I woke up one morning and December and I remembered someone telling me that the only verifiable way to improve your mood is exercise. I got dressed and started a long walk downtown. Once I arrived at my destination, I didn't feel any different. I figured, if anything, the people inside would send me home and tell me I was just a melodramatic 20 something year old. I sighed and walked into the Emergency Room of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. I met with Dr. Zahir and Dr. Nestor who kindly and patiently asked me questions. I was shivering uncontrollably by the end of two hours, despite the blankets they had given me. At the end, they provided a diagnosis. It was scary to know that what was happening wasn't normal. When the doctors used the words "unstable" and "not coping" to describe me, I felt so weak and completely unlike the person I thought I was. Most of all, I felt more alone than I had ever felt in my life. I visited CAMH Emergency twice more that week, in crisis, before voluntarily admitting myself.
After my experience, I never want anyone to feel as alone as I did. I'm staying up for One Brave Night to raise awareness about mental health. I hope you stay up with me and share your stories, and if you can't, I hope you donate to a great cause!