Most people would call me crazy for wanting to go to the “cuckoo's nest”
Outpatient therapy isn’t the most greatly looked upon thing by society. I’d been before and it felt like being run over by the boulder of embarrassment, because only crazy people go there, right? Sitting in a huge circle talking about your trauma and issues with a ton of random strangers isn't the most fun way to spend your high school years. Yet, that’s how I spent some of mine.
At the end of my junior year, the boulder was rolling towards me and I knew what was about to happen. I’d already been hit by the rocks of depression, abuse, isolation, and lack of motivation. I tried outrunning the boulder until school ended and I had the freedom and time that summer had to offer, but my legs got tired and I had to accept my fate. I turned to the boulder rolling down the hill towards me and stepped to the side as it rolled past me. I hiked down the hill to my mom and told her I needed to go to the hospital for a psychological evaluation. It was time to dust off the dirt and get clean. She was confused due to the fact that I still had 4 weeks of school left, but her eyes softened as I told her I couldn’t do it anymore. We started our trek to the hospital quickly after. My mind was a whirlpool of thoughts, just like the nasty ones at public pools with all the people crammed in. Though somehow, the water turned off and everyone stopped spinning. My mind was clear except for one thing, pride. This time I wasn't embarrassed or ashamed of asking for help, rather tired of being depressed and I was more than ready to heal.
April 27th was a clarifying day for me. The day of my evaluation. This day was the clearest and most peaceful my mind has been in years. The hospital was surprisingly quiet and peaceful, a time for reflection was due. The fuzz of fear that others would judge me for being sick had been vacuumed up and tossed away. I was ready to admit my truth to all those around me. My mom, therapist, teachers, friends, and all others in my life are more than aware of what I need to meet my fullest potential and succeed with comfort. Finally being able to share my truth also opened up my heart to be a mental health advocate. I'm no longer silent about my troubles when mental health is mentioned. The stigma of mental health is a sharp sword, but I’ve learned to dull the sword with my words and actions. Admitting that you need help mentally is one of the hardest things a person can do, but with practice and vulnerability, it comes with ease.