and most importantly success!
· What is your favorite meal?
· What does mental health mean to you?
· What are your favorite mental health resources? (podcasts, apps, books, people)
· How are you doing, for real?
o I’m doing well. Happy, keeping busy, slowly writing a book, started a new hobby designing and sublimation.
· What habits do you have to take care of your mental health?
o Taking breaks. Sometimes it’s just stopping what I’m doing and going for a run, grabbing a coffee, sitting in the car with the music on full blast.
· Why is mental health so important to you?
o I am a survivor. It’s important as it’s a silent killer. People can hide it for a long time until it’s too late. We need to talk about it more.
· PCS’d to a new base. In front of people, I was doing okay, making new friends, and new country.
· When I was alone my demons were always around.
· I was sad a lot, and began drinking heavily on the weekends.
o To the point of blacking out and waking up in random places.
o I was lucky in the sense that it was other women who took care of me when I was getting too drunk to know what was going on. I’d usually leave thank you notes and then take off and find my own place when I woke up the next morning.
o It could’ve been a really bad situation.
· Starting losing sleep, went to the doctors and was placed on meds
· I didn’t care anymore about anything that was going on in my life.
· I began pushing people away, and became mean to anyone that cared about me. Very distant
· Shortly after I began to think about suicide, slowly idealizing the idea of “un aliving” myself.
· I started daydreaming about it, believing it was the best route as the world was better without me in it. It would end the suffering that I was feeling every day.
· Time was going by and things were not getting any better.
· Finally I decided to make some moves. I was finally going to commit suicide.
· The night I decided it was time.
o I alienated everyone I knew.
o I was packing up my dorm room so that sending it back to my family was easier.
o I wanted to prepare to not cause any more inconveniences than I already had.
· While packing up there was a knock at my door and it happened to be a friend I had pushed away and was just awful to.
o I had really hurt him and thought he’d never speak to me again.
o I couldn’t even look at him in the eye.
o He saw the boxes and looked at me and asked, “Are you planning on killing yourself?”
· I broke down in tears and said yes.
· He sat with me for a while, talked with me, held me while I cried, and told him how worthless I felt constantly.
o Grabbed all my medications and then escorted me to get help.
· I sat with a mental health provider and was an open book with him. I told him everything. At this point what did I have to lose?
o I was already suicidal, I already hated myself.
o If things went even worse from here then I was definitely going to end it.
· The doc looked at me and gave me some options:
o Stay here and be placed on suicide watch for 72 hours. That meant some random NCO was going to sit with me and watch everything I did. Shower, bathroom, sleep, eat..
o Go to a hospital in London with other people in the same situation.
· I opted for the hospital.
· We drove down in a taxi with an NCO and it was the most quiet ride ever. That NCO was so out of her element. She tried her best to comfort me but knew it was just really bad. I barely knew her.
· During my time in the hospital, I learned different ways of receiving and accepting situations and how to tackle them.
o Ways to control my panic attacks.
§ 5 senses or 5 colors
§ Something that is to pull your brain from having the attack
o I learned about myself, with the demons I was fighting.
o I learned how I got to this point and how to get back up and not be that low again.
· I don’t regret opting for the hospital.
o It was the turning point I needed as I was at my rock bottom.
o Seeing and being with other people who felt like I did was the support I needed.
· Still continued medication and meeting with the therapist for a couple of years.
· Looking back on the resiliency tools I’ve learned, I see the downhill spiral that took place before I had even moved to that base.
· When I start to get the “baddie saddies” I’ve got the tools and resources so that I can conquer them in the beginning.
· Thankful every day that my friend stopped at the dorm that night.
· Check in on your friends.
o Even if they are happy.
· ACE does work!
o Ask and Care constantly so you don’t have to get to Escort, but if you do it’s okay, be there for them. Pull them up out of that rock bottom by getting them to where they can get that care.
· Don’t be afraid to ask them point blank as you may save a life.
o They may even be angry with you but know that once they are better, it’ll be better and they’ll thank you.
· This year is the 10-year anniversary of my second life.
o I’m thriving in the military.
o I’ve ranked up, and been given many awesome opportunities.
o I’m a mom and thriving!