Wow, what a month.
I realize it's been just over a month since I wrote about my experience as an inpatient in the hospital.
To be frank, September was the hardest month of my life.
I got through it.
I was struggling a lot after I discharged from the hospital, as I was in the midst of several medication changes that left my body scrambling to keep up and my brain was pretty much fried. It felt like a chemical crash with my brain and body trying to go different ways and struggling to find equilibrium again.
I was also having a really hard time coping with some personal events that left me feeling rather hopeless and just completely deflated.
In short, I was extremely depressed, exhausted all the time, my anxiety was out of control, and I felt pretty defeated.
I got through it.
I started working with a new psychiatrist who did genetic testing with me, which revealed that the medications I had been on for the previous 3 years (SSRIs) were not compatible with my genes, and that I should hypothetically never have been on them. I started taking a new class of medicine (SNRIs), and it's been just under a month that I've been on them, and I can actually see the difference.
For the first time since I've started psychiatric medications, I'm actually seeing them work. That's huge! I've never, ever, had any positive outcomes from being on medicines and I am finally starting to feel a difference. Within the next few weeks, I will see my psychiatrist again and we will see if I need to go up on the dosage to find the sweet spot for symptom relief.
I'm getting through it.
After I discharged from the hospital, my eating was out of control. I was actively restricting again, skipping meals, and engaging in eating disorder behaviors that I hadn't used in over 6 months prior to this. I was extremely frustrated, and felt pretty pissed off at myself and like a relapse was inevitable at that point.
And yet, my team worked with me to make sure I was accountable, and getting in as many meals as I could. They encouraged me to check in with them often, and to be as gentle on myself as I could be, because they were difficult circumstances that made my recovery significantly harder.
Even though everything in my mind was screaming at me to just quit recovery and give into the eating disorder, I didn't.
I didn't relapse, and I got through it.
And so, here I am. Over a month since I discharged from the hospital, and I'm doing okay. I'm surviving. I'm starting to feel the depression lifting day by day, and I'm having more good days than bad at this point. I truly didn't believe that I could survive September, but I did.
I think that's a huge takeaway from this past month. When the odds were all against me, and I felt like there was absolutely no way I could make it through the hour, the day, the week, I did.
My recovery has absolutely not been linear. If you asked me in January or even May if this would happen, I wold have laughed and said that I would be so far in my recovery that nothing could touch me.
And yet, life happens. Things change, and things get really fucking hard.
And yet, I made it through it. I survived it.
And if that's not a testament to my recovery (both from an eating disorder and depression), I don't know what is.
Hi, I'm Charlotte! I'm a 24 year old navigating life in NYC and mental health recovery. I am passionate about public health and eliminating stigma.