When I developed this site and became an advocate for mental illness I declared that I would always be transparent. I would give you the good, bad and the ugly. I can’t write a book and stand tall and proud fighting against this stigma if I’m not open and honest. I can’t very well tell you everything is ok when it’s not.
Just because I wrote a book does not mean my struggles went away. It doesn’t mean I have all the answers. It certainly doesn’t mean I don’t still feel a lot of the things I felt in the book that I shared with you.
I put this in a previous post but for those that missed it, THIS is the ugly, the REAL… this is ME:
“I just spent a week in the hospital. I haven’t been well for a while. I walked into my therapist’s office one day last week, having left my house completely cold and lost and told him I swallowed a month’s prescription of blood pressure medicine. I was rushed to the ER in and out of consciousness as sirens faded in and out of my ear. I heard the words “overdose” as they quickly wheeled the stretcher into the ER and put me in the trauma room. I began having seizures and dangerously low blood pressure. There was mention of heart failure and kidney failure.
I spent 8 hours there for stabilization before being moved to the ICU for another 4 days. After that I spent 2 day on a regular unit. That entire time I was confined to a bed with an alarm to make sure I didn’t get up, as I was a fall risk from the seizures. I had pads on the sides of my bed in case of more seizures. I had lingering headaches, no appetite, and I felt like crap.”
People came to see me. One person asked me how I could “do this to my children”. First, that is a complicated question. I’m not doing anything TO them. Sometimes in my mind, I feel like I’m doing them a favor, because life with me is no walk in the park. But, aside from that occasional thought, I know the horrible feeling of burying a parent. I lost my dad at 8. I watched him die on the sidewalk in front of me from a massive heart attack. So I know that lifelong pain of living without a parent- I’d never willingly choose to do that to my kids. I love my kids with every ounce of my being.
Mental illness doesn’t discriminate. It affects moms, too. Moms that have little boys who need them. The problem is that this an awful place to be. And I’ve been trapped here a long time. Or so it seems. It’s all part of the bipolar. I have some days I’m on top of the world and see nothing but light, but that’s not the majority. And a lifetime is long time to live this way. Especially after 30+ medication changes over the last 10 years, ECT, therapy… you name it, we’ve given it a shot. And to think about living the rest of my life this way feels so heavy. I can’t seem to embrace it, accept it and use it. I try to use it. I have tried. I speak about mental illness. I wrote a book about it. I try to be there for others who suffer. I do all I can to use this wretched disease for good.
But I’m so weary and tired now… And in the deepest throes of depression, you don’t think clearly. A chronically suicidal person often momentarily loses sight of good things when they become fixated on escaping life through death. And that’s where I think I was.
It has been over 2 weeks now since that incident. Luckily I overcame it. I lived through it. I’m here today to tell you that this disease is real. It’s hard. It’s a nightmare. But now we press onward. It doesn’t mean after a downward spiral like last week that I’m back up and ready to hit the blacktop running. I’m merely sitting upright now. But I’ll do my best to keep fighting.
I ask that you not pity me or tell me how much everyone needs me or how strong I am. Just please continue to be there, love and support us as you have.