When My Lowest Point Was Also My First Step to Mental Health Recovery

The end of last month marked the one-year anniversary of the worst time of my life. One year ago, I decided life was not worth living. One year ago, I gave up completely. One year ago, I ended up in the hospital where I was sure I would die. But something amazing happened. One year ago, some of the strongest people I know came to my side to support me and help me get better.

My parents drove six hours in the middle of the night to meet me at the hospital. My parents hugged me, told me they loved me and in the morning packed up all my belongings and drove me home. I remember feeling like my life was entirely out of control. I remember feeling anger and fear as I left my home and my friends. In a moment of clarity I wrote this…

“Sometimes the best thing is the hardest thing. Sometimes it feels like you’re going to die doing it. Sometimes it feels like your heart is being ripped out of your chest. But if it’s the right thing, the best thing, it will all work out in the end and all that pain will be healed.”

The first few weeks were the most difficult. Making decisions were just too much for me. My mom had to stop everything to take care of me. It was like having an adult toddler. She had to tell me to put my socks on and then my shoes. She had to tell me to get out of bed and tell me we were going to the doctor. She even had to sit with me at night until I fell asleep. Not once did my mom complain about it. She did everything she could to help me find a way to recover.

I remember seeing a psychiatrist at the hospital, telling her what I was going through. She was the first doctor to tell me that what I was going through was real. She was the first person to look me in the eye and tell me that it was not my fault. She was the doctor who diagnosed me with my bipolar disorder.

I spent most of the first week sleeping. My body had been through so much with so little sleep, it was a necessity to get better. The next three weeks I spent in a program where they taught a group of us how to eat healthier, explain our illnesses and give us specific tools to help manage them. The doctors worked together to monitor and diagnose me further, helping me find the medication and resources necessary to help me recover.

The past year has been a long and hard walk to recovery. It hasn’t been easy and was full of lots of ups and downs – literally. Bipolar disorder is a hard thing to deal with when it’s not managed well. But my family, my friends and my doctors have all been there for me, and I’m finally at a place where I can take both reigns of my life and live.

One year after that horrible day, I am strong, successful, recovered, stable and happy. I love my life and I cannot imagine giving it all up. I owe a million thank you’s to all the wonderful people in my life who helped me recover, deal with my new diagnosis and stuck around, even when life got hard. I love you all, and I can’t imagine where I would be without all of you. So thank you.

This post originally appeared on Defying Shadows

If you or someone you know needs help, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You can also reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

Rapper Fetty Wap Gave Boy Missing an Eye Something His Parents Couldn’t

A rapper’s unapologetic individualism taught one young boy a valuable lesson. Brenda Vader, from Denver, has a son named Jayden who was diagnosed with retinoblastoma when he was only a year old, according to a post on her Facebook page. Retinoblastoma is a rare cancer of the thin membrane on the inside back of the eye that is [...]

To Someone Who’s Just Been Diagnosed With Schizophrenia

So the doctors just told you you have schizophrenia? Listen to what they have to say about treatment. Plan to make medications part of your life. Know you’ll have to take them seriously and regularly. Then, relax — life is not over for you. Let all the stereotypes you’ve been subjected to over the years go. [...]

10 Things All Teachers Can Learn From My Son’s Special Education Teacher

Like many parents of kids experiencing special needs, I was thrown into this world not really knowing what to do, what to expect and how to survive, let alone thrive with my child and help him thrive. By the time my son, Judah, was 5 and entering kindergarten, I had no idea what to do [...]

I Grew Up Not Talking About My Disability. I Want to Change That for Others.

As I was growing up, I always had the feeling no one could relate to my experience of living with a disability. I have spinal muscular atrophy type II and scoliosis. I felt like I didn’t really “fit” in this world as my disability was never talked about. I went through mainstream education and overcame [...]