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This fundraiser ended on 01/19/13

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My name is Melissa Rose Stockton, people call me Missy, and I am fighting for my life against severe mental illness.

In 2002, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. I was 18. My college plans of a major in Molecular Biology were shattered as all of my time and attention where dedicated to recovery. It took the dedication of my loving parents, and many healthcare providers, but I managed to regain a life I could be happy with. I recieved training as a nursing assistant, certifications in expanded studies including training as a "Recovery Support Group Facilitator" from NAMI, worked as an assistant coordinator at a peer support facility, and volunteered in various organizations as a way to reach out to others that needed a helping hand or shoulder to lean on. Around six months ago I began clinicals to continue my education in nursing, I was thrilled. I was a distance runner, ate well, maintained a lean 137 lb body weight, and was always out and about with my two small dogs, (Moxie & Deanna) bringing smiles and laughs everywhere we went. Slowly, I began to experience some strange physical symptoms. I took it in stride and made sure to nurture myself with proper diet, exercise and rest. As time went on, more problems arose, and I was in the doctors office every week. I broke out with bruises all over my body, began vomiting blood and developed ulcers in my mouth. The doctors could not find anything wrong, blood panels came back slightly off, but no ideas as to what was happening. I became increasingly weaker, not able to put much energy into keeping my mind strong, and my outlook on life had noticebly changed. More time passed and by the end of my second clinical semester I was 119 lbs and bedridden. I couldn't eat, and barely kept fluids down. I was forced to withdraw from school, could not work, and fell into a deep depression. I was hospitalized twice with extended stays at Dartmouth in a desperate attempt to figuire out what happened or was happening, had numerous visits to the ER from cutting and panic attacks, medicated heavily and was not expected to live for very long by those around me. My primary care doctor would pray with me and called me regularly to check in, (she is an amazing woman,) but I was not showing any forward progress and my condition continued to deteriorate. An emergency pyschiatric team was put in place, and I was admitted to an enhanced care team immediately. My body was barely alive and it truly felt like my mind had already resolved its own demise. I developed shingles and was put on more pharmaceuticals to keep the pain at bay. In total; I was on a massive daily cocktail of drugs and was unable to remember the day, conversations, etc and would slip into a deep dissociative state for longer and longer periods of time. It was during one of my more lucid moments, looking down at my heavily bandaged arm, that I decided if I was going to survive I was going to have to do something drastic. People around me were as devestated as I was to see the deterioration I continued to experience. I had to do something to take my life back or I was literally going to lose it. I took the leap, and stopped all of the medications I was on. I didn't move for days, the pain was beyond words. An herbal regimen replaced my daily pill routine when I began to come around. Over the next week I drank protien shakes and for the first time began to see improvement. Tears filled my various doctors eyes when they saw me and I was proud of the risk I took. This is where I am at right now, a couple weeks into the new regimen. I am finally able to say I don't wish it will end, I'm not cutting but I realize I still have a long way to go to be able to support myself, pay accrued debts, and be self sufficient. I may not ever get the answer as to what happened, but I am blessed to have such kind people in my life that stayed by my side. I hope to continue to get well and be able to share the kindness that was shown me.

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