Six days into my inpatient stay, my psychiatrist walked into my room and asked how I was feeling. I told him that I felt great and was very positive about the future (both true). “Well then I think it’s time for you to go home”, he said. When I asked him when, he said, “today”.
I felt both relieved and a little apprehensive. What would it be like to be back in my house? Would I sink back into depression and have my anxiety spiral out of control again?
The nurses let me call my mother and I told her she could pick me up at any time. When I got outside into the fresh air it was pure exhilaration. I had been cooped up inside the hospital and this was the first time I’d been outside in almost a week.
We drove to my mom’s house where I was reunited with my dog, Pipsqueak. Those doggie kisses never felt so great! He was long overdue for a bath so we drove him to the pet store. As I was washing him I realized how happy and relaxed I was. I almost started crying. I hadn’t felt like this in months.
I stayed at my mom’s for one more night then headed back home for good.
It’s been 2 months since this experience and I can thankfully say that I feel fantastic. The depression and anxiety are under control. I’m driving on highways and through tunnels again; both very panic attack inducing in the past. (I would actually drive out of the way to avoid a tunnel.) I’m looking forward to finding a job and getting back to work.
I wouldn’t change this experience for the world. Not only am I in a better place, but I feel I can be a better mental health advocate since I’ve experienced it first hand.
My story wouldn’t be complete without a huge “Thank You” to my mom who played such a huge role in my recovery. I couldn’t have done it without you.