I glanced out of the window and there before me was a rainbow of tree tops. Oranges,yellows,greens,browns and reds.It was so beautiful yet I felt a sadness in my bones. You see it was two years ago that I had my first,and second pretty damn quickly after being released the first time,stay in a psychiatric ward. One thing that bothered me immensely was that during that time I missed the changing of the leaves.When I went in,they were barely changing and by the time I came out after the second stint,the trees were bare. Fall is my favorite time of year and ever since then,I have made a point of taking in all of the beauty to be had yet it sometimes catches me off guard and saddens me. Reminds me that I’m sick and must manage my illness or I will become very sick very quickly,again. It also reminds me of those stays. Yes,I met some really nice people, found an awesome doctor and had some laughs but it was also an extremely sad time for me. I felt so alone,so full of despair that this “thing” had it’s grips on me. yet its good to grieve so I let myself feel that pain again instead of trying to push it down. I let it wash over me today and right now,even though I feel a little off,I feel better. Again,with the acceptance comes some freedom. Instead of fighting those feelings today and ultimately making myself feel worse, I let them be and now I’m free of them for now. I was able to do my children’s homework with them and have supper with them. Drop off the boys to their football practice and now hang with the little one as I write this. Once upon a time,the thought of doing one of those tasks would have had me diving under the bed clothes. Always remember, it can,with work,get better.
Accepting that you have a mental illness can be very hard. I think it wasn’t until I had my third hospital stay did I stop using air quotes when talking about my bipolar with my therapist.
over 57.7 million Americans are diagnosed with some form of mental illness. These are just the ones over eighteen. We can’t forget about the kids because so many suffer with labels. Such as “bad” “troublemaker” “weird” when they too are suffering inside and need someone to recognize that. Anyway,as I was saying,I didn’t take to my diagnosis very kindly. I didn’t do anything to help myself.I drank.a lot. Slept irregularly, ate what ever I wanted and didn’t listen to the advice of those closest to me.in fact,I could be down right mean and nasty as a snake if I was offered advice that probably would’ve made me feel better. It so hard. You just don’t see it. The mood swing,irrational thoughts, slowly isolating yourself from people and that really helps the depression dig its claws in. That’s when the suicidal idealation starts and you just think everything and everyone would be better without you. My husband is like a hawk and I can’t thank him enough. I would actually be dead today if it weren’t for him so to say that he helps me survive this thing is an understatement . I suffer from the kind where you get about 95% depression and 5% mania. Boy when I’m depressed do I wish I was manic,at least things are fun then. I feel capable of doing them and I just know I’m going to succeed (grandiose ideas anyone!) !!!! But seriously living in either spectrum of this illness isn’t any fun and it takes such a long time to find a balance.
Sadly,not for the effort of millions,there is still a stigma surrounding mental illness. Heck,I haven’t even brought up this blog on my Facebook page yet because I’m scared.will people think I’m crazy,will they not let their kids have play dates at the house of that mum with the crazies going on in my head. There,I admitted it.Im scared to share with those who know me that I have bipolar and I shouldn’t be. I’ve told myself that I’m going to share by the end of the week so we shall see. I just hope people don’t treat me differently.
The reason that I started this blog was to share,so that others who also are afraid to talk about it,can read and know that they are not alone. Because YOU,yes you,you’re not alone. There’s always someone that can help. It’s just the asking that’s the hard part.
So anyway,I don’t use air quotes anymore!! I don’t drink anymore, in fact I think I’m coming up on my sixth month sober anniversary! I’m still trying to exercise as I know it will do me good but I’ve come along way from that angry,sad,hopeless feeling woman standing by the door begging to go home and that feels good.