempted it. I'm not going to go into details but it's pretty obvious that it didn't work. I'm still here and I'm very grateful for that. I did something that I've spent years saying I would never or could never do. Yet I fully became this other person who could do those things. Who could say goodbye to their family and friends. I don't even know who that person is, but I know it's not me. It is from this experience that I have learned that I cannot do this alone. I cannot keep everything inside and to myself anymore. I need people. I need to talk. I need to share. I need support. I'm not good at needing things and asking for them, but I've reached a point where my pride cannot be in the way anymore. I'm asking for help. I need it now more than I ever have before.

As for where I'm at right now - I honestly don't know who I am anymore. I feel that this person I thought I was in the past wasn't really me; it was an illness. I was in there somewhere, but it's hard not to wonder how life would have played out had I been diagnosed sooner. I've been me for 26 years and yet I feel like I've never really known my true self. I don't know my "normal" anymore. Any emotion I have I find myself asking if it's a manic or depressive episode. I feel completely lost within myself because I don't have any sense of what normal/stable for me looks like. The more I force myself to learn the more afraid I get. I'm still overwhelmed with all this new information and honestly I'm unsure as to where I go from here. With the diagnosis I was able to get into my state's mental health program, which is absolutely a step in the right direction. I start meeting with my team on Tuesday and I'm hopeful but trying not to get too invested in case it doesn't work out. All I know now is that I need help to deal with this. Professional help. I know that I'm surrounded by so much love and support but at the end of the day - I have to do this myself.

This is absolutely the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm nowhere near being finished, but at least I'm trying right? That has to count for something.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

THE ANSWER

Sometimes we have really defining moments in our lives. Moments where we remember exactly where we were and what surrounded us when they happened. Moments that we truly will never forget. September 24, 2016 was one of those days for me. It is on that day that I walked into a psychologist’s office one person and came out feeling like I never knew myself at all.

If you’ve been following me for a while you will know that 7 years ago I realized that I needed to seek out help for what I thought was depression. After some minimal testing I was diagnosed with major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and social anxiety. At the time I felt that the diagnosis fit perfectly. It really did encompass everything that I was feeling. For 7 years I held onto that diagnosis and re-arranged and figured out my life based around it. I thought I was doing a pretty good job at handling things and living a normal and happy life. Sure there were times where I was really depressed but everyone gets sad right? I could deal with it. Here’s the thing; I think I’ve always known in the back of my head that this was more than just depression and anxiety. I just refused to acknowledge it. I had been tested for other things, like mood disorders, and while I did have some of the characteristics that fit some mood disorders I didn’t fully fit the criteria and so they were ruled out. After hearing that, I held onto it for dear life. Well, here I am 7 years later dealing with something that is very clearly not my original diagnosis. The majority of this year I have been very depressed, moments where I have felt so completely out of control; so much so that I voluntarily admitted myself to an emergency room under suicide watch one night.

My whole life all I have wanted is to be happy. At times in my life I have felt like I would never know true happiness. There was too much wrong with my life. Too many negative things that I had no control over. There were so many things I needed to start/stop doing before I could achieve true happiness. It was daunting, not to mention really hard. I didn't even know where to start. At the beginning of this year I met someone who truly pushed me to become a better version of myself. I finally started to be the person I always wanted to be but had previously felt like I never could. I kept thinking, wow I've really got it all together, shouldn't I be happy now? I was finally where I wanted to be - and you know what? I was happy for a couple months; truly happy. It was then that it all came crashing down.

I’m not going to go into detail about what I've been dealing with recently because I already wrote about it here but long story short, these past few months have been really rough for me. I have felt so out of control and all I've wanted was to get another diagnosis and find out what I'm dealing with now because it very clearly is not what it used to be. After months of fighting insurance and getting nowhere; an amazing human who I am so grateful to have in my life provided me with a way to bypass insurance and pay out of pocket to get the diagnosis right away. We were all tired of waiting, we needed answers now. After intense testing I found myself two weeks later on September 24, 2016 at my meeting with the psychologist to get the one thing I've wanted all year - a diagnosis.

I was the most nervous I have ever been for anything in my entire life. I think I knew in the back of my head that what I was going to hear was going to be the one thing I've run from my whole life. Despite my personal mental health journey only really starting in 2009 I've had experiences with mental illness my whole life, pretty bad experiences too. With people I swore I would never have anything in common with. People I never wanted to be anything like. I've always been such an advocate to end the stigma of mental illness yet this whole time I've had a personal stigma attached to this one word and I didn't even realized it. When my psychologist finally said the word to me I was terrified. My worst nightmare had become my reality. What do I do now?

