The Day Mental Health Became Real To Me

Epiphanies are those moments when you awaken to truth and capture a totally new perspective on life. A prolific epiphany happens when that new perspective has an instantaneous effect on you, as a person. It is a change that takes place in your life immediately.

In February 2008, I had one of the most prolific epiphanies ever. At the age of 39, after a horrible morning of trying to prove that I was a good woman, with my two children in the next room, my throat came face to face with a pair of scissors and I was prepared to end it all. It was the moment that suicide seemed like the only option I had. But that was not the prolific moment – suicide never is. My son, who was then 15, somehow heard my whisper, ran into the room, and snatched the scissors from my hands. That was not the prolific epiphany either.

mental health

 

The moment that was most enlightening to me was the realization that if I were willing to take my life with my two sons in the next room, something was seriously wrong with me. Somewhere the wires crossed and caused a misfire in my brain. I was time for me to go to the only place that mattered at that time – on my knees.

But, that was just the start.

Once I realized that I had a problem, I called my then husband and cried about the decision I had just made that almost took my life. He immediately put me in contact with a female police officer who was a negotiator and psychologist as well. She walked me through next steps, provided me with the resources I needed and told me to learn to become okay with where I was so that healing can occur. I did not get it then, but over time, I understood that healing happens when you admit it needs to happen.


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That was my prolific epiphany—admitting that I needed help and removing the masks of pain I had carried for more than 11 years. It was time to let the wall down and allow my brain and heart to mend.

Three things happened that day, and all are important when it comes to mental health.

  1. I admitted the problem – Until I faced it, I could not deal with it. While I did not get it, then, I was struggling with a deeply spiritually rooted depression. It was admitting the problem that helped me discover the issue.
  2. I sought help – I had to reach out for help first. What I know for sure is that people can reach out to you all day long, but until you reach up to grab their hand, you will simply wallow in the mess that is causing you so much pain.
  3. I started the work – To see change, we must do the work. That work may mean sitting with a counselor every week, taking the necessary medicine needed to balance brain chemicals, check yourself into a facility for help, getting in shape so that you brain is properly oxygenated, changing your circle of friends, creating sources for accountability, and a number of things. The work you need to do will depend on the issue and the severity of it.

The state of your mental health is dependent on what you do to heal. Mental health is important. Get the help you need without shame. Follow this link for resources available to you.

#thiswomanknows

11 Comments

  • Gloria Boone says:

    Thank you for sharing a stigma surrounded issue! I really appreciate your transparency and honesty!

  • Robin Pack says:

    Thank you for having the courage to speak out about this! This is an issue that needs to be talked about but we are scared to death that others will think we are crazy (I know I am one of the thousand “silent sufferers”!)

    • LaTara Bussey says:

      Robin,

      Let me encourage you to no longer suffer in silence. You have already taken step one…admitting! Now it is time to take step and reach out for the help you need. I am not sure where you are with healing but I admonish you to simply take the next step.

      Many blessings and joy to you!

  • Nikki says:

    That’s a powerful post and story, and thanks for having the courage to share it. It seems, as more people speak out, we’re slowly moving toward the possibility of not having such a stigma attached to mental health.

    • LaTara Bussey says:

      I am excited to see the tides change and people get real with mental health. There are far too many suffering in silence.

  • Megan says:

    A courageous post that needs to be shared. I have a general anxiety disorder. Even though I am very open about it I know many people who till suffer quietly for fear of how others will see them. I hope more posts like this will keep encouraging others to see mental illness just like any other illness.

  • Yes! Thank you for sharing your experience! It can be so hard for people to admit they have a problem… and then accept the help they need… and then do the hard work necessary to be as healthy as possible. Which is a big part of my blog; I write to share my struggles with mental illness and faith to encourage people in their similar struggles. Thank you again for sharing your experience to help others and be another voice against stigma and ignorance. Great post!

    • LaTara Bussey says:

      Thank you Melinda. We have such a long way to go but I am determined to bring light to an area that has been dark for far too long.

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