Learning to Fight for Myself

Self Advocacy - The Journey of Peace and Happiness

I couldn’t handle anything anymore.  It all felt out of control.  I was tired of trying – tired of the falls backward and wishing life would be no more.  I got into my car with a mission at hand.  It was time to be with my grandmother.  She had died many years ago and I so missed her understanding of me.  I went to the grocery store on my way to my hometown which was two hours away.  When there, I picked up the bottle of sleeping pills.  My mission was to go to my grandmother’s grave and just submit and give in.  It was time to let all the pain go.  I couldn’t live with the turbulent effects of my mind anymore.  I needed relief.

Somehow, hours later, I ended up where I started – defeated.  The paranoia was setting in.  There was a cop in the driveway.  But that was the only place to go.  My mind drifted away to the memory of being held against my will.  The memory in which delusions managed my existence.  Was this the case again?  Would I be set free, or would the policeman bring me to the hospital to relive the pain and fear?

I was aching for understanding and a compassionate helping hand.  The policeman was kind, and my boyfriend, with concern in his eyes, met me outside to ease my fears.  The night ended better than expected.  Though to my astonishment, this was the beginning of a new chapter in which navigating the community mental healthcare system would be started – a nightmare in itself.

This experience happened quite a few years ago and to my horror, I was dropped as a patient by my psychiatrist of ten years and my counselor who helped me through my divorce.  I was unwillingly turned over to the community mental healthcare, with the extremely long wait times of months for care and the lack of treatment and appointment availability.  This was a time in which I was able to gather the strength to be able to fight for myself.  Though a new fear arouse – fear of abandonment, which was unfortunately started by the healthcare providers entrusted to help me.  And self-advocacy became the focus.

I still frequently struggle with my mind.  But I have learned to try to seek out help when needed.  I have a new doctor and counselor, in which I have good professional relationships with.  And my support system is strong.

Though the path twists and turns, I try to keep myself grounded while running, walking, or crawling with its curves.  I keep on going forward.  And my cries to God for his strength and help remain.  It’s going to be alright.

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