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The Genesis: My Journey to Mental Wellness

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

I posted this to Facebook a number of years ago. As I approach my 35th birthday in about 6 weeks, I wanted to remind myself just how far I have come. I hope that my story helps others to take the first step to healing, wholeness and wellness. Stacey As I sit here typing, my mind begins to wonder about how much different my life was this time a year and a half ago. I was a relatively healthy 28 year old with a loving husband and 2 lovely boys and was gainfully employed at one of the top defense contractors in the country. I had both my parents and all my siblings within a phone calls reach. My life was great and I really had no complaints. Little did I know that it would all come crashing down on me.

I can link the beginning to my life's unraveling to just after the birth of my youngest son. I became very moody and would spend a tremendous amounts of my free time sleeping. I knew exactly what the cause of this ugly transformation was and yet I thought I was strong enough to deal with it on my own. Postpartum Depression was the dirty little secret I wanted to hide from the world but it became more difficult with each person I snapped at for no reason. Harder still, when I would be found by my husband in our closet curled up in the fetal position, crying. I was drowning in a sea of emotions and wasn't well enough to even see that I needed a life saver. I was under the delusion that I, a self-proclaimed super woman, would beat this by myself. I suffered from severe depression as a teen and young adult and beat that so what made this any different, right? Wrong. What started out as PPD mutated into full blown major depressive disorder, a hydra that no matter how hard I worked to kill, just kept rearing its ugly head. Just when I thought things couldn't get any worse, I got the call on Friday, June 14, 2013, that my dad lost his battle with cancer. Although, I knew that he was very sick and suffering, it was still like a punch in the gut. How could this be? My dad was supposed to be around long into his 80s and beyond to spoil his grandchildren and great grands. He was supposed to beat this. I summoned every piece of strength that I had to try and hold myself together. But my dam of sanity was leaking and all I had to fix it was some bubble gum. The rest of the year didn't go much better. In October, I lost my sister to a brain tumor that she didn't even know that she had. She died alone, in the shower, thousands of miles away from her mother and brother and sisters that would have tried to move heaven and earth to save her. It was unreal to me how a seemingly, perfectly healthy, 36 year old woman can die so suddenly. Out of all the people in the world that Death could have chosen, he picked her. Her. I just couldn't believe it. That day I lost more than a sister. I lost a confidant and a true friend who never judged me no matter what crazy things that I told her.

By this time, I felt alone in a world full of people. I tried to put on a mask of normalcy but it was chipped. Letting even those who were unfamiliar to me get a peek of the black abyss of sadness that had become my soul. Instead of looking at each day with the hope that things would get better, I adopted a "what else can happen" mentality, expecting the sky to eventually crumble and fall right on top of me. The new year of 2014 brought me little hope that things would get better, although anyone who would ask would get my rehearsed "This year is my year!" speech. I was a fraud, a fake, a deceiver. I lied to others and most importantly, myself about how deep in my depression I was and that help was not needed.

Eventually, my mental state began to manifest itself physically. I began to have severe fatigue and fainting spells caused by low heart rate and blood pressure. I was in and out the doctors' office and the hospital, trying to figure out what exactly was wrong with me. My body was beginning to begin to cry for the help I needed despite my closed lips and prideful heart. I was literally killing myself and chose to do nothing about it.. On April 10, 2014, I could no longer deal with the pressures of life and thought that somehow this world would be better without me. I sent a message to my family and closest friend and said goodbye. I left work around lunch time and drove to a park nearby. As I parked the car, I reassured myself that I was doing the right thing. My family would be better off without me and could start over in my absence. I was too blinded by the depression to see that in taking my own life, I would do to them what the losses of my dad and sister did to me. As I sat there, with a makeshift noose around my neck, waiting for the handful of Hydrocodone I took to put me to eternal sleep, my brother in law drove up. My husband had used my iPhone to track my location and send out an a message to all my family. An ambulance and police arrived at the scene after a call from my husband to come and try to intervene. I sat in my car in a fog, not wanting to be saved but knowing that it was inevitable. The police, along with my brother in law begged me to open the door but I just couldn't. I felt I needed to see this through. I needed to be gone. The police were finally able to open the doors and get me out of the car so the paramedics could check me and carry me to the hospital. There my journey to mental wellness would begin...

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