It's taken me awhile to wrap my head around it. In fact, I cried for 3 days straight after finding out. Actually, I still cry almost daily. I feel alone, scared, and unsure of what to do next. I feel like I am a stranger to myself; I feel betrayed by my mind. How could I have this disorder and not realize it? But the truth is - I've known all along. I just always pushed it away and focused on something else. Trying so desperately to not recognize the signs I knew were there. This diagnosis is serious. This diagnosis is life changing. I honestly still don't know what to do with the information I have been handed. I couldn't accept it right away and while now I have come to terms with it, I haven't yet been able to truly embrace it. If I embrace it, it becomes absolutely real. The few people I really have talked to about it are so supportive and yet I feel almost no comfort in their words. I feel lost. I feel alone. I feel afraid.

Despite all of that; and after a very much needed getaway with my family, I have decided that I no longer wish to hide this. By keeping this secret I am keeping myself from fully embracing what it means for me and my future. I know without a doubt that this is the right diagnosis. I can see the signs not only now, but linking back into my high school years. So much of my life up to this point makes so much sense now. And while I'm grateful and feel comfort in knowing what has been going on with me all these years, I also feel terrified. I feel a loss for that perfect dream of who I was hoping to become. I know that now, I can still become that person, it's just going to have to be in a different way, it's uncomfortable, it's scary. I can no longer live like I used to. In order to be healthy and reach my true happiness I have to change basically everything about my life. It's quite a daunting task and I feel overwhelmed by it daily. I know that I'm no different today than I was in 2005; I just have more information now. I need to use it to my advantage. I've been living with this disorder for years without knowing it but it has now spiraled out of control and I need to take care of it. I think I needed everything I've been through so far to happen so that now in this moment I will take this diagnosis seriously and really put everything I have into living my best life with this disorder. I know it's going to be hard and there will be many ups and downs but with help I can figure out what I need to do to achieve the one thing I've always strived for - happiness.


Hi, I’m Mandi and I have bipolar disorder.

Monday, October 10, 2016

World Mental Health Day

📸: Kellie Harley

Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay which is something that over the years I have become very passionate about. I received my first diagnosis 7 years ago but if I would have had the knowledge I do now and if there wasn't such a stigma surrounding mental illness I would have been diagnosed many years earlier. 7 years ago I had no idea what mental health was and how to take care of it. Over the course of these last 7 years I have learned a lot about myself, my mental health, and ways to take care of it that work for me. Along this journey of learning about myself, I have become very passionate about mental health and educating those who, like me, grew up not knowing anything about it.

With everything that I've been through this year I am more passionate than ever about speaking out and educating others on not only my personal experiences but about mental health in general. Mental health is not just for the mentally ill. Much like our physical bodies, everyone needs to take care of their mental health as well. Mental and Physical health come together to create who we are as a whole human. Not all of us have a mental illness but all of us do need to pay attention and take care of our mental state. It is truly just as important as the things you do to take care of yourself physically.

As someone who has mental illnesses, some of which I've shared and some of which I haven't yet, I have learned the hard way how much of an impact mental health can have on you. I have learned how important it is to be aware of. I have learned how important it is to be educated about it. When someone you love is suffering with something that you may not know anything about it is still so important that you be there for them. Reach out, research, try to understand what they might be going through. A good support system is so so SO important.

For me personally I have an amazing support system. I honestly would not be alive today were it not for my core group of people. When you go through something as hard as this you realize just who you can depend on and who is just saying what they think you want to hear. If you feel inadequate to help someone, you aren't. Don't back off and distance yourself, just support and be there for them. When all this started for me my core group knew nothing about the mental illnesses I was dealing with. Some still don't really understand it but they are totally and completely there for me. You never know what reaching out to someone in distress might do. Be there for the people you love. Be present for the people you care about. It makes a world of difference. Trust me, I know.

In summary I guess what I want to say is; to those with mental illnesses - You are not alone. It may feel like you have no one and no one truly understands you but I PROMISE that is not the case. Let others help you. Let others lift you up. It's okay not to be okay. For those of you who don't have a mental illness - You still need to take care of your mental health. It is so very important, don't forget that. For those of you who have someone you are trying to support - You don't need to know everything about the situation to help. Just be a friend, be someone that they can turn to when they are needing someone. Just talk and listen and offer support. You never know when you're saving a life.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

"SOMETIMES TO STAY ALIVE YOU GOTTA KILL YOUR MIND"

You know that something is wrong when you listen to 21 Pilots and start relating to their words a lot more than you used to. But that's not the point, we already knew that something was wrong with me. That something in my head seems to be just...not right. It's frustrating to have that knowledge and yet everywhere you turn to for help there is one reason or another that they turn you down. If I've learned one thing these past couple of months its that getting mental health services is hard. My options are so limited, especially as a student who is on AHCCCS without any money to shell out for services. If I'm physically sick getting in to see a doctor is easy; it doesn't even take that long, a day or two at most. But because you cannot see this illness, because this illness is invisible, it is somehow less important. I've had my fair share of physical illnesses in my life and very few come anywhere close to this illness that's in my head. Dealing with this disease in my brain is at times torture. It's much easier to have a major surgery than to deal with living with these thoughts inside my head.

