I was released from an inpatient mental facility for the second time in a week yesterday. I took an Uber home, the first time I walked to enjoy the weather after being locked up for days, but this time I was admitted wearing shoes that would have been difficult to walk a mile in. And I didn’t think to have my husband bring me something more appropriate. Regardless, I was happy to finally be home.
I was admitted initially because I spent an entire week experiencing PTSD related flashbacks and severe anxiety. Nothing I could do would calm me down. My current and only coping method is to take a shower. Long and hot. I sit down and let the water hit my back and the sound of running water typically soothes my anxious mind. But this time, the showers weren’t helping. I took a 21 hour long shower… 21 hours straight pruning, whaling, crying, vomiting. When I experience these episodes I become physically ill and I became so dehydrated this time my entire body cramped at once and I literally could not get myself up from the bottom of the tub. I was stuck and in tremendous pain, scared and mostly alone. My husband does what he can but when I’m sick, I prefer someone to bring me my provisions and leave me the hell alone.
This was the worst it had been in a while. I’m familiar with these episodes, but it had been so long it felt foreign to me and it sincerely felt like I was going to die. The second admission came when I attempted to attend outpatient treatment. Its in a group setting, and my social anxiety has been at an all time high for about a year now. I’m a very social person under the right circumstances, but those events don’t come along very often lately. I have friends, and they know I have a problem but no one knew how bad it was until this time.
I decided to go public with my situation on Instagram. I’m not sure why, I just felt like getting it out to someone else would ease my mind. The response was astronomical. Friends, family, strangers… they all came together to lift me up. I received loving and supportive comments and messages and several phone calls. People reached out to my husband to show their support as well. I’m not accustom having a support system so this was all new to me and very overwhelming. I simply didn’t understand how I had become part of such an amazing and uplifting community and family, as I had been generally alone up until the last few years of my life.
The thought of group therapy set me off in to a dark place that I was unable to return from on my own. I had to be heavily sedated as I experienced an intense level of psychosis in which I could not control. I was screaming things I cant remember, I don’t recall where I was or who was with me, I was back in an awful location with awful things happening to me that, try as I might, I can’t escape. I go to this place every now and then, but thanks to therapy and medication I’ve been able to function on some level, albeit minimal and unfulfilling, for the last few years.
Since being released, I’ve decided to do one on one therapy and make it a goal to work up to group therapy. I’ve seen a therapist on and off for a while now but my current one is focusing more on marriage counseling than my own issues lately. I found that I’ve put myself on the back burner to work on my stressed marriage and shaky career. Every facet of my life seems to be more dramatic than necessary and I’ve been trying to hold everything else together and neglecting my own well-being in the process. But after this last week its apparent that I must focus on myself before anything else will get better. So I’ve scheduled an appointment with a new doctor at my current practice, and will let my current doctor focus my relationship with my husband without bias.
Group therapy scares me for several reasons, but I know its a fear I will need to overcome. I plan on working on my social anxiety and getting to the root of my problems so I can interact with others in a productive and meaningful way. In a way I feel writing this post is a step in that direction. You may read this and relate or judge me and I have no control over that. That is control I need to let go of anyways. I need to take the steps forward and speak up and also listen, because now I know I’m not alone. And neither are you.
If you suffer from PTSD and anxiety, I hope this new direction my blog goes in will resonate with you and provide you some level of comfort. If you are curious about the process, I plan on being as transparent as possible. I’m getting help, and if you need it, I hope you will too.