New Year’s Eve of 2019.

I took my last psych med — an anti-psychotic — after tapering down for a month with the support of my psychiatrist.

None of us had a clue what was coming.

Within weeks I was low, then blue, then mind-numbingly depressed. I started taking a mood stabilizer and saw immediate improvement. Whew, dodged a bullet there.

Little did we know.

As March unfolded any symptoms I had of distress were completely overshadowed by coronavirus, by quarantine, by disbelief and doom scrolling, and by an eerie disassembling of many facets we’d considered to be tenets of our society. …

I tried many times to get sober. I tried rehab. I tried stopping cold turkey. I tried a geographical change. I tried public shaming. I tried meetings. I tried counseling. I tried scaring myself by how low I’d sunk the night before. I tried hypnosis. I tried being too broke. I tried being too sick, too thin, too strung out, too fucked up. I tried.

So when I did get sober, there was initially no way for me to know this time was different. It was October 1st, 2006. I was strung out on methamphetamine. At first I slept. Then…

Saturday brings us into Libra season. Birthday season. I’ll soon be celebrating my 33rd trip around the sun.

But that is me getting ahead of myself.

We’re still deep in Virgo territory here. And Virgo is in my fifth house of children and creativity. Somehow every September I find myself immersed in a creative activity. Usually writing of some sort is involved.

This September I wrote a book. I know, no big deal, right? I didn’t actually write anything for it. I just spent a few days mining old writings and crafting a few storylines and copying and pasting the…

I’ve had an eating disorder since I was sixteen years old. If we’re counting, that’s sixteen years. I recovered when I was twenty-two; I finally stopped purging in the third trimester of my first pregnancy.

I gained ninety pounds during that pregnancy.

And, because I was a sickly skinny methamphetamine addict before I got sober and subsequently pregnant, I’ve had the life experience I’d not ever wish on another person: doubling my weight in a year.

During my eating disorder “recovery” I spent a couple of years steadily (and by all means healthfully) losing most of the pregnancy weight I’d…

Ten years ago the father of my two daughters was just a customer at Subway trying to get my number. Today he is husband, father, provider, community member extraordinaire, impressing mothers and likely intimidating fellow fathers on the daily.

I’m a lucky woman.

My husband is the best dad I’ve ever seen. This is both a lofty statement and an undisputed fact. He’s that good. If you happen to know us — or follow us via social media — that become obvious quickly.

He volunteers at the schools. He arranges and executes playdates. He’s The Baby Whisperer. He handled the…

Last Mother’s Day I begin opening the Pandora’s box of what would become a complete life breakdown. If I had any clue as to what the year ahead would hold I doubt I’d have poked such a beast. But I did. I awoke something deep and stirring within — and it fucked shit up, no doubt.

Last Mother’s Day was so intense and out-of-character for that fairy tale version of my life then that I wrote a blog post about it titled Trapped in My Life.

What is wrong with me?

I sift through my mind and my heart and…

I just spent two hours emailing my therapist. She asked me to send her the list I’m going to take with me to the emergency room today (maybe, tomorrow) to show the social worker how much I need to be admitted to inpatient psychiatric care.

She got a lot more than this list. As tends to be the case.

I need this list because I present well.

I, also, am a social worker.

I am a mother, and a wife, and a homeowner. I’m average height and have a formally fit (currently rebounding from that) build. I dye my prematurely…

Note: In case you found this in a different avenue — I want to share the “preamble” I added to my Facebook post:

Please take the time to click on this link and read something very important to me, that really has to do with you too — my Facebook friends inclusive of such varied people in my life but to whom I am in some way connected.

I have to add, beyond all that is important and dear and terrifying to me contained in this post, that the writing is a piece of it. I’ve slowly tiptoed into this…

Ashley Lewis Carroll Instagram: ashleylewiscarroll Facebook page: Ashley Lewis Carroll

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