Why I Was Absent For So Long.

Hello Everyone,

I would love to thank all who have visited my site.  I hope my articles have informed, inspired, and even helped you in some way.  I know that I was absent for two years, but honestly, I needed that time.  Around Summer 2012, I began exhibiting symptoms of slight depression, but even worse, repetitive behaviors.  At first, I thought it was a minor annoyance I could easily brush aside, but what started as a minor annoyance became a plight on my psychological health.  I was 26 years old and experiencing the beginning of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) symptoms.  However, I did not know what was wrong with me during that time.   What I did know for sure, was that a darkness had come over my life the likes I had never experienced before.

Eventually, it got so bad that I couldn’t even leave the house, change my clothes often, or even shower often.  I was living like a homeless person in my own apartment.  I constantly needed help from parents who had to help me through my anxiety attacks.  My relatives would call me and send me as much emotional support material as they could.  I was so depressed, I would literally cry (tears on my pillow crying) out to Jesus to save from that demonic force that had gripped me.  I was told by a couple of doctors that I would have to go for psychiatric evaluation in the nearby city hospital psych ward.  I remember my family and I came home in tears that day.  I believed that my life was over and that an asylum would be my new home.  My life as a film director, servant of God, friend, and all hopes and dreams I had were crushed.

However, God always has mysterious, merciful, and ironic ways of operating.  I talked to a Catholic priest who was also a mentor for me during my undergraduate college years and he recommended me to a psycho therapist he knew.  After seeing that psycho therapist, he said the best place for me to receive treatment would be at Mt Sinai’s OCD Center.  However, there was a catch.  The program had to be paid for out of pocket and I don’t remember why that was the case, but at first, I decided not to go, because I was unemployed then.

Eventually, I decided that my ailment was too much to bear alone and that I would rather spend the money to get better than to continue in a downward spiral getting worse.  My parents were willing to pay as long as they could see my improvement with the program.  For this and so many other reasons, I am eternally grateful to them.  I met with one of the doctors there and he helped trace my ritualistic behavior all the way to childhood.  It turns out, this was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen and was fueled even more by my extended period of unemployment.  When he rated my anxiety on a scale of 1-40, I was a 36, which means I was aggressively obsessive compulsive.

He put me on medication, but he believed that therapy would be key to making me better or helping me cope with my high anxiety.  According to him, Mt Sinai’s OCD center went by an old adage “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  I told him that I need to consult my primary physician and I would need time to think about it as my obsessive behaviors had (previously unnoticed by me) been a major part of my life and how would my life change without them to protect me?  I visited my primary care doctor and he said that I had a clear serotonin deficiency and that he would recommend medication over therapy, but the therapy would still be an excellent aid.

After leaving his office, I still felt unsure about doing therapy.  That weekend, my parents asked me to come grocery shopping with them.  I reluctantly went and I helped them carry their groceries.  As I was walking on the sidewalk, something completely unexpected happened.  For the first time in over a year, a feeling of complete personal freedom took over my mind and spirit.  For a window of 15-20 minutes, I was completely free of all my anxiety and depression.  I knew then and there, that this had not come from within me, but had come from God.  He had heard my prayer and was highly encouraging me to go through with therapy!

The next week when I met with my psychologist at Mt Sinai, I told him that I was completely ready for whatever therapy he thought was necessary.  Surprised, he asked what caused me to change my mind so quickly.  I told him about my experience on the sidewalk and what I thought it meant.  He smiled and said that faith can be a powerful way to help a patient get better.  Immediately, we made plans to start my therapy.  I would attend therapy twice a week for almost a year with a trainee at the time whose last name ironically was Moses.  She did an excellent job coaching me to confront each ritual and every anxiety that caused them.  By the end of the year, I had went from going twice a week to once a week and I was able to become FAR more independent than I had been.  Eventually, it came time for my therapy and my sessions with my psychologist to come to an end, and when they rated my anxiety on a scale of 1-40 again, I was a 14!  God is Good!

Now, I am on one of the medications as I was taken off the other and my anxiety has become more manageable.  I worked as a mail room temp from October 2013 to October 2015.  I recently left the job to search for a more permanent position.  I was able to make it past two years remembering what I was taught, but it was time to go as I felt my anxiety rising too high and I desperately needed a break.   I am now working on my personal film and other creative projects.  Recently, I won 5 awards for my thesis film, “Access: Democracy in a Digital Age”, and I can’t express how happy this accomplishment has made me.  I will never forget that this was all possible through the love, support, and dedication of my family and friends and most of all my Lord, Savior, and Life-Long Master, Lord Jesus Christ.  I pray my story will reach out to those who are facing the crippling effects of mental illness in their lives and introduce them to the One True Jesus Christ and to show them that His Love truly does conquer all obstacles.

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