Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A cry for help...

Dear Allison,

As I was reading last night, I was also crying…..I am Grant and Jim is you! I have been battling depression since grade school. Not understanding it as a young child, but spent many days feeling lonely, crying and wanting to just stay in bed. While we were in Portugal (1999-2002) we lived within the local community and our heating source was portable heaters with propane gas tanks attached. Jade had just turned two and I was laying her down for a nap and decided I was going to take my life, along with Jade’s. I closed up our little house and turned on the propane tanks and laid down with Jade. Then all of the sudden this voice asked me, “What are you doing, why would you do this to your child?” I just started crying uncontrollably and really re-thinking my actions. I got up, turned off the gas and opened the house up. That was in October and it wasn’t until New Year’s Eve 1999 that I told Jim what I did that day. He just held me that night and cried with me saying, “It’s going to be ok, we are going to get you help first thing Monday.” I got in that week to see an Air Force Psychiatrist and she put me on some meds….they helped for a couple of years and then I would need to switch meds again. I battled this cycle of switching meds for the following 9 years.

Finally, two years ago I had a massive blow out with Susie’s husband Joe (whom I love and adore). I was so manic and out of control, I actually had an ‘out of body’ experience. I was watching myself EXPLODE on Joe, Susie and Jim; I couldn’t stop! The night ended with me curled up in the fetal position in Susie’s driveway at 2 a.m. Then all the sudden my dad was there picking me up off the driveway, putting me in his truck and took me home. My mom was waiting up for us when we got to their house and my parents just held me on the couch as I cried asking, “Why me? What is wrong with me?”

The next morning Susie came over to my parent’s house and we all sat and talked, trying to figure out what our next step was going to be. Susie said that I needed to admit myself to the Hospital immediately. She said to me, and something I will never forget, “June, last night when you were yelling at all of us it wasn’t you, I am not sure who it was, but you were definitely not there and I have never been as afraid of someone as I was of you last night.” It broke my heart to hear that, but I knew she was right and I knew I needed the help that I should have gotten years ago. I admitted myself that day and that was one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I knew if I didn’t I wasn’t going to live much longer. I was put on a 72 hour hold. I walked away with some good tools, but sadly I was kind of shuffled through the system and didn’t get the treatment I was hoping for.

Mom, Dad and Susie came back home with us and we spent the next week looking for a good therapist and a good prescriber. I am happy to say that I have found a WONDERFUL therapist and she has helped me work through a lot! I was molested as a child too and I knew one day I was going to have to jump that hurdle and talk about it. It’s been good for me and good for my parents…..we have gotten answers to a lot of questions. I have many years of therapy to get through and I know I will always need to be medicated. I have to fight the demons of shamefulness and embarrassment, but I am getting there; one step at a time! 

I just wanted you to know I truly enjoyed your book (what a gifted writer you are)! It amazes me how many people I know and have known throughout my life who have or are suffering from a mental illness. I am so thankful that we live in an era where it’s accepted as a disease and we can get the proper help, instead of being locked up somewhere. So, thank you for sharing your story and not making me feel like I am the only one! I wish you and your family all the best and a continued path to happiness!