The Biggest Lesson I’m Taking From 2017

Twenty fucking seventeen.  What a god damn year.

This year was truly a rollercoaster, to say the least.  I met amazing people, met horrible people that I wish I never encountered, had a few mental breakdowns, became more impulsive (I’m not sure if this is good or bad), and truly realized what changes I want to make for myself, especially in this new, upcoming year.

Even though I feel like this year was more bad than good for me, I sure as hell learned a lot about myself, and what I have learned makes me that more excited for a fresh fucking start.

Sure, I’m not exactly where I want to be in terms of my mental health, but holy fuck, I learned how strong of a person I actually am this year.

In mid-July, I had probably the worst mental breakdown that I have ever had in my life.  I was fired from my job as a server over a very minimal mistake, and though that seems like no big deal, it threw me over the edge with all of the other things I had going on around at that time.

Honestly, I don’t remember much from that night other than hysterically crying on a curb to my grandmother, saying really mentally unhealthy things.  Then I remember driving home, my brother calling me worried, and me pulling over and sitting on the curb in hysterics in front of the Noah Webster House to calm down because I truly thought I was going to do something irrational that would result in me taking my own life.

I know.  That probably seems like a vast overreaction.

The job itself was pretty shitty (I had two different specialists tell me that they think I have some form of PTSD from that job…like how crazy is that, lmfao), but my depression and anxiety weren’t being regulated, I stopped going to therapy, and I wasn’t being honest about the state of my mental health with anyone, so I was bound to crack.

And I did.

If I’m being honest, I’m truly shocked that my family didn’t force me to be admitted.  There was a span of three weeks or so where I was just really unstable and talked about taking my life every couple of days or so, and it got to the point where I was even planning ways to do so, though no one knows that part.

With that, thankfully, came the realization that I clearly needed help, and I needed it really fucking badly.

I left an awkward voicemail for my therapist who I hadn’t talked to in months.  It was a lot of weird rambling of me basically telling her that I needed her to recommend another therapist for me.  I felt like I was a disappointment to her and wanted another person’s perspective on things.  I wanted someone who hadn’t known me for 10+ years and could give me a fresh opinion.

I got a new therapist, but she ended up sucking monkey dick and made me feel even shittier about myself, so I went back to my old therapist, and I’m glad I did.

I finally started being honest with her which is something that I hadn’t done in years.  She always told me about how proud she was of me for how far I had come, and I was afraid that I would disappoint her if I told her how badly I wanted to die and just not exist.

She was the exact opposite, though.  It’s almost like I saw a sense of pride in her because I was finally being honest with her about what felt like the decomposition of my sanity.  I started seeing her weekly again, and opened up more and more with each visit.

She even wrote down and taught me a little mantra to say to myself whenever I feel like I am out of control or in the midst of an anxiety attack.  It’s supposed to calm me down and also subconsciously get me to believe what I’m saying:

“Even though I (whatever the fuck I’m feeling – like a piece of crap, like I want to die, like I hate myself)…I deeply love and respect myself.”

I mean, if I’m being completely transparent here, I’ve only remembered to do it like two times, but it definitely has calmed me down when I have done it.  And yeah, I know how cheesy it sounds, but at this point, I’m willing to try anything.

It’s been a work in progress, but progress is still progress, no matter how minute it may seem.

As strange as it may sound, my mental health deteriorating this year was the worst, but also one of the best things to happen to me.

I wanted to feel in control, like I could do it on my own.  I believed that the meds that I had been on for 7+ years should be enough, and that I could solve my problems all by myself.  I hated feeling dependent on someone to help me through my problems – I felt like I should be able to do that on my own, ya know?

But I couldn’t, and that is more than fucking okay.

I am seeing my therapist regularly now, and we upped the dosage on my antidepressants, and though I am not where I want to be, I am getting better and am doing a fuck ton better than I was 4-5 months ago.

I really learned that if you need help, it is more strong and brave to admit that, and get the help that you need, rather than just letting yourself suffer.  Trust me.

The stigma that still surrounds mental health obviously doesn’t help, but it is so, so,  important to remember that your mental health and sanity are so much more valuable and important than some ignorant person’s misconceptions about it.

Though you may hardly talk to me, or maybe you don’t even know me at all, I want nothing but the best for you.  I have links to my social media on my main page, and please, if you, whoever is reading this, need someone to talk to, please don’t ever hesitate to reach out.  I am always here, I promise.

So, with all of that being said, 2017, you can go fuck yourself and stay in the past.  But, also, thank you for the biggest lesson I learned while I was at my lowest point.

Resources if you ever need them:
Adolescent Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-621-4000
Domestic Violence Hotline:  1-800-799-7233
Gay and Lesbian National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-6264
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 1-800-662-4357
Suicide & Crisis Hotline: 1-800-999-9999
Suicide Prevention – The Trevor HelpLine (Specializing in gay and lesbian youth suicide prevention): 1-866-488-7386


Samantha Drew

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