Hey guys, Dc here.
If one in five people have a mental illness, then at least three people in our 15-person team, will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. A few months ago Alisha has told us her story, but in anticipation for Bell’s Let’s Talk Day our own Jacelle has an important message to share; a story that begins with a passing conversation that was too important to let go.
A Big Question
Once Don-E asked me, “Jacelle, how do you get through the hard days?” I honestly answered that I go home and go straight to bed, wake up the next morning and do it all again.
Not too long after that, Denise took me aside. She told me what I had said to Don-E was not the way to live. She asked me to seriously think about my illness and what I needed to do to get better.
The decision? To take time off work so I could specifically work on managing my illness.
To jump right in, I’ve been diagnosed with Bipolar II since October 2014, and it’s been a rough go.
“Bipolar disorder II is diagnosed when a person experiences the symptoms of a high, but with no psychotic experiences. These hypomanic episodes tending to last a few hours or a few days, but longitudinal studies suggest impairment is often as severe as in bipolar I disorder.”
What It Means
I didn’t have the coping skills to assert my rights and to manage my mood swings, so I experienced very low self-esteem and a lot of self-stigma. This made me snowball with negative self talk, bringing me into a bad bout of depression.
It took me a long time, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of hard days to break through and seek help. I have a chemical imbalance. I need medication, a variety of therapies, and a long-term psychiatrist.
From the first day I was diagnosed I told the Dc team and what set me on my path of recovery in the first place was that conversation Dc and I had and I thought nothing of.
Talk About it
Most people would be afraid to tell their employers they need an undetermined amount of time off because of a mental illness, but I felt empowered. Dc Design House has helped establish It’s Mental. This company has made it known that they support their community, no matter the cause and this includes their employees. We’re a family at Dc Design House.
Even though I felt empowered to say it, I still had severe anxiety about doing it and I indulge in a lot of negative self-talk. Would they see all the mistakes I made? Would they finally realize I wasn’t good enough? Would clients speak up about dissatisfaction with me? OMG, I’m going to lose my job…
But all of that quickly faded away when they unveiled a cake (in true Dc fashion), and all said wonderful words to me. We hugged and cried, and I felt genuinely supported.
Communicating is the solution
I’ve been off for 15 weeks, attended an eight-week day treatment program equalling approximately 160 hours of therapy, and I’m on a strong path to recovery.
Thank you Dc Design House for making it so easy to focus on me and managing my illness. Your support was amazing and more than anyone can ask for.
I will always appreciate what you did for me.
Every day we’re learning. We’re learning how to listen, and how to talk. How to jump in to help and how to stand back and give people the space they need to grow. No matter what you need, there are resources available to you.
Bell Aliant is a client of ours and we’re proud to touch such a powerful brand. But mostly, we’re proud of their brand spirit. Supporting mental health gives us such perspective on what their values really are – and that means everything to us, as customers, service providers, and fellow community members. And so, if you can, use the #BellLetsTalk on Jan. 27. Bell will make additional donations to mental health resources every time you do it!
Outside of this campaign, if you need help today, call 1-888-737-4668
Finally, I want to thank Jacelle (aka J-baby, JJ, Jacellebrate) who approached every aspect of her story above with grace, honesty, and full-on commitment to coming back better than ever. She showed her good-bye photo, but I think it’s fitting to end this post with a photo of her return. Still laughing. Still beautiful. Still with the cake.