Help Veda Get Back On Her Feet

Greetings friends, family, and earth angels,My name is Veda Leone. I’m a 30 year old survivor who suffers from chronic mental illness and is terrible at asking for help. Yet, here we are. With diagnoses of C-PTSD, Major Depressive Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder, I’m working hard to believe deep down that I am worthy of help when I need it. In August of 2016, I began to plummet into the darkest depression of my life. I spent over a year unable to partake in activities and hobbies that I always found enjoyable, pushing my dearest friends out of my life, isolating, sleeping for 12+ hours a day, and honestly believing in my core that the only way to make the pain stop was to end my life.Even with twice weekly therapy sessions, monthly medication check-ups, working at the most wonderful job I have ever had, never-ending support from family and friends who cared too much about me to let me push them all the way away, and finally moving into a wonderful, cozy apartment in Northampton, I found no relief no matter where I looked or what I tried.Finally, on Sunday, November 12, 2017, I knew that if I did not seek extensive treatment, I wouldn’t make it through the night. It was in those moments that I made the most terrifying decision of my life; I drove myself to the nearest hospital, walked in the ER, and through sobs, told them thatI was suicidal and I needed help. Shortly after 1am on November 13th, I was admitted to an inpatient psychiatric ward, where I remained until Wednesday, November 29th. It took a few days for me to open up and accept the help I had been begging for. When I finally did, the support of staff, the extensive changes made to my medication regimen, and my willingness to participate in my own recovery. And as I result, I felt a sense of hope for the first time in 15 months. I understood that it was my chemically imbalanced brain that wanted me gone, not my body and my being which had been fighting all along to stay here.And thank goodness. Thank goodness I stayed here. Thank goodness I survived this mind-altering, brain blowing, body breaking bout of severe clinical depression. Now that I’ve been released from the hospital, I will be taking part in Intensive Outpatient treatment for 3-4 weeks, followed by 30-36 sessions of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). And how lucky am I to finally believe that I am worthy of feeling better? Lucky and worthy have not been words in my vocabulary this year. Neither has hope. But I have finally, finally found some to hold onto. However, with the hospitalization, the intensive outpatient program, and the TMS treatments, I have no choice but to apply for FMLA from my job, so that my job will be there for me when I am able to return in February. Unfortunately, my job does not offer paid short-term disability. Between rent, utilities, groceries, hospital bills, medication copays (which are up near $200/month even with insurance at this point), therapy, medication management appointments, and TMS copays, I truly have no idea how I will be able to afford to exist until I’m able to return to work. The anxiety surrounding this hurdle is nearly incapacitating. So, here it is. Here is where I ask for help. If you have any amount of money that you would be willing to spare to help me make it through these next few months while I try to focus on recovery, it would mean more to me than I will ever be able to verbalize. I’m incredibly aware how difficult times are for everyone these days. Who isn’t struggling? If you’re not able to donate funds, sharing my story with others would mean the world to me. Attempting to end the stigma surrounding mental health is as important as ever. So whether you are able to donate a few dollars, share my story, or simply take the time to read it, you are actively taking part in ending the stigma. You are being the change this world needs. Thank you so much for reading. It’s been a ride, and I’d do just about anything to stay onboard. Love is the movement. Always.-Veda
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Veda Leone 
Northampton, MA
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