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Feeling broken, but still going home

Seeking+help+when+dealing+with+mental+health+problems+can+be+extremely+beneficial+if+issues+aren%27t+resolving+themselves.
Seeking help when dealing with mental health problems can be extremely beneficial if issues aren't resolving themselves.

Seeking help when dealing with mental health problems can be extremely beneficial if issues aren't resolving themselves.

Art by Alp Okyar

Art by Alp Okyar

Seeking help when dealing with mental health problems can be extremely beneficial if issues aren't resolving themselves.

Clare Grant, Reporter

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Admitting help is the hard part; that’s what people told me. But coming home from the hospital was the hardest thing I ever had to cope with.

The mental health hospital is nothing like it is usually portrayed as; I genuinely liked being there. The staff was great and the food consisted of homemade style meals. We watched movies every night and took turns doing activities after therapy. We got to listen to music that we liked as well as play on a playground that they have on grounds. I liked being away from all of the drama that eighth grade brought into my life. I was expected to act like an adult, but was treated like a small incompetent child. It wasn’t like that at the hospital.

I was comfortable there and the insecurities drifted away since I was surrounded by people who went through similar things.

But, coming home was like drowning. I couldn’t catch my breath; I felt like I was submerged in a world that made me hate myself. All people ever told me was how awful it was to be in a mental health hospital. However, the people who said that had either never been to the hospital, or only stayed for a few days.

Many people only stayed at the hospital for a short time, such as three days, which was average. Being sent to a place because you need to be ‘fixed’ is hard and going there solidifies a feeling of being broken.

The people that stayed for short times tended to be uncomfortable, not progressing in any way or interacting the other people there who felt the same to make them feel more normal and less alone. I had to stay for eleven days which gave me time to adjust and feel safe there, while feeling relaxed around the people I met, who were like me.

I came back to a reorganized house for the sake of a ‘fresh start’, as a lot of websites had suggested to my mom. All of my clothes were in places that I had never put them in and my comic books were hidden in the back of my closet like trash that didn’t mean anything. I wanted to have my favorite pair of sweats or my favorite blanket to relax after dealing with the world that I didn’t miss one bit, but they were somewhere I couldn’t find them.

I came back to school a day after my release and all my friends were smiling and laughing like I never left. It was like I had no effect on any of them. It made me feel forgotten and unimportant. I didn’t want it to go back to the way it was before I left because it ruined me before. My existence wasn’t acknowledged and when it was, it was a simple gesture or statement to make sure I was okay. My friends felt fake as if they didn’t actually care about what happened to me.

I almost immediately started to regress back to where I started, before the hospital. My anxiety and depression was engulfing me. My paranoia made me think everyone hated me. I was constantly being laughed at and watched, leading to a panic attack in public. Everyone thought something was wrong with me and I didn’t want to tell them the truth about myself and how crazy or damaged I was. That’s what I thought about myself.

My grades suffered and my mind started to play tricks on me as my doctors messed with my medicine to make me feel happy again. I doubted any medicine would work, but I eventually got put on a serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and I started to gain faith in humanity again.

With the medicine, I was more apt to learn about what was wrong with me and why. I found out that depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain and my brain had low doses of serotonin. Everytime that I get upset to the point where I start to hate myself, I tell myself to take a few breaths. It’s not my fault, my brain is just struggling. It’s medical, not me.

Something just as small as knowing that it isn’t me, it’s the chemicals in my brain, means everything and it helps keep me going. My friends and family keep me going. I always thought it was so cheesy and cliche to say that you have to be positive, but any reason to look at the bright side of things is something to hold onto.

I found a sense of pride and accomplishment when I found my diary and read this:

Thinking of the good things got me through. I am still getting through. My past will not ruin me.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Feeling broken, but still going home”

  1. Abigail Whitcomb on November 2nd, 2017 1:17 pm

    Clare–
    This took a lot of courage and I am so glad you decided to not be ashamed and put this out there. I didn’t know you when you were going through such a difficult time, but I am glad that I know you now. I am looking forward to reading even more of your work.

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