diagnosis: self-induced delirium



after my last post, i was surprised by the response i received.

people resonated with the feelings of anxiety, suffering from depression and struggle of really feeling alone out in this world.

i realized how impactful it can be for me to share my story, to share pieces of myself and continue to explore vulnerability.  i think a lot about how my life used to be, how much i struggled, how lonely i felt. i feel now, years later, that i view my life as if it were not my own.  i tell my story as if it occurred to someone else.  even now i catch myself writing ‘the story’ vs. my story.  in hopes of reconnecting to my younger self more and really sharing in the value of my biggest teacher, anxiety, i decided to share more from inside my struggle…….. as i read my writing, i can recall hearing the thoughts and feelings of negativity. sharing this provides me with an amazing opportunity to reflect on where i have been and where i am going.

my intention in sharing this part of my story is to reveal who i am, human, like all of you. i hope that like screaming gratitude, it will inspire, breathe fresh air into your lungs and lighten your day. i hope it will encourage, empower and fuel your fire to live your best life, as i do each and everyday. i hope that it reveals to you that my way of being once stemmed from a place of struggle, sadness and defeat. my happiness and gratitude are what frame my existence today but in part because of the journey i had to travel, and i am so very grateful.

march 2003,

“t-48 hours and counting. only two days until i go to boston for my first therapy session. nervous doesn’t explain my state at all. scared shitless comes really close though. my parents called and heard i was not well this past week. they came out with the ‘you must not be eating right dear,’ speech. it makes me uneasy to have my parents share in my shame. it makes me uneasy having anyone else share in my shame. i am realizing this battle is self-inflicted and i am only leading it deeper and deeper inside myself. i do not want anyone else in on this. i do not want any else with a hand in this anxiety. i want to help myself. all of this, is my shame, my own dirty laundry, and i must find a way out.

my mind has been empty and  full; racing and still at the same time for the last few days. i cannot stand how soon this appointment is. i do not think i am or ever will be, ready for whats about to come. i do not like change, but does anyone really? i have no vices that i can use to help me cope with…..life. i quit smoking because it only added to my nausea. i quit eating because it only added to my nausea as well. my weight, my size, none of that matters. whether i look thinner than normal, paler or just plain ole tired-who cares? I feel like i am falling to pieces. this anxiety has taken over my life. i realize that losing your mind when its due to self-induced delirium is a challenging task to try to stop . how does recovery exist? my body and my mind feel so disconnected. day by day, the less and less food i ingest the more fragile i feel. eating only gives me anxiety, it fuels my fears. i feel like my whole body is going to shut down. exhaustion, lack of nutrition and lack of plain ole sanity. i feel like my wisdom, myself, my voice, my sanity will not survive this. 

my first visit: i walk in and get greeted by the receptionist. i take a seat and wait for the next twenty minutes, i couldn’t handle being in my hot car any longer. i am handed twenty-five pages of paperwork that i must sign and fill out. each sheet is a sum or evaluation of my progress over the next twelve weeks, yes count them, i will be here for twelve weeks.  i hope i walk out a new person, i really would very much love to be someone else. i hope that in twelve weeks…..oh wait, that is only if they offer me the treatment. after signing a bunch of waivers saying i will not be forced to do anything and that i can stop treatment at any time, they call my name, my name, i almost forgot who i was. a few hours organizing my past, assessing my condition currently and pinpointing exactly what it is that i think happens here at this facility, the consultation is over. i hope they can help me. i hope that they will put as much effort into this as i am going to try. 

at the end of the interview the treatment plan is explained. they throw all kinds of statistics at me ensuring me that people really do recover from this. panic is something that has, and can be conquered I am told. 

after a few weeks I received a diagnosis, panic disorder with agoraphobia. major depressive disorder and some other mumbo jumbo. i am offered treatment for the next twelve weeks. they call this point from here on out, recovery.”

~this is an excerpt from my second book that I wrote. I kept a daily journal while going through the process of receiving treatment in boston. i struggled many years and through various therapists with my anxiety and depression.  i am lucky i found the strength to reach out and to be heard. both my anxiety and depression manifested itself in different forms and affected all aspects of my life. i am truly honored to have lived through this journey and to come out of it a brighter, happier person. do not hesitate to reach out in any way for more information on where to get help if anyone you know is suffering.

enjoy THIS day and each day you are alive, there is much to be grateful for today

~screaming gratitude


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