Hey y’all. I’m still on a Glee-induced high from last night. (Yes, my drug of choice is 20somethings pretending to be high school students singing Broadway-esque songs. It’s totally true.)
My friend Lindsay? Hasn’t watched last night’s season finale yet to be sufficiently Glee-high with me. But if she’s a hopeless romantic in the same way I am? She’ll love it.
Oh, wait…what? This isn’t about Glee? Sorry. Sometimes I have to be reminded that Glee isn’t real life.
We’re still rallying for mental health month, y’all!
Lindsay’s not a mom. But non-moms suffer from mental health issues, too. They do. And Lindsay very courageously agreed to talk to you about what it’s taken for her to feel like things are getting better. This isn’t even something that she feels like she can share on her own blog.
Love on her, okay?
It took a lot for me to get to where I am now.
A lot of years of unsuccessful therapy. A lot of years of unsuccessful medication. A lot of money. A lot of tears and frustrated phone conversations with my (amazingly supportive) parents. A lot of struggles in work life and a lot of failed relationships. A lot, to be honest, of hell.
It took an ignorant and insensitive social worker, who I’d been meeting with for a couple of months, to make a “diagnosis” (which she was medically unqualified to make). It took that bogus diagnosis, and her advice to pack up my life, forget about my goals for the near future, and move into residential treatment.
It took my so-called “therapist” to give up on me, after only a couple months of treatment. It took her not even calling me to check in after that session, after I walked out in tears.
It took all of that for me to look outside the box and figure out what it was that I really needed– and to see that things weren’t going to get better unless I truly put the effort into fixing things myself as well.
It took me reaching out to @postpartumprogr and @marymac for last-ditch advice, and embracing it when Mary told me to try DBT- a newer form of therapy, often used for people with borderline personality disorder or serious addictions (neither of which I have). It took finding a therapist who would practice DBT one-on-one, even though it’s normally in a group, and who would work with me twice a week, even though my move back to California was scheduled for a mere three months later. It took a therapist who finally realized that although I have a high IQ, I have major ADD– and who pushed me to get both a neuropsych exam to diagnose it and the medications to help fix it.
It took a lot to get me to this point.
This point where I feel like things are manageable. Where I feel like, yes, it’s chaotic and crazy, but that’s life. And shit happens… but I can deal with it when it does. I’m only halfway through the DBT manual, and still have a lot of therapy ahead of me. My meds aren’t at the right doseage, I’m sleeping on the floor because I’ve sold my bed, and I’m moving across the country in 8 days… without a job.
But now, that’s not so overwhelming. I can find a job. I’ll have my parents 30 minutes away, instead of a 6-hour flight away. I’ll make friends in LA. I’ll nurture the relationships I already have there. I’ll find a job, even if it’s working the line at Starbucks, and I will keep the job, because I’m getting better.
It’s taken a hell of a lot to get here, but I can finally– FINALLY– say that I’m starting to fix things. And that it does, truly, get better.
I think it’s so, so brave of Lindsay to talk about her experience here, even if this is just a glimpse. Talking about mental illness is hard.I <3 you and your super artsy ways, Lindsay. Can’t wait to hug your face someday.
Lindsay writes the blog Linz Loves You. Her professional site, where she displays her awesome skills at writing and graphic design and social media awesome can be found here. You can also follow her on Twitter.