One night when I was having a really bad suicidal episode I sat alone in my room trying to figure out how to get myself out of it. I ended up grabbing my computer and writing out everything I was feeling. In the moment it helped but the next day when I read what I had written I was terrified. How did I write this? How did I feel so low and how was I so close to giving up? Often when I'm going through an episode like that I don't feel like myself. I feel so out of control and that is definitely reflected in the passage that I wrote. I wasn't sure I was going to share this but for whatever reason I feel like I need to. What's going on in my head and the things that I'm feeling are really scary when laid out in front of you. It's a shame that because this illness is not physical I have still yet to find any medical professional to help. To me, that just isn't okay. Mental health and physical health should be treated the same. They work together to create the whole person. They need to be treated as equals. Maybe someday they will be.

DISCLAIMER: If you choose to read this just please remember that this was weeks ago and as of writing this I am doing okay. I still feel this way occasionally but most of the time I am in a much better headspace than this. This is an extreme.


For the past couple of days I have felt like I've been walking on a ledge. I appear to be holding it together but in reality I'm a mess. I am just waiting to tumble. To spiral. To be where I am right now. I saw and felt the warning signs but chose to push through and keep my mask on. I don't like to let people down. I don't want to fall apart again. I've got it this time. Except I don't. I see the start of a spiral and I immediately shut it down. Leave the house, get out and keep my prior commitments, and then come home. Coming home is fine, home is safe. It is then I lock myself in my room and let it happen. Let the darkness overtake me. Suddenly I'm drowning. I reach out to people. This is what I've been told to do. I get frustrated because no one has the answer. Everyone talks logistically. Bless their hearts but they don't have what I'm looking for. I don't even know what I'm looking for. I try anyway. I already know what everyone will say. I've heard it time and time again. What no one realizes is that I'm tired. I feel helpless, useless, and utterly alone. I'm surrounded by the best people but no one understands what really is going on in my head. No one understands that at times like these I feel like I have zero control. I'm scared. Terrified. How does this happen? WHY does this happen? I wouldn't wish this feeling on my worst enemy. How do I stop this? Isn't there a way I can just make this all go away? Sleep. Death. It all seems so appealing. But no, back to logistics. I can't do that. So many people would hurt. I help people. I don't let people down. I don't hurt people. No death. So now what? I'm tired. How can I make this all stop. I'm tired. I don't think I can fight this much longer. I'm tired. Everyone keeps telling me how strong I am but I don't see it. I'm tired. Haven't I reached my breaking point yet? I'm tired. How much is too much? I'm tired. I can't do this anymore. I'm tired. You'd think I'd have run out of tears by now. I'm tired. I give up.

I am tired.


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

📸: Kellie Harley

When 2016 started I never would have imagined that halfway through the year I would be where I am right now. I started off this year with a medication revamp which ended up turning out really well for me. It was a rough few months but finally around April I started feeling amazing. In fact, I couldn't remember the last time I felt that good; that happy. I finally thought that I had found my solution and that I was going to be able to finally live the life I'd always dreamed of. So I started to do just that. I was finally able to not only live in the "real world" but be comfortable there. I took advantage of this and started doing things I hadn't done in years. This was great, but along the way I stopped doing certain things to take care of myself. This is where the problems started for me. I slowly but surely started taking the medications that manage my hormones (my hormones are imbalanced because of my PCOS) less and less until ultimately I wasn't taking them at all. I knew that I could never miss a dosage of my anti-depressants because that's dangerous, but a missed dosage of the other meds/vitamins would be okay, right? While that's probably the case I didn't realize that eventually this would turn into me not taking any of my other medications and vitamins at all. Once I realized what I was doing I knew I needed to fix it. I figured I could just jump right back into taking everything as normal and all would be well. So that's what I did.

