I haven’t shared much about my story so I wanted to take some time and catch up with that. Most my life I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder until recently while in treatment were that was ruled out and I was re-diagnosed with sever anxiety disorder.
My name is Jason, I am a 38yr old divorced father of a three year old girl named Rayne and have been battling mental illness since my early teens. Throughout most of my life I have had some ups and downs like most people. During my teens I was a cutter, had depression, anxiety, moods swings and at times heavily isolated. This stuck with me on and off as I grew up and throughout my twenties and thirties. More recently I went through a painful divorce which led to severe depression that lasted almost two years. I had begun to cut again as a coping mechanism and lost my self esteem. I ended up homeless for some time as I lost my house and later my apartment. I had to move away from my daughter to find a better job as well as a place to live. This broke me as a man and made my depression worse and also caused severe separation anxiety. The longer I was away the worse the anxiety and depression got. I had several good jobs and was even a General Manager for an Espresso/Wine bar in Aspen Colorado. At this time I was overworking putting in about 60 plus hrs a week causing lack of sleep and major stress.
During this time is when my mental health got completely away from me. I left my job as General Manager due to stress and political reasons. I then decided to go back to a previous job as a cook with Aspen Ski Company. I was having the same issues with this job as my previous two jobs. My anxiety was always out of control, I couldn’t focus on a task, I never finished a task that I had started and my mind was never in the moment. I was always stressed and was having problems getting along with people. My anxiety was completely out of control. I struggled focusing at my jobs and was always thinking about other things. I was paranoid I wouldn’t get back to see my daughter again. I was facing being homeless again and I didn’t get along with the family I was staying with. I was always paranoid about death and dying or any kind of loss and ended up losing 3 jobs in two months. Most of the time I stayed in isolation cause I didn’t want to be home because I was physically threatened multiple times and verbally abused. I had lost control of all composure and emotions and started to have severe suicidal idealizations because I did not want to be homeless and I was having problems seeing another day. One night on my walk home I thought hard about these suicidal Idealizations and something clicked to look for help. I realized I wasn’t thinking of my daughter that needs me and I was being selfish. I couldn’t control my emotions any longer and realized no one else was going to help me so I reached out for help myself. I started to advocate on Instagram to find the support I wasn’t getting in my physical life. This was the start of a HUGE change for me as several people reached out to help me, messaged me and talked to me as well as inspired me. I then started to look for treatment. I didn’t think I would find it since I didn’t have health insurance. I was blessed and I found treatment and all costs were covered for me.
This is where I am now. I have been in treatment for a little over 40days and was diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder. The program I am in is inpatient and I go to groups 6days a week from 8am until 4pm. I have my own therapist as well as psychiatrist for my medication management. Treatment has gone extremely well for me and I feel like a whole new person. The first week I started to notice a change once I was able to get out of the abusive environment I was in and all suicidal idealizations stopped. I was able to learn to stop and think before I react as well as many coping skills. Some of the groups I attend weekly are emotion regulating (my favorite and most helpful) boundaries, assertiveness, anger management, navigating relationships, social media, thought process as well as a coping skills group. I stay in a house with several other patients and we are treated like any other person. We cook, clean, hang out, watch movies, go to the store, the beach as well as other outings. The program I am in is nothing like a hospital which I find to be helpful.
Some of my coping skills I use daily are mindfulness, writing, reading, walking, controlled breathing, assertiveness and advocating for mental health awareness. I believe there is a huge stigma where so many of us are misjudged and each one of us are capable of being loved and living a normal life just like anyone else. The biggest thing I have learned is to use your wise mind. We have 3 mindsets. The left being the emotional mind. This is the mind many of us live off of and react from. The right mind is the reasonable mind. This is when we think more intellectually about a situation. Then we have the third mind which is the wise mind. This is when we take the emotional mind and the reasonable mind to have balance with the wise mind. The wise mind is what we want to use daily. After treatment I will be headed back to Tucson Arizona to rebuild my life and be back in my daughter’s life. It will still be an uphill battle but I believe in myself and I know one day at a time I will get there.
The biggest advice I can give to anyone dealing with mental illness is to believe in yourself and love yourself for who you are. You are lovable and are important and many of you have been through an uphill battle as I. I believe in you and I know you can do it. Good things take time and when you find hope that truly is a new beginning.
Much love to you all,
Jason aka scoops777
@scoops777 on Instagram