Friday, 23 September 2016

Doomsday | Mental Health

When enough people call you crazy it's hard not to believe them...
I took a week off life. No work. No school. Just friends, fresh air, and beautiful places. I have an awful habit of keeping myself so busy with mundane activities that I become completely numb and devoid of all human feeling.

I've grown to be fairly successful with slapping a smile on my face and avoiding having people ask me 'what's wrong?'. I turn my emotions off and allow myself to be a robot because feeling nothing is easier than feeling everything. 

I've tried so hard for so long to keep this blog upbeat and happy because it seems wrong to put more negativity into the world than what already exists. But I have to be true to myself and to the people who come back continually to read this blog- it started as my online diary and that's what it will be again. The truth is, I'm not okay. 

I was diagnosed with depression and OCD when I was in the eleventh grade.
One cool September morning, shortly after six, I was woken by the piercing scream of my mother. She was screaming my fathers name. I sat up in bed and heard my brother, still in his own room, begin to stir. I stood and waited for him in the hallway and we walked down the stairs together onto the main floor. We were met by my frantic mother in the kitchen, with blood on her robe, on the phone with 9-11.

 She rushed us out the door and across the street to my aunts house where we waited as the ambulance came, collected my father, and took him away. My mom, now dressed, got in the car and followed.

My brother and I went home. Accompanied by my aunt, we got dressed and went to school, not knowing what happened and pretending like it was all just a dream. When we got home that evening, there was a woman and a man sitting in our kitchen with my mom. They were from the hospital on behalf of the Canadian Mental Health Association. They were there to explain to us that our father- the strong man we loved so much- our father broke. The scars on his neck would be a permanent reminder of the night my father tried to take his life. 

Every year at this time, my depression peaks. I remember every detail of what happened that morning and for the months following while my dad remained in the psychiatric ward of the hospital.

Every year at this time, I wait for the days to pass until Thanksgiving. That was his first day pass. He was able to leave the hospital under my moms supervision. For four hours he could come home and be thankful for his life that was spared by the Lord's grace and be surrounded by the people who love him so much that thinking of life without him is not only unbearable, but unimaginable. 
The foundation of our life cracked as soon as the blade pierced his skin. From that moment on, nothing would be the same. My dad lived. He is thriving and he is happy. But every day I am afraid. I am afraid that he will crack again and our foundation will crumble. We will be left in the ruins that mental illness leaves behind. 

I want to be happy. I really do. But it seems that every time I start to feel good, and happy, and alive my world gets knocked out of orbit and I am sent flying toward the sun at light speed, waiting to be burned. 
I'm so grateful for the people in my life that stick around. I have the greatest friends anyone could dream of having. No matter how hard I push, or how long I shut myself away in my bedroom, I always know that they are going to call and text until I answer. And if I don't answer, they sure as Hell will show up at my door and drag me out into the sunlight. They will always take me to my favourite places, reminding me to grab my camera before heading out the door. Only a few of them know what happened in September of 2011 so the majority of them are in complete darkness when it comes to my autumn craziness. But they are such perfect people and they love me so much that they stay anyways. They don't need to know what's wrong, they just care to know that I will be okay.

People like that are invaluable. No matter how hard I push they grab my hands, pull me in and hold me in their embrace, letting my tears soak their shoulder, until Thanksgiving comes and all feels right again. 

Find those friends. Everyone needs them. Everyone deserves them.

Be that friend. Someone needs you. Someone deserves you.

xo, Katie