Before I start this post I need to make a few disclaimers:

First, this post is entirely about mental health. There will likely be triggers in it for those of you who battle with mental health diagnoses’. If you intend to read further, please do so safely and make sure you have someone you can talk to if you need to.

Second, to my friends and family who are reading this post: please do not freak out. I repeat, please do not freak out. I promise you I am safe, and I am taking the steps needed to get back to where I need to be with my mental health. I am safe. I reiterate, I am safe.

Third, this post is a source of anxiety for me. As I am disclosing a lot of very,  very personal information about my struggles with mental illness. So please be conscientious once you read this and reach out to me. I appreciate any kind words you have for me, and welcome them. But please be respectful of my need to speak about these things on my own terms and in my own time.

It’s been… many months since I last saw my therapist. I had to stop seeing her because I lost my insurance when I lost my job. I also had to stop seeing my psychiatrist and all doctors. I started a job that doesn’t pay a living wage and doesn’t offer health benefits, but I don’t qualify for Medicaid because I just barely make over the income threshold. The low wage has also contributed to great anxiety about making ends meet.

I have been spiraling out of control the past couple of months with regard to my mental health because I haven’t been able to see my therapist, my psychiatrist, my hormones have been affecting my mood much more recently, and I have been under a great amount of stress lately.

The job that I took has been a source of great anxiety for me as have felt like there is very little support for it’s employees, there’s very high turnover, and there’s very little by way of positive things to look forward to throughout the day. Conversation with your coworkers is discouraged, if not cause for discipline. You’re expected to sit at your desk, stare at your computer, converse with no one, and not leave your desk without permission.

Then there’s the overtime. We’re mandated to work 50 hours a week, indefinitely. There have been a few exceptions, they cancelled overtime for the day Friday and today. On top of my having to work a part-time job to make ends meet and not being able to cut my hours back there for fear of losing them.

This all leads to emotional, and physical exhaustion. Couple that with my anxiety and I have not been able to go out and socialize with friends or other human beings in weeks. I come home, prepare for moving to my temporary apartment as mine is being renovated beginning August 1st, go to bed, get up, go to work, rinse and repeat.

My depression has reached lows I haven’t experienced in years. My anxiety has been worse than I’ve ever known it to be. I have not considered suicide through out all this, which I am proud of, because at one point in my life, I would have considered it as a means of escape.

I feel stuck, I feel hopeless. I feel alone. I feel lost. I began drinking again. At first once a week, on the one evening a week before my one day off a week. Then it progressed to twice a week. Which may not seem like a big deal; however, I was sober for many years because I had a drinking problem in my early twenties. I’m cutting myself off from alcohol. I dumped the last half a bottle of wine I have in my apartment down the drain.

I began smoking cigarettes again as a means to break up the monotony of the day. I hadn’t smoked in a very long time. I am working on tapering myself off them, ultimately quitting again.

Last weekend, I cut myself. Intentionally. While drunk. That will never happen again. Any means to do so have been removed, by myself, from my apartment. I have never done that before. I don’t know why I did it. It did nothing for me. I expected a release from my emotional pain through the physical pain, but that was empty.

I am reaching out to free and or reduced cost mental health professionals in the area to start therapy somewhere again while I wait to find health insurance. I am reaching out to friends again to rejoin the land of the living.

I am going to start attending temple on a regular basis again, and I’m taking my Siddur to work with me to pray during the day.

I want to reiterate that I am safe from myself. I am not going to hurt myself again, nor am I having ANY thoughts of suicide. There’s no plan, no thought at all.

My reason for writing this is twofold. It’s therapeutic for me, first and foremost. Second, I know I am not alone. I know there are others out there who struggle every day; some worse than I.

I am safe. I am safe, and I am taking steps to make things better. I know you’re all going to worry. But know that I am safe. I am safe, and I am taking steps to make things better. Those are not hollow words. I know you all probably knew I was struggling, but were unaware of the severity. Now you do. But know that things will get better.

I am on the mend. I am finding the help I need and I am pursuing it. This is my tipping point, and I’m tipping to point of positivity and not farther down the dark hole of mental illness.

I will always have depression, anxiety, and PTSD; but it will be better managed starting now. I will get back to my “old self” soon.

Don’t despair, too much. I am safe. I reiterate and promise completely I am safe. I am not alone, and I am safe. I want to stress that.

I look forward to spending time with many of you soon.

 

All my love,

Rivka

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