growth + wellness

Guest Post: Flying to the Cuckoo’s Nest

September 16, 2011

Guest blogging today is my dear e-friend–MsEvaHoney. She and I have talked a lot about the importance of mental health, a subject that is very near and dear to our hearts. She’s been gracious enough to open up about her struggles with mental illness. I’m sure you’ll appreciate her story as much as I do…


Disclaimer: I am in no way a writer, sorry in advance for any grammatical and writing errors. I am just sharing my stories.

When I arrived at the psychiatric hospital on 8/12/11, I looked up at the brown building with wide and teary eyes. “How did I let it gets this far?” “It” meaning feeling so bad about myself that I attempted suicide on 3 separate occasions. The last attempt was the last straw. I needed help and finally had the courage ask for it.

I realized early on that I did not feel “normal”. I was molested by a friend’s father in kindergarten through first grade. I had no clue that the actions were wrong at the age of 5-6 but as I got older, it was wound that I acted on in unhealthy ways.

My mom was a stay at home wife and mother to five children and an alcoholic husband. My father was and still is an excellent provider. My siblings and I never went without shelter, food, or clothes. However, we went without emotional love and support. There were many school, Girl Scout and community events that we had one or no parents that came.

We all dealt with our home life differently. I was sad and felt like I was not good enough for my parents to care; I did not know it at the time but the wounds would follow me into adulthood. I had a need to always be accepted and loved and that sometimes led to dangerous situations.

At 19 I was a virgin. “The guy” I was seeing did not want the responsibility of taking my virginity, so I slept with a man I barely knew so I could sleep with “the guy”. In my 19 yr old head, this made sense. I did not realize that it would result in self destructive behaviors later in life. I became hyper sexual and an alcoholic. The results of these behaviors were my being sexually assaulted twice. I never reported either and only told one person at the time. I remained in an on again off again relationship with “the guy” for years. He was never emotionally available. With my need to be accepted, I persisted in a relationship with him. My thought was, “Who else will want an overweight, gapped tooth, short, dark skinned girl?”

I never dealt with any of these issues in healthy ways. I was put on medicine for depression but they did not work well. On July 13, I put a gun in my mouth but was too scared to pull the trigger. I began to take my prescription pills (more on that in a different post) and washing it down with lots of alcohol in hopes to not wake up. The pain had become too much.

My roommate saw the downward spiral and knew I needed help. She was my rock and took me to the hospital. She filled out my paperwork as I cried and shook uncontrollably. When it was time for me to go upstairs, she hugged me tightly and said she would visit every day.

I did my intake downstairs and proceeded to Unit II, the floor for higher functioning patients. Per the paperwork I signed, I had to stay at least 3 days. My shoes, purse and cell phone were taken and they performed a body search to check of scarring or any signs of recent injuries. It was not that bad except when took the underwire out of bra. For some reason it made it all real.

The days were filled with group therapy, social workers, psychiatrists; meds and food. One of the reasons I went was because I needed a correct diagnosis and a correct treatment. I wanted to know what was wrong with me. In the hospital I was diagnosed with major depression disorder, PTSD, anxiety, and dysthymia. I was put on new medication and between that and therapy and a new support group, I felt ready to go home after nine nights. I went to an intensive outpatient therapy group all day for 10 days. I have learned lots of new positive coping skills and how to set boundaries among lots of information to live a healthier life.

I was hesitant to expose myself in any way but I knew I had to. I wanted to let the scores of people who go through these feelings hopelessness to know that there is help. People take on this alone and you just can’t—you have to ask for help. HELP DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK!!!! It makes strong and smart.  If you feel like you need help you probably do. If you know someone suffering from mental illness, use these resources (here and here, for starters) to get them the help they need and deserve.

At this moment I am 2 weeks out of treatment and though it is a battle, my asking for help saved my life. I just hope my story helps save some one else’s life.

Peace, Love & Mental Health,

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  • Reply jouromeo September 16, 2011 at 2:32 am

    I’m proud of you Ms.EvaHoney.

    It takes a lot to want help or even to admit that there are solutions whether you want them or not.

