On October 4, 2018 my husband and sister took me to the emergency room. I was fighting for my life, but not because of a physical ailment. I was suicidal. Within hours, I found myself alone in a psychiatric hospital. I don’t know who was more terrified; me or my husband and sister who had to leave me there alone. As I looked out of the hospital lobby window crying and shaking, I thought to myself, “where am I and what is wrong with me?” The mother of four boys, my youngest just eight months old, I was unable to work my full-time job or take care of my children. I was completely devastated and confused. The next eight days in the hospital proved to be some of the hardest, most life-changing days of my life. The first three days consisted of panic attacks and long depressive episodes in my hospital bed. But then something beautiful happened on the fourth day – a miracle really I felt well enough to interact with others and even attended my first ever individual & group therapy sessions. I sat by, cried with and was comforted by addicts, the homeless, veterans, sex slaves and the abused. People of every profession, ethnicity, sexuality and age; each one of us deeply connected through our pain and desire to get well. During this time, I felt immense love and support from my fellow patients and the healthcare workers who lifted me as I suffered through many dark moments. As I listened to their stories, what they had overcome, and what they were still fighting, I was inspired by their ability to persevere through unimaginable adversity.
It has been 18 months since I left the hospital. I have realized that all of us have our own story of tremendous hardship and great triumph. I have learned that nothing is more resilient than the human spirit! Please join us at Freedove as we celebrate, through storytelling, artwork and education, some of the most resilient and inspiring people (all of us) on planet earth.
Jessica Freeman Huish
Founder and Executive Director, Freedove