It took 45 years but I finally did it.  As a perfectionist and control freak it was not easy to admit I had a problem.  As someone always concerned about what others thought about me it was equally as difficult to say the words “I need help."

"It took 45 years but I finally did it."

As a teenager, when Trouble first attacked, I reached out for help but was rejected.  That rejection left a deep scar. What that rejection said to me was “you’re on your own”, “no one loves you or wants to help you” and “you don’t deserve to be helped”.  Trouble continued to chase me, to knock me down and sometimes nearly crush the breath right out of me.  The only thing I knew to do was to ignore Trouble, ignore the emotions and pain Trouble dumped on me, to keep it all to myself and pretend that Trouble wasn’t part of my life.

People looked at me and saw a strong, independent person, an ambitious and successful career woman and a good mother.  No one could see my Trouble.  

"I still didn’t want anyone to see any weakness or to see me as a failure..."

Trouble struck yet again in 2009.  This time Trouble struck with more power and with more vengeance than ever before. But even after a ten day coma (Trouble’s doing), I was still afraid to ask for help.  I still thought I should keep it all to myself. I was still afraid of what people would think of me, afraid they would think less of me and afraid they would reject me.  I still didn’t want anyone to see any weakness or to see me as a failure… not even my family doctor.

The two weeks in intensive care did, at least, help me to recognize that I had a problem and that I needed help but it took another six months before I dared to speak up. I talked to a peer counselor (someone who also knew Trouble). Talking to a peer counselor and being accepted by him gave me the courage to open up at a self-help group - more peers who knew Trouble - and then to open up to my family doctor. He had seen Trouble many times and knew what to do to help…without judgment.

"Finally opening up to peers and to my doctor meant finally starting on the road to recovery."

Finally opening up to peers and to my doctor meant finally starting on the road to recovery. I am now able to see Trouble for what it really is and finally get the help I need.

About Debi Noye

Debi is a writer, a mental health consumer, and a suicide attempt survivor. As part of her recovery, she has found freedom in embracing her creative side (painting and creating mail art as well as writing), which allows her to be open and honest about living with a mental illness. Debi is passionate about playing an active role in the mental health community, not only as a consumer but also as a friend, resource, and advocate for other consumers. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.