I know where I am, I’ve been lost here before.

Today was fun. I sat and talked about my mental health history for you know, just a little over three hours. 

No big deal. 
Just THREE hours of recalling weird memories of questionable therapists, bizarre side effects from medications I should have never been prescribed, regular visits to the county mental hospital with men and women I didn’t find to be all that crazy, and so on. Then, someone started puking in the office next door, so yeah, the ambiance was nice. (It was an employee and he’s fine.) 
I had sporadic moments of remembering things I’d long ago lost and forgotten in my brain. It was interesting, and supposedly useful (to the behavioral health dude) to remember things from over 10 years ago that could help me today. It’s like piecing together clues as to why I can’t be a regular human being. Also, it was a great  practice in new honesty. Being sober and actually “recovering” from my addiction and depression is placing a whole new meaning and value on honesty. It’s so raw and different (emphasis on different)  to be this honest on this personal of a level.  Addicts have a real way of lying that hurts no one but themselves. I’ve lived with lies I’ve told myself for way too long. Like, no wonder I freakin’ hated myself– I talked shit on myself constantly– all day! Every day!Not only that, I lied about myself to others so they wouldn’t learn how “shitty” the made-up version of myself was. But, I’m not shitty. I was just in an abusive relationship with myself. Hi, I’m Vanessa and I’m not shitty. 

I don’t know what I am yet, but shitty isn’t it. Talking about myself and my history during my visit was like deconstructing this “other” Vanessa and all the lies that built her, brick by brick. The logistics of the brick laying of lies. Where did these lie-bricks come from? Why are there so many? Why are they so heavy? How do I get rid of them? Are these the same as the depression bricks? Agh!?I didn’t realize how much I self-stigmatized myself for all my past mental health experiences. I knew I had a lot of resentments toward the mental health field but didn’t realize where those resentments came from and just how rooted into my beliefs those resentments were. And, they aren’t helpful. After three hours of going through all my history, I still proceeded to sign release forms for all the places I’ve been treated, just in case I forgot anything, just in case it’s helpful to rebuilding Real Vanessa. From there, my new psychiatrist will be able to obtain all of my past mental health records and make a better decision regarding my treatment. We wrapped up the session with a sheet of about 50 words like compassionate, creative, sense of humor, trustworthy, easy-going and so forth. It was a list of strengths and I had to pick five. I picked “spirituality/faith” and was asked to explain how this strength could help in my overall recovery. And here is my answer:My God is an awesome God and I know that all of the experiences I’ve been through, that we’ve talked about today, is for some greater good. I can say the only belief that has kept me from thoughts of suicide is the comfort of knowing that if I’d just get out of my way and get help, and let God help me, God will use these experiences for good. Because he doesn’t do anything to harm us, only to bring us good. And that is why my faith will save me and that is why I am here.”Seeking treatment for depression or anxiety or whatever else, is not taking a shortcut. It’s not saying God isn’t enough. It’s trusting God’s plan and getting out of your own way so you can get to the better part of yourself so you can finally do what you were meant to do. It’s only taken me half my stubborn life to figure it out but it’s where I’m at today. 

I hope that if you struggle with anything like addiction or depression or trauma, that you get the help you need today. God loves you and wants you to get better. Check out http://www.mentalhealth.gov/get-help/ for help and resources to start your recovery.