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A Story of Hope: Meet Katie

June 01, 2020

HopeWay not only changed the way I live my life, but it also saved my life. I will never be able to adequately express my gratitude, but I will do my best to provide hope for those who feel as I once did – worthless, lonely, and above all … hopeless.

The Road to HopeWay

Two years ago, I spiraled into a deep depression. I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression in kindergarten so mental health struggles were not new to me. But this time it was different. This time I had destructive thoughts that led to self-harm and suicidal ideations. 

For months I knew my depression was getting out of hand, but I ignored the symptoms. As a full-time financial analyst and a part-time MBA student, I felt like my mental health couldn’t be a priority. I distracted myself with work and school instead of facing my inner demons.   

Although I was able to complete my MBA program, my work performance began to suffer, and my migraines became unbearable. I thought I could push through the pain, but I found myself at rock-bottom – ending up in the ER and eventually the psych ward. The experience really shook me. Luckily, my mom took it upon herself to find the help I so desperately needed. She is the reason I found HopeWay, and consequently, recovery.

Getting Treatment

On January 22, 2019 I began treatment at HopeWay. I stayed in the residential program for 30 days, then moved to the day program for a few months. It was terrifying, overwhelming and emotional. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made.  

HopeWay allowed me to truly focus on myself. It removed all distractions, and forced me to reflect on my past, present and future. Through various forms of therapy, I was able to 1) identify my destructive thoughts and behaviors and 2) learn how to change them. I developed cognitive skills to adjust my irrational thinking and implemented healthy habits to adjust my behavior.

I’m not saying the treatment was a vacation. No one naturally enjoys therapy. It takes time to get used to it, and it’s important to find the right therapist. Fortunately, I immediately clicked with my primary therapist at HopeWay. She made me realize that therapy doesn’t have to be scary and it can even be fun! She, along with the other staff members, provided all the tools and resources needed to live a happy and healthy life.

Recovery

Since HopeWay, my life has completely transformed. I have become the strongest version of myself and it feels amazing!

Before HopeWay, I felt worthless, lonely, and hopeless. Now I feel confident, happy, and healthy. I use the skills and habits I learned from HopeWay every day and react to various situations and events logically and thoughtfully. I prioritize self-love, self-care, and continue to see my therapist every month.

Even though I still suffer from continuous migraines, I’ve learned how to mentally manage them. It turns out HopeWay’s treatment is more effective for my chronic pain than over thirty migraine medications, Botox injections, and physical therapy.

Recovery wasn’t easy and doesn’t happen overnight. It takes hard work, persistence and proper guidance. I could not have done it without the knowledge I gained at HopeWay.

Final Encouragement

I wish our society encouraged mental health treatment more because there truly is light at the end of the tunnel. I encourage you to ask for help and get the treatment you need. I know it’s easier to mask the pain with a smile, but pushing through the pain is weakness. Asking for help is strength.

I’m hoping this testimony helps at least one person contact HopeWay and set up a treatment plan. As I frequently say, “everyone could use some HopeWay.”

Remember, although self-harm seems easier in the moment, self-love will always be more effective.

You are not alone. You are not weak. And you are not defined by your mental illness.

Ask for help. Put yourself first. Hope is just a phone call away.

 

Editor’s note: This blog post is presented for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness. If you have any health concern, see a licensed healthcare professional in person.