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by James Thelen 03 Jul 2024 0 Comments
Hello, I am a middle aged woman.I have Autism and have been suffering from serious mental illnesses since the 1995/1996 school year. That school year was when I first wanted to die and a few years later it became constant and for a number of years non-stop. In my 20s I tried to get mental health help but I didn't have access to it because of my insurance and only one clinic who accepted that insurance but they turned me away a number of times. Later on in my 30s after the affordable care act and now a few therapists accepting my insurance and after receiving a primary insurance which was a little better than just the state health insurance that I was on I found a therapist. That therapist wasn't helpful to me for the 3 years that I saw her but she had the wisdom to refer me to a man who did Dialectic Behavior Therapy which is a last resort therapy. I was with that therapist for a little over 2 years and I learned coping skills. He and I connected really well. I graduated out of that program last summer and when I did he shared with me that I had one of the most severe cases he had seen. My symptoms are now moderate which isn't what I would like but it is better. I don't remember the date or month but I do know that some time this year marks 3 years without self injury. To represent that I bought the DBM challenge coin and a 3 year AA/NA recovery coin. I had stopped reading, listening to music and watching TV for a number of years due to my condition. Last summer I started reading and watching TV again. I have read 3 books since picking up a book in years and currently reading David Grohl's autobiography Storyteller. I am watching the complete 90s series Friends for the very first time. I am now going back to school at the Jr. College here working on the Sustainability Certificate because I have been into sustainability since I was in elementary school which was during the Grunge era when hardly anyone was into protecting the environment. My goals for the near future are to learn sign language and get first aid certified as a community service for when I volunteer with the cooling center in the summer when it gets 100o+ because most of the people we serve are homeless. Back in my teens I never imagined getting to the age of 40 let alone 30 but here I am. In those two years of Dialectic Behavior Therapy I have grown and no longer stagnant in life. I am learning to love myself. I have some days where not only I am happy but a few where I was happy to be alive which was never the case before. Thank you for reading and giving me an opportunity to share my story.


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