"Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain."
Although I wish I could take credit for this very-true quote, I can't...however, it makes me happy to know that someone else thinks as I do.
This is my story:
Life was not going the hottest (for lack of a better term). My parent's marriage was not the best, and a loved one of mine had passed away. I am not quite sure why my mental illness started, or how it was triggered, other than it was all God's plan. I started to pray...a lot. The prayers just kept elevating, and elevating.
I started wearing my old Crucifix, doing odd things with it, such as looking at it repeatedly, singing to it, and eventually kissing it. I was tapping my foot on corners until it felt "just right". I walked so slowly while tapping my foot, staying in certain spots to pray, in the middle of the road and side-walk, and jumping, doing jumping-jacks, and other odd things that I felt I had to do, which I later found out were called "compulsions".
I stopped interacting with my family, and if I did, I was being forced to. I went around the house praying and jumping. Praying was getting in the way of EVERYTHING! I felt that it was "bad" to eat certain foods, or to do certain things, at some points, even to eat at all. Drinking was one of the hardest parts, I felt that I had to make myself suffer, because I was not perfect, and I had "disappointed God".
My parents tried, my teachers tried, my friends tried, my soccer coach tried, and my nanny tried....but even though I knew that something was wrong, I wouldn't listen to them telling me that I was not myself, and needed help. I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. I stopped drinking. I stopped talking. I stopped showering. I stopped brushing my teeth. I stopped hanging out with friends, and when I did, they had to drag me places. I cried ALL OF THE TIME! I was depressed (literally!) I also had a problem with picking up garbage...I did it constantly. You see, I had this voice in my head that was (in my head) God, telling me to do all of these things, to hurt myself, because I was not pleasing. And, although I got little scratches by putting pressure on my arms while praying, I did not seriously injure myself, for which I am very thankful.
My parents took me to my family doctor, and he said that it was probably just school stress...I don't blame him for anything.
I had been threatened to be taken to the hospital, and I eventually ended up in Emergency because of my eating problem. I was losing weight. Fast. My mom took me. I ended up being dehydrated, and I got and IV, which surprisingly wasn't too scary, and not painful. I saw a nurse and a psychiatrist and stayed for the day, then went home.
The people from emerge hurried up the psychiatrist from my Family Doctor. In a few weeks, I went to see him. The first time I saw him, he admitted me into Child and Adolescent Mental Health Inpatient. I went home and packed...and said a very tearful goodbye to my sister, brother, mother, and father, after filling out lots of questionnaires, and talking to many different professionals there. I got a visit from my parents every night, sometimes from my nanny, and sometimes from my aunt who lives in Toronto, as well as my sister and brother.
I stayed in inpatient for one week. They do an AWESOME job by making you feel at home...while I was there we had "Christmas in July" themed day. Actually, the day I was discharged, we went to Build-A-Bear, which actually was really fun! Although it's not exactly a place you want to end up, you will eventually find yourself feeling helped.
After inpatient, I went into the Child-and-Adolescent Anxiety Day-Treatment Program. I was in there from August to December. They also do an excellent job. They had a school there and everything. If you didn't feel up to doing school work, you could go into the group room, play a card game, or most-likely, talk with your primary social worker. My social worker was awesome. And although, sometimes, I felt as if she were trying to see inside my brain, I tried to keep in mind that it was all for the better and they were all trying to help me. I gradually started transitioning back to school.
My friends were awesome! They still ask me questions all of the time, but I don't mind...in fact, I like it! Also, the staff at my school helped me a whole bunch. My teacher and the Student Resource especially.
I had ups-and downs....I am on medication, and am now in Out-Patient for Child-and-Adolescents. I see a social worker every two weeks, and a psychiatrist every so often to check up on how my medication is doing.
I met so many interesting people in all if the treatments that I was in. And, even though I felt that at times my mental illness was evil, I not see that it was all part of a Greater Plan! I have met so many people because of my mental illness. Being with children with eating disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and so many other mental illnesses it has inspired me, and now my future ambition is to be a psychologist!
I still have bumps in the road, and now know how to deal with them. I have been blessed with so many understanding family and friends, and supporters.
I hope that everyone who read this "Personal Story" will learn at least one thing. Just remember...THERE IS HOPE!
P.S If you were wondering, my diagnosis is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, it comes in all different forms, not just the kind displayed in this story!
For more information about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, you can check out this great website www.mindyourmind.ca or go to http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/emotion/ocd.html
THANKS FOR READING! ;)