Genevieve s Story
“I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts for almost 7 years. Never once did I think that these struggles would actually put me in the hospital, but it was that decision and experience that saved my life. I am so grateful to have had the support of the people at the hospital, my friends, and my family because without them, I would not be here today.
It was the night of June 21, 2016 when my life changed forever. I had cried myself to sleep, desperately wanting to die- which was nothing out of the ordinary. But during the night, I had a dream I had killed myself. I had taken all my meds and was losing to them by the moment. When I woke up in a panic in the morning, I called my therapist right away, freaked out at what I had experienced.
She was concerned and called hospitals nearby to see if any had beds available for me. I was due at work at noon, but this was something that I couldn't shove under the rug any longer. I couldn't pretend things were getting better ...they were getting worse moment by moment. To say I was struggling is an understatement.
I called both of my parents at work and told them what was going on. My mom rushed home and sat with me as we discussed the options and my dad was ready to take the next train home from the city. I took an intake questionnaire over the phone, packed my bags, and left the house.
My sisters were working at a restaurant in town and all I remember was walking in there in tears and my mom telling them ‘Genny might be going somewhere for a few days.’ I hugged them and walked out. My sister Lindsay ran after me, hugged me again, and told me she loved me and was proud of me. It was at that moment that I knew I was making the right choice.
Upon my arrival at the hospital, I went through the normal intake process - met with a doctor, filled out papers, and had a physical exam. It felt as though I was being stripped of my freedom and dignity. When it was time for my parents to leave, I broke down. I didn't want to go anymore. I was horrified and anxious and didn't know what to expect. I was brought to the ‘acute care unit’ which I assumed was a small, delicate unit that I would get used to. No. It was intense and traumatizing.
I was in that unit for about 24 hours, during which I spent most of the time crying, scared, and alone. Eventually, they were able to move me to a less intense unit, where I felt more comfortable and safe. It was there that I felt my real-self coming back. The medicines were working and I was feeling okay again.
My family came to visit and brought cards and big hugs. It was the most incredible feeling in the world to know I had their support and love throughout everything. Two days later I was released. It was weird having my freedom back and being out in the world again. But, I knew I was a new person. I was ready for whatever else the world would throw at me and I was stronger than I ever thought I could be.
Mental illnesses are real and need to be taken seriously. No, you can't just ‘cheer up’. No, you can't just ‘get over it’. No, you can't stop thinking that way. Just as other medical illnesses can kill you, so can mental ones. Because… it almost killed me.
To anyone struggling, please know you are not alone. Your struggle is real. You are loved. You can get help.
Much love to all who have helped me over the years.”