    I think it speaks to the greatness of your character that you took those punches and rolled with them, got knocked down but popped right back up with a smirk, taunting for more.

    Don’t forget us…Bloggers stick together. Great post

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

      Thank you for your kind comments. it is hard to get back up again,but I am in healthier place to do so!

  • Reply madscientist7 September 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

    wow it takes a lot to share something like this publicly. i won’t go into detail but i can definitely relate to more than a few of the issues that you went through. *hugs*

    i’m glad you got the help you needed. 🙂

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      I was very hesitant to tell my story.You never know what the reaction may be, especially because it is so heavy. Getting help is the key. This kind of mental cannot be solved with talk from friends and family. Professionals are trained to help you appropriately. Thank you for reading and commenting

  • Reply ellemarie360 September 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Thank you for sharing your story love. Hopefully more people stepping up and sharing will erase this stigma some have of mental illness. And you couldn’t be more correct, asking for help does not make one weak, it is a sign of strength. Good post, and thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks! That is something i want to do, erase the stigma. Appreciate you reading and commenting

  • Reply gemmieboo September 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

    as i’ve mentioned to you before, MsEvahoney, i really appreciate you writing a post on mental health, and especially writing about your own personal experiences. i’m really glad you recognized that you needed help and went and sought it. i know its not easy, and it will always be a struggle, and i pray for you continued recovery and happiness.

    i would have loved more than anything for my brother to get the help he needed, instead of letting his mental illness kill him. and that will probably always stay with me for the rest of my life. i may not have been able to help him, but i hope i can help somebody.

    thanks again sis for your story *hugs*

  • Reply That Damn African September 16, 2011 at 9:52 am

    This was a great post. I’m so glad that you were able to get the help that you needed and that you were willing to share your story with us. God isn’t through with you yet 🙂

    It’s interesting what we choose to deal with on our own because of fear or embarrassment. You’re absolutely right about it not being weak to get help, in any area of your life. It takes more courage to make yourself vulnerable and trust that people care and are willing to help you that than it does to deal with something on your own and isolate yourself. I keep trying to remind myself of this when I decide to deal with things on my own (still working on it).

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      It’s hard when you have been designated the “strong one” amongst family and friends. It took a lot for me to get help. im glad I did!

  • Reply Reecie September 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    thank you for sharing your story. I especially liked this line: “you have to ask for help. HELP DOES NOT MAKE YOU WEAK!!!! It makes strong and smart”

    I appreciate you for displaying your smarts and strength via Gemmie’s blog. 🙂

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm

      Thank you so much! Thanks for reading and commenting! Asking for help is the first step!

  • Reply Cheekie September 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

    *hugs for MsEvaHoney* To say that you were brave for sharing this with us all seems like an understatement. It’s disheartening that so many Black women in particular don’t seek the help they need out of being ashamed, fear, pride… there are a plethora of reasons. But there is a certain strength in showing vulnerability and reaching out for someone’s helping hand that is special. You have to be just AS strong to ask for help as you do to help someone else. Maybe even more so.

    You didn’t pull that trigger for a reason… a significant reason. Perhaps for a FEW reasons. But, one main one is that you’re here to inspire those who may need this very post to cross that threshold into a more fufilling life. And of course, I thank ya for that.

    This post can be summarized in two words: You matter. In fact, I wish everyone knew that in respect to themselves. Maybe they will after this post.

    Fabulous post, girl. You know I’m proud of ya!

    • Reply msevahoney September 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm

      Thanks! It is amazing to see the progress that I have made in this. One of my daily mantras now is “I matter too” and ” I am worthy” because when you are in that, you feel hopeless, helpless, and unworthy. My goal is to help someone today.

