Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 1

This is the first recovery story of this series. I want to thank Cassidy for sharing her story with us. There are numerous online articles that are about recovering from mental illness, but these ignore the stories behind the struggles that people go through. The point of this initiative is to help others going through similar situations. This is Cassidy’s story of recovery:

Cassidy (Cas for short) was born in New Mexico and currently resides in Arizona. She enjoys writing stories, songs and poems. Cas is a painter and sells her art. At the moment she is going to school to learn how to produce music. Her goal 5 years from now is to have graduated and find work as an audio engineer.

Image from: kocholo.org
Image from: kocholo.org

Cassidy was diagnosed on April of this year with depression, anxiety and insomnia after being admitted to a mental hospital for trying to commit suicide. Cassidy suspects her mental disorders stems from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Her doctor was unsure, but prescribed her medication for bipolar disorder and she was referred to other psychiatrists and therapists. Cas does not have good medical insurance and due to this she has not been able to seek adequate help.

She had to deal with horrible symptoms such as, recurring nightmares with sleeping and appetite changes. Cas would stop eating for long periods of time. She also had mood swings and would become angry for no apparent reason. Cassidy lost interest for the things she cherished most. Her insomnia spiked out of control with little to no sleep. She also had severe panic attacks that had no explanation.

Because of this her daily life was affected tremendously. Cassidy pushed everyone she loved away. Losing a bunch of friends in the process. She kept those who truly cared about her away by purposely being mean and picking fights with them. Not only that, but during her high school years and first year in college she failed her courses because she did not have any motivation what so ever. Feeling empty Cassidy became addicted to cocaine while she did other drugs such as acid, ecstasy and mushrooms just to feel something.

Image from: www.lifehack.org
Image from: www.lifehack.org

On April 24, 2015 after taking ecstasy Cassidy tried to commit suicide. Her boyfriend found her still conscious on the bathroom floor. He started crying and screaming at her. The neighbors heard his screams calling an ambulance that saved her life. This made Cas feel desperate because she wanted to calm her boyfriend, and yet die in his arms. This created a huge tear in their relationship, her boyfriend still hides her pill bottles and has taken control of her medication. Till this day Casidy still feels terrible for putting him through that.

Image from: www.pinterest.com
Image from: www.pinterest.com

Her turning point to overcome her mental disorder was at the mental hospital after the incident. Cassidy hasn’t fully recovered yet. She said, “I will always be in recovery from these and I will always have to work hard to not let them control me, it is a lifelong disorder that you learn to live with.” She copes with this by keeping herself busy with puzzles, writing, painting, and school work, and reminds herself every day that she is loved. Even on days she doesn’t find the motivation to do anything she makes herself take a shower, put on new clothes and do the dishes. By doing this she feels accomplished. Hey boyfriend has helped along the way as well by helping her quit drugs and reminding her she can talk to him.

This ordeal has taught her that she is loved and now her outlook in life has changed. She no longer feels like dying and now she looks up to the future. Whenever she feels like relapsing she confides in her boyfriend or her best friend of 3 years. She is happy with her life and is on track now, she also has her own apartment she paying for and is passing school.

This is Cassidy’s advice for those struggling:

“I would like to tell you all that no matter what your dealing with, somebody will listen, somebody cares, and even if you just get up and shower it still helps you feel accomplished and if that’s the best you can do that day then do it, I am proud of you, and tomorrow try doing a little more, maybe shower and clean or write a new chapter to your book, or read, or take your dog on a walk, it helps trust me.”

I hope this story helps others with similar situations. Cassidy’s recovery was not easy, but she was able to get her life on track and that is what matter. There will be many more stories, so stay tuned. If you would like to share your story of recovery, email me at mlgaston1@gmail.com. What are your opinions of this initiative?

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