As the year comes to a close, I can't help but wonder where I'd be if I hadn't reached out and gotten the help I needed. It's been a rough road, but it's been totally worth it. I've met so many genuine and loving people, one's that truly do not judge and are always there to support me. It's interesting how I've been able to count on strangers more than friends. Although the strangers become friends in the process.
I'm about to shed light on my year more than ever before.
Last year at this time I was making resolutions for a better year, a better life and a stop to my negative behaviors. Two months later I almost took my own life. I was referred to eating disorder treatment and kept getting moved around from one place to the next. I started in Dallas as outpatient, they sent me to Florida for inpatient, then Cedar Springs in Austin for outpatient and finally I came back to the same place I started, here at Renfrew Dallas. I was doing well until my self-harm got out of control. I once again almost took my own life, this time by an unintentional "accident". I need to get stitches and wasn't able to control myself from then on. I was cutting practically every single day. One day I felt so out of control that I felt the need to tell my therapist at Renfrew about it in order to keep myself from doing something really stupid.
Of course, when you tell someone that you don't feel like you deserve to live, they're going to be extremely concerned. I had the cops called on me, got arrested and taken to Green Oaks Hospital. The worst most terrifying place I've been in my entire life. During the twenty-four hours I was there I saw people attempting to kill nurses, beating down doors and throwing themselves against the wall; these were things I'd only seen in scary movies.
As soon as I got out and returned to Renfrew, they told me that my case was too difficult for them to handle and I was not able to return until I got help for my self-harm; they didn't even send me off with other options, I was left to deal with it on my own.
I was out for about a week while my parents and I looked for other options. Lucky for me, I had been in treatment with a girl that works for Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas who recommended I start the eating disorder program there. I was inpatient there for two weeks.
I wasn't even out for three days when again, I cut too deep and needed stitches. I had done it the morning, wrapped my arm and went into treatment like there was no problem. About halfway through the day my doctor asked me if I had made it through the night okay and I lied and said yes.
She didn't believe me.
Of course she asked to see my arm and I was sent down to the emergency room immediately. I was put inpatient again and I wasn't going to get out until I was fully recovered. Well, it turns out that people don't always fully recover even on twenty-four hour watch and I kept on hurting myself in other ways. The last time I cut was October 2nd. But that wasn't the last time I harmed myself. On October 29th they told me that I was being transferred to a trauma treatment center in Louisiana. Finally, my psychiatrist (who was amazing by the way) found the root of the problem. It wasn't my self-harm or my eating disorder, it was that I was holding in too many awful memories.
I got to Louisiana on Halloween. By this time I had been to so many treatment centers that I knew how to work the system so well that I figured I'd be out soon enough and be left to my own devices. I planned to take my own life as soon as I got out.
This was the most intensive treatment I had ever been in. There was no way I was getting out until I learned the skills that I needed to learn and worked through some difficult traumas. As much as I tried to avoid the difficult topics, they knew what to do to get me to work. I wasn't getting out of this one so easily.
I hit a wall the first day I was there and bruised my arm very badly. From then on I was on constant watch; I wasn't even allowed to sleep in my room or go to the bathroom alone. About a week in the took me off strict visual contact and allowed me to start going outside and take care of my personal needs on my own. I was also allowed on smoke breaks and of course when you have nothing better to do, you do what you can to get away from the intensiveness of treatment.
I had my first dissociative experience and continuous flashbacks while I was there. I also lost my car because I honestly just couldn't pay for it anymore but as time went on things seemed to be getting better. Most importantly...
I found reasons to live again.
I got discharged on December 7th and I never felt more ready than I did then.
Since being home, I've covered my walls in positive affirmations, I've told my parents all the secrets I had been keeping in, I've reached out to friends, taken my medications as prescribed and kept up with my therapy appointments. I already found a job working with kids and I've felt happier than I ever have before. As cheesy as it sounds, I have seen the light and found freedom. It feels amazing.
I can finally say that I've accomplished last year's New Years resolutions. I am so proud of myself.
I want to thank every single person that has stuck with me and prayed for me through these experiences. You've showed me what true friends are made of.
I haven't quite decided what my resolutions are for this coming year but I'm excited to see how much more positive they are than last year. I'm ecstatic about starting over, I've got a clean slate.
One of the main things I learned is that if I do have a relapse, it's not the end of the world. Shit happens sometimes and you have to learn from each experience. You take it one day at a time and sometimes on minute at time because really, every second is a chance to start over. Everyone has their bad days every once in awhile, it's just important to not allow a bad day to become a bad week, month, etc.
Learn from your mistakes, ask for help when you need it and always remember that it's never too late to recover. You can do this, I know you can.
Affirmations (take what applies and read them to yourself everyday):
1) I am worthy of life and recovery.
2) I can love and protect my inner child as she risks exposing our secrets to the light.
3) I fill my mind with peaceful thoughts.
4) I deserve to feel happy.
5) I am naturally beautiful when I am myself.