Mental Illness Recovery Series: Story # 80

This is the 80th story of the Mental Illness Recovery Series. Bailey has had a difficult life which lead her to behave with destructive tendencies, but thankfully she saw that happiness is attainable. This is her story:

Bailey is from Wisconsin, USA and she enjoys writing, doing special effects makeup, and really loves space. She plans on having a bright future, she said, “I plan on becoming a psychologist and moving abroad.” Bailey was diagnosed with and still has dysthymia with major depressive episodes, generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), eating disorders not specified, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), dyslexia, mood disorder unspecified, and borderline personality disorder.

Bailey believes her mental disorders was caused by a combination of different things. She said, “It’s a combination of genetics and my childhood. My mom’s side has depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety very prominently among them. My childhood wasn’t the greatest so that had to do with the other conditions. My dad is a narcissist who was verbally abusive and possibly physically towards me (a lot of my childhood has been suppressed). He would yell at me for things like my interests, my weight, and my personality traits- things children really can’t help. Also, at the ages of 15 and 17 I was raped by my ex-roommates friend (15) and my ex-boyfriend (17)” She has received talk therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, group and family therapy.

Bailey has dealt with numerous symptoms, she said, “I had severe bursts of anger. I was like a ticking time bomb at all times. I also had blackouts where I would become very destructive and hurt myself or others. I had hallucinations and paranoia. My anxiety was a constant and when a depressive episode would hit, I would stay in bed for days.” Because of this her daily life became affected. She skipped school, lost weight very quickly, and lost a lot of friends due to her temper and destructive tendencies. Bailey said, “I became a foreigner to myself.” She has attempted suicide four times and has been hospitalized three times. Not only that, but she has also self-harmed for seven years. Bailey said, “I was an addict for two years. I’ve been in countless fights and have hurt those I love.”

She ended up feeling all kinds of emotions. Bailey was full of rage because no one trusted her and she didn’t know what was going on with her. She said, “I was confused because I knew something wasn’t right because my friends didn’t snap at little things or have scars up their arms, but at the same time I didn’t care because I liked the rush of being the way I was.” The turning point for Bailey was seeing how her loved ones suffered. She said, “It was hearing my friends cry over the phone asking me why I was acting like this. It was my grandmother’s face when I woke up in the hospital from an overdose. It was hearing my mom cry out of happiness when I was baking again. It was my brother hugging me and saying “I knew the old you was somewhere in there”. It was ending a toxic relationship and being able to get help. All those little moments showed me that I can get better and people will support me.”

The strategies she used to beat her mental disorders, was opening up. She also stopped lying to her therapist. She said, “I told people when I wasn’t okay. I told myself that I could make it through and it would be okay. I threw out my blades and wore short sleeves all the time. I used the coping skills I was taught in the hospital and didn’t give up if one didn’t work.” Her friends and family respected her boundaries, and listened when Bailey felt comfortable telling them what was wrong. The lesson that she learned from this ordeal is that happiness always wins. Even her outlook in life has changed, she said, “I’m a lot more empathetic now. I’m always there for people. It made me want to go into the psychology field in hopes that I can show another person that life isn’t so terrible.” She now tells herself how lonely she got and how much it hurt, whenever she feels like she is slipping back into her old destructive behavior.

This is Bailey’s advice for others struggling:

“Happiness is achievable. It won’t come overnight, but you can get there. You just have to fight against what your mind has been telling you. You have to remind yourself you are worth it and you deserve true happiness. It’s hard, not gonna lie, but if you can make it through this; you can do it. Keep fighting. I believe in you.”

Bailey has strong will to fight back her inner demons. Help me make a difference by sharing your story. If you or anyone you know needs a safe place to vent out and recieve advice feel free to become a member of the Mental Illness Recovery Series Group on Facebook.

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