The road on which I walk has it’s bumps and turns and, at times, this has been an indication that I have not always made the best decisions. One thing I feel confident about today is my ability to know when those decisions are becoming more frequent, when I need to ask for help, and when that help needs to be increased. I’ve learned that the shame that comes as a result of needing to reach out is a small price to pay for the support I receive. I’ve found that catching myself as I fall is far better than waiting until I hit rock bottom. In addition to an indicator, the bumps and turns have also offered me the insight to know these truths first-hand.
Though I’ve written a bit about my recent struggles, the intensity and frequency of these increased rather rapidly since my last post. After a positive experience going home, I returned to school and found myself, once again, in this decline. The reality that my best days were looking a lot like those to which I once dreaded returning and the level of help I needed was not only unfair to ask of my outpatient supports, but also held an uncertainty of success, pushed me to seek other options.
With the guidance of my treatment team, the blessings of my family, and the grace of my friends, I made a last-minute decision to re-admit to residential for my Christmas break from college and arrived yesterday evening.
A common misconception is that one must be at their worst mental and/or physical health state in order to seek treatment. Although I in no way mean to convey that every struggle should result in inpatient care, there are so many benefits to recognizing the need for 24 hour care before it is the only option. The picking yourself up is far easier when you remember what it feels like to stand.
In these moments, I’ve had to begin acknowledging my feelings of hypocrisy, disappointment, and sadness, as well as those of immense gratitude and hope. I left my sister to celebrate her birthday without me, and my family to another set of holidays where I’m in treatment. Simultaneously, I realize the opportunity I have here to make gains in my recovery that are crucial to my success, which many are not so fortunate to have. I look around and feel the peace of knowing that I’m being taken care of and can rest – something I didn’t quite recognize to the extent with which I lacked. Yet, I’m filled with fear of having to sit with discomfort and the worry that comes with thinking about recreating this upon my return to school. The flaws begin to arise as I take the first steps away from the lapse of my past few weeks and that’s daunting, particularly to a mind that likes to resolve problems quickly and efficiently.
Still, in the wake of all of this, I know it’s my second day. Though I’m not in the place I was the last time I signed admissions papers, nor the time before that, there is still work I must do and it’s just begun. My intentions in sharing are to be honest, begin accepting my new circumstances, and build hope that this is a piece of my recovery, just as much as it’s an example of relapse.