I miss writing. I love the Facebook memories as it brings back old posts and usually makes me laugh at the craziness of life with the boys in the younger days. I wish I could write more of life with the boys now as teens and young men but … yah, they would not like that.
There are so many things that I feel like I need/want to write about and yet how do I chose? I want to write about #metoo and share how God has been so amazing in answering my prayers and how healing and sharing has been so cool. I realize that “cool” is a odd word to use here but I really can’t think of a better word. I want to write about death, dying and watching someone you love suffer. I am not sure HOW people cope and live again after this passes. I want to write about other not so intense thoughts and yet today I have decided to write about something close to my heart.
#BellLetsTalk when this campaign started, it was the year that I realized that I was suffering from something significant. I realized that I needed help. I realized that I was suffering from something I didn’t understand and found that fear was a little bit overwhelming at the emotions and feelings that seemed to overtake me and I wasn’t sure who I was.
I have had a crazy year and this month marks the one year anniversary of a time in my life that I never want to relive. I am sharing with the intent and hope that maybe my story can and will encourage someone that is struggling.
My story is one that I can only remember parts of and that in it self is scary and frustrating. I know this started in December 2016 sometime but only know this because I have been told. I was having severe panic attacks, I think. I was so bad I could not be left alone. I had beautiful friends that babysat me while Sanj was at work. Then the boys would pick me up after school and we would go home. Again, I do not remember any of this.
For Christmas, we took the boys away. I felt happy, relaxed and me. In the plane, as we got closer to our destination, panic attacks began again. And continued consecutively, over and over. I was so mad. And frustrated. And annoyed. And Mad. Our week away was filled with none stop attacks. They were mild and yet extremely annoying. That week away was so good for our family. The boys were hilarious and said this was probably the best Christmas. Yah!
January came and the babysitting began again. I just remember sleeping my friends homes and waking up and feeling scared and sad and falling back asleep again.
February came. One day we went shopping for a prom dress for Tyler’s girlfriend, with Tyler, Alexx, Penny (her mom and one of my dearest friends, who is a nurse). We ate lunch at a restaurant. I was not feeling well that day or maybe I was tired so Tyler drove. We went to the dress stores and headed to the car. At this time, Penny noticed I was acting strange. (No comments—lol). Thankfully there was an exit and gas station that they pulled over. Penny told Alexx to call 911. Apparently I was talking to myself and then after some other nonsense I started to seizure. Then I became violent.
Being in Scarborough, the EMS folks assumed I was on drugs etc. and were a bit rough in their handling. Tyler spoke up and said, “This is my mom and she is not like this, please be gentle with her.” (Can I tell you how much I love my boys)? After this the EMS were great with him, explaining as they went along. Penny thought she would ride in the ambulance with me, but Tyler said he was going because I was his mom. Here’s the thing, Sanj was in Ottawa with Zachary for a hockey tournament. That was about 4 hours away. Tyler, Penny and Alexx stayed with me the whole time.
Of course I do not remember any of this. Yet they do have “funny” stories about my time in the emergency. I was handcuffed or restrained in my bed. I had to go to the bathroom and kept begging them to release me. My people kept telling me they could not give me my freedom and that I could use the bedpan. I am glad that I had enough of myself to refrain from doing so. I am so grateful to have God given friends to stay with me through this journey.
Fast forward to being released a day or two later. No real reason was found though testing and follow up proceeded the following months. Obviously, I was not left alone. My poor babies babysat me often in the evenings if Sanj had commitments. Josh stayed away from me physically as he was scared that I would seizure again and hurt him, which broke my heart. I felt such sadness and guilt knowing how much I was putting my men through. I went to work with Sanj each day. I was able to slowly work the front desk for bits of time and then I would go lay in the floor in Sanj’s office and sleep 2 hours easily. When the boys finished school, they would come pick me up. I would go home and sleep again. There was not a lot that I could do as exhaustion seemed to consume me. I am not sure how many months this went on. The biggest factor was fear. I could not be left alone as I was petrified. Yes, of another seizure but worse was the panic attacks that over took my world. I was scared of being anywhere by myself. I could not go to the kitchen without looking behind my back and race back upstairs. I could not stay at the office alone as I had such fear of the boogie man for lack of a better word. I felt such fear. As I left the shower, I had to race out of there, even though I KNEW there was no way that someone could be there after I just finished.
I went to my doctor so often in tears crying though my visit so scared and frustrated. I went on some meds to help with my anxiety and depression. I found myself praying to God to please make this all go away.
One day, as we were in church, Sanj was on praise team, which meant the music touched me more so than usual, the last song played, I sat in my seat, unable to stand and wept. I do not think I cried so hard (especially in public), begging God to take me as I could not live like this anymore. The panic attacks were so severe, the stress on my family was crazy and I was not who I was suppose to be, a mom to my sweet boys and wife to my amazing husband. I was not functional. Period. I could not stand being scared all the time. I wept. I begged God to please help me. I was at my lowest. Writing this my chest is tightening and I am pausing to breathe. As I cried out, I felt someone come hold me. A friend (a newer friendship). She came from the back where she was sitting and held me as I wept, crying the ugly cry. She held me. After the service, two more ladies and my dearest Penny came, held me and prayed, prayed and asked God for my heart’s desire, to be whole again.`
There’s so much to this story. Someday, I will be able to share the whole experience but for today, I am sharing to say there is HOPE. It is the 1 year anniversary of my seizure in 2 weeks. I am so grateful to say that I am able to stay alone the office, just a month ago. I am able to go to the kitchen and take a shower without fear of the boogie man. I am working full days and functioning as a “normal” (Ok, my normal, lol) human. I am able to being wife and mom and friend. I still have fears but for the most part I have found my way back to a life I am comfortable with thanks to God, my incredible husband and sons and dearest friends, all who never gave up on me.
It’s Bell Let’s Talk today. It is a day I actually love as we work together to fight the stigma of mental illness. I am a diabetic. I do not think twice about the meds I need to live. Why would I be ashamed that I suffer from mental illness? I need meds to allow me to function. I have had serious trauma that makes me a person that has PTSD. I have not always suffered from depression and anxiety but again, trauma has made this a part of my reality. Some of us are born with mental illness and it is a way of life. I think the word “mental” has a negative connotation to it. Yet it is a matter of redefining and accepting mental illness as another one of life’s illnesses and being so grateful for medication and help that there is. Counselling is a huge release for me too. I have learned to pause and breathe. It sounds simple but as someone that has a lot of energy and is called by society a person with ADHD, breathing, really breathing is something I have to pause and remind myself. There are moments when I feel like I am sitting on that fence of losing myself again. I have learned to pray first and share with those closest to me. Sometimes, just sharing is a huge release.
As I come upon my one year anniversary, I realize that this is a time I want to celebrate! I made it to my one year of finding myself again. Well, that’s not true, I have changed immensely. I have learned not to take things like family, friends and my health, especially my mental health for granted. Every day that goes without a panic attack or fear of the boogie man is a day that I am so grateful to God for. Sanj, be warned, a party is in order!
Let’s talk. If you need someone, I am hear to listen. Message me… firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to your doctor. Call a friend. Talking is really the first step. My story will not be yours. Yet that is the blessing in this, we are all different. Yet there is help for each of us, if you just seek it.
My heart is still pounding as I write this and share. I write this hoping that it will help someone know that you are not alone.
Dear Jesus, I ask that you reach someone that needs to know they are not alone. You are there with them. Help them seek out what they need. I am so grateful for Your love! I love you so much.
Thank you for all those that helped me and continue to help me. You know who you are and I love you.