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***Soul Stories is a series where bloggers open up about their unique experiences with mental health. Each Soul Story highlights themes of resiliency and growth through adverse situations. If you’d like to have yours featured please visit our Tell Your Story Page!***
The blogger this week is Coconut Heels.
Recently, CH had a scary and sudden onset of symptoms. In the end, this resulted in a prolonged hospitalization and a diagnosis of a mental disorder. But rather than being down about this arguably tough experience, Coconut Heels chooses to look at it from a positive light.
It’s an incredible story of growth through adversity and we’re honored to help Coconut Heels tell it!
Check it out!
Tell us About an Event Where Your Mental Health was Challenged
I was recently hospitalized after suffering a seizure and experiencing seven hallucinations within a day. The seizure itself remains a blur but I remember each hallucination and agreeing to go to the hospital where I underwent several tests.
Soon after, I was moved to the psych ward where I stayed for just over a week. As someone who dislikes attention, simply being in the care of strangers presented a challenge.
Suddenly, I was expected to follow a new schedule which included taking medications at a specific time and yes, going to my room when I was told. This challenged both my anxiety and my suspicion that new hallucinations lingered.
How did you Overcome it?
For me, the most helpful response to such a sudden change came down to what approach I chose.
Being disruptive, disrespectful and unresponsive all seemed like easy choices.
My approach differed in that I chose to take the experience seriously, trust the staff I interacted with, remain honest about my symptoms and ultimately accept the help presented to me until the decision to be formally discharged took place.
I acknowledged that the staff spent their days caring for myself and the others and deserved nothing short of my respect, compliance and appreciation.
How did this Event Change Your Life Positively and/or Negatively?
I admit that this event proved to be purely positive. Any negative results have yet to emerge.
What I took from this experience was the time given for me to reflect on my struggles, sit within and interact with them and get to know them better. Being open about my experiences reinforced the importance of coping skills while also encouraging me to learn additional aids.
One should never stop learning. My hospital stay ended with an official diagnosis, giving me a name for what trailed behind me since my adolescence. What once resembled a well kept secret now bore a name.
What’s One Piece of Advice you Have for Others in the Same Situation?
No struggle, symptom, memory, discouraging word from another or diagnosis deserves to define your unique individuality.
Rather than attempt to view yourself as special and beautiful in spite of this symptom or that condition, recognize that you are special and beautiful simply because that is the truth.
Not everyone will understand your personal situation and that is okay but you must allow yourself to believe that you carry value. Speak your truth without shame. Speak your truth with pride.
Thanks for reading!
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