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December 12, 2018 by Stephanie Long

What I’ve learned so far: adventures on the road to healing

Friend of the Foundation, Stephanie Long, offers her story in solidarity and encouragement to others with lived experience of the mental health care system. This is episode 2 of the series

After high school I got a job at Macy’s. I just wanted something super easy because inside I was fighting this terrible mental battle and didn’t believe I could handle a job that made me think. I worked there for about four years but realized I didn’t want a minimum wage job for the rest of my life, so I needed to figure out what to do next. I thought getting into the medical field would be a great career, not knowing what I wanted to do in the field, so I applied as a receptionist at a doctor’s office to get my foot in the door. After working there for about a year, I hated it and realized I didn’t want to go to school for something in the healthcare field. Also, at this point I was feeling so out of control in my mind. I was fighting with friends and family and cutting them out of my life, so they didn’t have to see me self-destruct. I felt it was time that I should go see a doctor and figure out what was going on in my head.

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December 9, 2018 by Stephanie Long

What I’ve learned so far: adventures on the road to healing

Friend of the Foundation, Stephanie Long, offers her story in solidarity and encouragement to others with lived experience of the mental health care system

 

My story begins when I was a teenager. I knew something wasn’t right with me because I would be extremely happy one day – euphoric like, then the next day I’d be extremely depressed and wouldn’t want to get out of bed and face people. I would often ask my mom why I’m like this and she’d brush it off that I was a moody teenager. I knew I was moody with my hormones being all over the place, but I felt this went beyond normal teenage angst.

As I got older, my anger, depression, and anxiety was getting worse and I started self medicating with alcohol because this would take my pain away for a while. My mom wouldn’t listen to me, that I wanted to see a doctor about my problems, because we don’t talk about mental health in my family. Ironically enough, it runs on both sides of my family, yet it’s a forbidden topic. I tried to talk to my grandma about it but she said I was exaggerating my issues.

By the time I was 16, and I could hardly stand to be in my own skin, and my mom and I were fighting daily- making it a very toxic situation, so I left home.

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