In the fall of 2008 I had, what you might consider, a nervous breakdown. I tried to kill myself – to end my life. After a few days in both the intensive care unit and the psych ward, I was released. But I had to leave my new job and new apartment and all that California could have been for me to move back home with my parents in Oklahoma, after basically living on my own for a decade.
I was 27.
I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have the parents that I do – parents that are supportive, loving, and nurturing. I am so lucky. They sorted through my medical bills, combining my money with theirs. Never telling me I owed them a cent. “We just want you to get better,” they told the girl who only wanted the pain of life to stop.
I lived with them for 2 years: An adult child. I moved out when I started graduate school and I was scared shitless. Could I survive on my own? Would I go crazy again? Could I handle the pressure?
I went home to my parents, an hour and a half’s drive from Wilmington, North Carolina, every weekend. I couldn’t stand being alone with just my gorgeous beast of a dog, Hope, to keep me company. I needed my mom’s cooking. I needed to watch a movie with my dad. I still needed support.
I didn’t stay in graduate school. I took a leave of absence which turned into a decision to not return. But I moved in with my boyfriend in Virginia. Someone else to love and care for me.
I just want you to know that it is NOT a sign of weakness to ask for help or to accept it. Living with my parents probably saved my life. I know it made it better. My mom drove me to all my appointments, buying me a coffee before the awkward therapy sessions. They suffered through all the med changes with me. They dealt with my moods. They are heroic.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t proud of the fact that I had to live with my parents at 27 and 28, but I am thankful for their love that wrapped itself around me like the handmade quilt my mom made me for college graduation.
So if you are in a bad place and you have a friend or a family member or a loved one who reaches out a hand – take it.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net