  • Reply m jo September 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    You are a strong goddess of amazing actions! Just by sharing in such an open and honest manner, you have lifted one of the veils of shame that surround mental health. Someday, when we can all be as brave as you are, mental health won’t carry the stigma that it currently does and going to the hospital to get the help you need won’t be any more of a big deal than going to the hospital for diabetes or asthma.
    Thank you thank you thank you from all of us who need to know we’re not alone

  • Reply Shondriette (@Shonnerz) September 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    When you told me you were writing this post I didn’t realize how detailed and raw it would be. Your story is important and it needed to be told. I’m so proud I could cry! I’ve told you before but I’ll say it again: you are one of the strongest and bravest people I’ve ever met.

    • Reply gemmieboo September 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      you are one of the strongest and bravest people I’ve ever met.

      double triple quadruple co-sign!!

  • Reply Lindsay September 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    I very much like your quote that help does not make you weak, and i think you are being, and have been, very brave to seek and take that help. best of luck!

    • Reply MsEvaHoney September 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      thank you!

  • Reply ny2va September 16, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Your words are proof that you are indeed growing stronger each day. I am so glad that you are beginning to recognize that you DO matter and that you ARE worthy. What wonderful affirmations! I truly do trust and believe that your experience will result in other lives being saved. Stay strong, sis and know that you are loved…

  • Reply I Am Your People September 17, 2011 at 3:58 am

    Wow. You’re very brave to come forward with this. What really worries me is the lack of financial support for mental health. Once of my favorite YouTubers (@Brian_Bee) posted a now-deleted video about how he went to the hospital after becoming suicidal, and now he’s MORE depressed because he’s unemployed and receiving a huge bill for his treatment. I saw that video right around the time my “not for profit” health insurance company sent me a letter informing me that not only were my rates going up, mental health services was one of many services being eliminated from my plan. While I admit I didn’t know that was part of my health plan to begin with, I was concerned that that’s a service that considered to be “extra.” Sorry for the rambling post, but I’m saying all that to say I thank God you beat your demons, but fear for those whose shame and finances will prevent them from getting the care they need

  • Reply keishabrown September 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm

    where to even start?
    i cannot ever imagine what the feeling of utter loneliness and despair would feel like.

    i am not just proud that you found a place of strength within you to stay alive, but grateful you shared your story. you never know what your story can do for another person.

    like cheekie said and gem mentioned at top of post – we (the black community) are so quick to brush things under the rug, need to put this superwoman cape on and think of mental disorders as something for ‘other’ people. mental wellness is just as important – IF NOT MORE than the physical. we need to take care of them both.

    continue to take it one day, one step at a time towards healing inside and out. and know you are NEVER alone.

  • Reply nianaturally September 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    Thanks for sharing your story, Miss Honey. Mental disorders are so marginalized in the black community that it takes stories like yours to show people that it is ok to get the help they need, and the help they deserve. I’m very proud of you, and love you for sharing such a powerful story. So many people go through bouts of depressing and mental illness, and they just sweep it under the rug, or try to self-medicate. I understand the self-medication part. It doesn’t work, it never works. In fact, it exacerbates the issue. Again, I’m so happy you were able to get the treatment you needed, and I pray that others use your story as the impetus to get themselves the help they need.

  • Reply BB September 29, 2011 at 3:12 am

    So happy to read that you got help. I work in the mental health field, and I wish more people would come in for help. Losing two friends to suicide has made me even more educated on the need for mental health awareness and acceptance in our community. Stay strong.

  • Reply Capricorn October 4, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Girl. *hugs your hard* Thank you for sharing. I’ve been diagnosed in the past with clinical depression, which I really think was dysthymia. I’ve been on Prozac for about two years, had sleep issues for about that time and finally, FINALLY found a therapist who gets it. And yes, she’s a Sista. This is part of the reason why I am going back to school so that I can help more people of color deal with their issues. So, so thankful that more of us are sharing our stories, and that you shared yours. The shame is not in telling, but in the hiding. So happy that you got help and that you are on the path to wellness. *hugs tight again*
    Thank you.

  • Reply Mo-VSS October 6, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    I commend you for speaking up. I know a lot of “us” don’t want to in fear of what others will think, how they may judge and other ramifications that being open may bring. However, nothing is more sane/logical/right than asking for help when needed. Being prideful and trying to do it all alone is more than anyone should have to bear.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

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