My Story

I have always been what people called a “Nervous Nelly”. My Mom used to say that I was afraid of my own shadow and at times I think that was true. Although I was ‘built’ this way I was still able to go on with my life with no problems. Then in April 2008 something changed. I didn’t know why but I spent a lot of time crying and felt like I was walking around in a fog. I would be sitting at a red light and not know how I got there. Then one day while on my way to work I started looking for a tree to run the van into. I don’t remember wanting to ‘off’ myself, but I do remember being more tired than I have ever been before. I thought that if I got hurt then I would finally be able to rest because I would have to. The reasons why I didn’t do it was that I never found a tree big enough (the van was pretty big) and I didn’t want to hurt anyone else. Luckily I made it to work in 1 piece. When I walked into the store the other managers made a remark to me that was meant to be funny and I just started crying. I called my Husband and he said to call the therapist that I had been seeing. I was just seeing her for a few sessions thru my employee assistance program at work. While I got along with the therapist we spent more time talking about her family than my problems. But she did help when I called and she told me to go to Baylor All-Saints Hospital Downtown. This was the first thing on my road to recovery, although it took a long time to realize that.

Once I got to the ER, I signed in and was shocked by what happened next. They put me in a room to be watched by an intern. There was 2 other gals in there who were being ‘checked in’ to the 8th floor and they seemed very different from me, very ‘crazy’. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder and put into an IOP program (Intensive Out Patient). This was a class that met 5 nights a week for 3 hours at night. This program saved me. I also started seeing a psychiatrist and started meds. After 3 weeks I was barely able to stay awake, the meds were knocking me for a loop. So they decided that I had to go ‘in house’ so they could get aggressive with my meds to stabilize me. I did that but only with the stipulation that I would be allowed to do another 3 weeks in IOP. I learned a lot in house, I was very lucky that this facility was great. A week later I went home and back to IOP.

I’m not going to go into things about IOP, but I do want to share with you what happens on the last day of IOP. Since new people are constantly coming in and leaving the group we all have our special time called ‘coining out’. It starts by the person to the left of you holding a serenity coin and saying good bye. The coin then goes around the room ending up with me where I get to say something. It could be as simple as saying good bye or anything the person wants to say. There were only 7 people in the class that night plus the leader. My coining out took 1.5 hours! I had really connected with everyone (several people had been in house with me so we had some very intense times together). There were lots of tears and hugging.

When I got home I was ready to face my life again. After IOP I started therapy. Unfortunately that therapist wasn’t much better than the last…she brought up her kids and family a lot. And the doctor they had set me up with was nice but kept adding more and more meds to my cocktail including one that should only be used as an emergency pill…not long term and certainly not the dosage she had me on (4.5 times the recommended maximum dosage).

Fast forward 2 years and the meds must have stopped working, only I didn’t want my family to worry so I kept it hidden. Plus I was kind of out of it and didn’t even know what was happening. I started staying in bed and would go to the kitchen and sneak a bottle of vodka or whatever alcohol was there and bring it in my bedroom. I wasn’t sleeping and was doing anything I could to get some sleep. This ended with my taking a handful of remeron (a med that helped me sleep). Luckily my husband was home and he found me. That sent me back in-house followed by another 3 weeks at IOP. This time I found a psychiatrist that I trusted and a therapist that was wonderful and that I am still seeing. And I got off that medicine that I had become addicted to (it took 3 one week stays in the hospital to gradually detox from that).

I still see the doctor and my therapist. In July I realized that I was depressed again, but this time both my Husband and I recognized it. My doctor is adjusting my meds slowly and it seems to be working.

So there you have it…that’s my story and experience.