I have always loved psychology. The way the mind works and mental illnesses have always moved me. I want to know more about people and if they are struggling, mentally, with things...what caused it and let's get to the root. Doesn't that excite you? :)
After taking psychology classes and really being interested in OCD, depression, and schizophrenia, I realized that these illnesses aren't just something these people are choosing to do. It's deep rooted and that is what made me want to be a part of helping others.
When I was 9 years old my mom took me to a psychologist. I remember, in Louisiana, it being this old white victorian house that was turned into a clinic. I walked up creaky stairs with a bag of "Cap'n Crunch" in a bag and sat on a wooden bench, waiting on the doctor to call me in. I wasn't nervous. My mom had told me that we were going so I could tell the doctor why I was angry at my dad. Was I angry? I didn't know I was.
The lady gave me a white piece of paper and crayons. She asked me to draw a "typical" day of what my home life looked like. I began to draw the first thing that stuck in my mind. It was a day when my step dad and mom were arguing and locked us (kids) outside in the backyard to play. I didn't feel right that day as I swung on the tire swing and tried to go inside (to check on my mom) but when I tried to open the sliding glass door, it was locked. I remember being scared that day for what was happening on the other side of the door.
I described the picture to the doctor and my mom was called in to discuss what was going on in the picture. I never went back to the clinic after that day.
Fast forward 21 years to January 17, 2010. I was getting to bed early due to having to run a long distance the next morning. Jeremy and Maddy were downstairs watching t.v. As I laid down and began to relax it happened. Dizziness, heart racing, heavy breathing, heavy chest, slurring speech, and not recognizing my surroundings. I ran downstairs and it kept hitting me. Was I having a heart attack? I had never experienced anything like this in my life.
After suffering all weekend with this feeling, I went to the E.R. They ran test after test all to find out it was a panic attack.
They prescribed me medication (which I didn't take) and sent me on my way.
The panic itself was enough to drive me mad but it was the months that followed that kept my mind busy.
I had developed some OCD tendencies by not washing clothes, cleaning house, and picking my left eyebrow hair until there was nothing left. I am sure that sounds weird but MY mind was telling me that if I washed clothes or cleaned house, that meant I was preparing to die. So, I lived by the "I'm not going to do ____ for fear of dying," in everything I did.
I had also developed depression. I would cry while making dinner, not wear make up or decent clothes to work, I quit running and socializing. The turning point for me was when I was driving down the road and a voice told me to "run into that light pole and die." After telling Jeremy about that, he encouraged me to go see a doctor and I did.
It was amazing to me the road trip MY mind was taking me on. It was scary, dark, and desolate. No one could understand. I lost hair to the point of balding. I was an "eyebrow" puller (I did this to not confront the anxiety). I lost weight. I lost friendships and relationships over it. I tried to describe to these people the best way I could about the torment and feelings I was having but it was like hitting a brick wall. It took over.
I sought Christian counseling and discovered the root to why I had been through the valley. It was a mental breakdown because I had taken on some burdens and emotions that I couldn't let God have. I was afraid to let them go. Already knowing the outcome, I tried to hold on to those things for as long as I could. I remember getting a "warning" from God about a month prior to the panic attack but I ignored it. Consequently I had to endure some mentally tough months.
I had studied these things, so I should know what to do right? Wrong. It is out of your control. EVERYTHING is out of your control. Why are we holding on things we don't need to? Why are we not allowing God to handle things? Why do we visit those dark places over and over again only to feel pain?
It was by grace that I was able to and continue to get through. The grace of God.
You hear people say that all the time but when I say it, I feel it. He loves me that much to stick beside me. I mean, I didn't let Him take control of those areas in my life and it brought me to my knees...and He is still here.
I don't pick my eyebrow hair anymore because of anxiety, it's mainly a habit when I'm doing homework...or blogging, oops! My hair is finally growing back, woohoo! I am also still VERY interested in psychology...so much more now!
"Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression, But a good word makes it glad."-Proverbs 12:25
I guess you could say I hit "rock bottom" and God held an Intervention. I accepted because I needed to be free. Free from my own worst enemy...ME.