Blog Author: Carra Yoder, BS, RVT
PR Committee Member
With all the challenges these past two years have brought, I have learned that mental health is everything. This is not an easy story for me to share, but one thing I have learned is that mental health needs to be talked about more and I am a huge supporter of that. So, here’s a little about my mental health journey over the past two years.
I have struggled with depression and anxiety my entire life. 2020 was an incredibly hard year for me mentally and physically. I lost several people and pets in my life, including my grandma, to COVID19. I had numerous health issues, one that changed my entire life and that I would live with for the rest of my life (Fibromyalgia). My life came to a halt because of Fibromyalgia, and I couldn’t do the things that I once loved to do anymore because of it. I couldn’t participate in my favorite outlet anymore, so I turned to doing everything in my body to help others. I have always been the one to take care of everyone else, putting my own issues at bay because I never thought I was worth it.
At the time, I worked for one of LA’s largest veterinary specialty and emergency hospitals on the administration. One of the hats I wore in the hospital was employee enrichment, recognition, and motivation. The veterinary field had been pushed to the brink during the pandemic, and I just didn’t know how to make the staff at the hospital happy and recognized anymore. It took a huge toll on my mental health and my body. On June 16th, 2021, I was placed on a suicide hold and stayed in the hospital for six days. My life changed that day. The biggest secret of my life finally came to be known: an eating disorder. I have struggled with an eating disorder my entire life, and it was finally figured out. I was admitted to an eating disorder program for four months.
To this day, I don’t know where I would be without the help that I received last year. Self-care, wellbeing, and mental health should be the most important things in your life. I learned that I had to put myself first and take care of ME before all else. Trust me, it has not been an easy task, but I thank my therapist and on-site social worker at my job for saving my life that day. I know how hard it is to ask for help but take it when it is presented to you. This will most likely be a lifelong battle, but I am so happy that I finally asked for help and got the support I needed to take care of myself. Also, the biggest lesson I learned: it’s ok to not be ok.