July 4, 2016 started off just like any other day. I was happy, all was well, things were good. I spent some time with my family at my Aunt's house where we ate and celebrated the holiday; everything was great. I then left to hang out with a friend for a bit; everything was great. I ultimately ended up at home ready to get into bed. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, I was just hanging out doing my own thing and all of a sudden I started crying. Then came the sense of hopelessness that just surrounded me so out of the blue. I couldn't pin point anything I was upset about; nothing was wrong, nothing had happened, I couldn't even remember thinking about something that would make me so upset. This continued for an hour or so while I started to get ready for bed. Everyone in my house was asleep so no one knew that I was upset or had any idea that something was wrong. Finally it was time to take my nightly medications and as I sat there and looked at them I suddenly realized how tired I was. Then a thought came to mind, "I could take this whole bottle of Xanax mixed with this whole bottle of anti-depressants and just go to sleep and never wake up." At the time, that sounded pretty great to me. It sounded like the perfect plan. I had everything in place, all I needed to do was start swallowing the pills. Then something happened to me in that moment that I cannot fully explain. It was in that moment that I stopped and was able to look at myself and really see what I was doing. I immediately started sobbing and went to get my mom out of bed. Through tears I told her how I was feeling and that she needed to take all my medications from me and hide them. My mom took the medications away while I took my usual dosage for the night and got into bed. My mom then sat there with me until I fell asleep.

The next day I woke up and felt like I had been hit by a bus. We're talking body aches, headaches, grogginess, the whole thing. I was still incredibly sad and would have bouts of sobbing for absolutely no reason. My mom called my doctor and they couldn't see me for a couple of days but told me if I felt suicidal that I needed to go to the emergency room. So a few hours later I checked myself into the ER. After being medically cleared I had to wait for a crisis psych evaluation. Those hours that I spent laying in a hospital bed were miserable. I had to constantly have a hospital staff person with me and nothing was allowed in my room. It was during this time period that I realized just how serious all this had become. I felt so out of control, so powerless to do anything. I was scared because I didn't know what was going to happen to me. I didn't know how to deal with these new feelings I was having. Nothing made sense to me and I just wanted everything to stop. How did I end up here? A few hours later after an evaluation I was released into my mom's care with a list of mental health clinics, an appointment with someone who would help me set up various doctors visits, and a promise to follow up with my primary care physician. Finally, a couple days later I was able to meet with my doctor and she felt very strongly that this was happening to me because I went off of the medications that kept my hormones under control. So we took all those medications and cut the dosages in half in order to slowly reintroduce them into my system. Finally a game plan was in place! The problem was potentially solved! All I had to do was follow my doctors instructions and everything was going to be fine.

That was about three weeks ago. Things have not been as easy as I hoped. In three weeks I have had 2 suicidal episodes which have been pretty scary. My mental state is completely unpredictable and very unstable. Messing with my other medications has had huge effects on my mental state and so we are having to slow down that process and do a whole lot of waiting while we try to figure out exactly what is going on with me. In the meantime I have met with a counseling center to get that process going. I will be having another evaluation done where I will get another official diagnosis, just to make sure I am still dealing with what I was diagnosed with 7 years ago. I will also be set up with counseling and various other things to help me learn how to better deal with this. I thought I knew myself well, I thought I finally had things figured out but it turns out I really don't. I still have a lot to learn about myself and about what I really am dealing with. I need help navigating how to live life to the fullest while still dealing with mental illness. I clearly don't have everything under control, but I'm willing to learn and I'm asking for help. I don't want to have these feelings anymore, I don't want to be so out of control. I don't want to feel helpless.

I hate asking for help. I hate needing people. I hate having to be so dependent on my friends and family. Even though I hate all of this I have realized that I need help and I'm not ashamed of that. Mental Illness shouldn't have such a stigma. It shouldn't be something that's hidden or just brushed under the rug. It shouldn't be something that we are afraid to talk about. I know, for me at least, it's therapeutic to talk about; to write about. I feel empowered by having no secrets and sharing what I'm going through. I know I've been very vague about what has been going on with me lately but I'm finally ready to talk about it. I need to talk about it. I need it to not be a secret. I'm dealing with some pretty heavy, pretty scary stuff right now and I need it to be known. I need help, I need support, I need to be able to talk to people who I trust who know what is going on with me. I'm not ashamed of what I'm going through but I know many other people are and they choose to suffer in silence. If you're reading this and that is you, STOP. Don't do it anymore, it's not worth it. I did that for awhile, but if I've learned one thing these past few weeks it's that so many people care. So many people are willing to help out; even if they don't know you. You never know what kind of impact you can have on a person. Live consciously.

I am certain that life is worth living. Now I just have to figure out the best way to do it.