I’m proud to say I’ve now been blogging about my struggles with mental health and illness for a year. This year has been wrought with both ups and downs but through it all I’ve had the chance to write about mental health issues important to me and for this I am overwhelmingly thankful.
Having the chance to write about mental illness, grief, health, love, creativity, healing, chronic pain, and perseverance has allowed me to capture many of the insights into health and illness that might otherwise have passed through my mind without sticking. I have had a chance to pause and reflect on what I’ve learned and all I’ve left to learn. I’m thankful for the opportunity every day.
I have found myself surprised and flattered with the response I’ve received and overwhelmed with the genuine, loving interest about mental illness. In the words of one wise😉 American, “who knew healthcare could be so complicated?”
All kidding aside, I am so pleased my work has managed to offer insight to those on the outside of mental illness trying to be more understanding and empathetic and to those struggling along with me. Destigmatization of mental illness continues to be extremely important to me and this blog represents the contribution I can make to the cause for now. In the future I hope to be able to contribute in a far more impactive manner.
I plan to continue writing whenever I can and I hope that whether my own health is better or worse I can keep on contributing and, hopefully, offering love and support to anyone in need.
Thank you so much for joining me on this journey so far. I hope you will continue to support my future efforts as I appreciate each and every reader more than I can possibly express.
Tonight I made dinner. Tonight I made dinner and this is significant because, since my Mom died 3 years ago, I haven’t had the patience or desire to cook anything but the barest of minimums.
Thank goodness my husband took over in the kitchen to a great extent and coaxed me to at least eat a bit when I had no desire. My appetite has slowly returned but between my issues with anxiety, depression, and chronic pain I feel as though I often have to force myself to eat the simplest of things, let alone the inventive meals I used to love.
I associate the kitchen with my mom. She was an amazing, adventurous, and fearless cook. I followed in her footsteps after leaving home, cooking up a storm and often phoning her for advice. So when she died I just couldn’t find that desire to channel my creativity into the kitchen. It felt too overwhelming, still does to a great extent.
I am pleased to report in the past couple weeks I have slowly begun to edge back into my old domain by baking muffins, banana bread, and even some cookies.
Today, for whatever reason inspiration struck and I found myself topping cucumbers with cream cheese and chili pepper jelly. Then I drizzled olive oil over shoestring sweet potatoes to be baked later along with sliced prime rib I rolled up with Italian Coppa Di Parma.
While I may have shed more than a few tears as I assembled everything I’m pretty sure this meal is going to kick ass! And even if it doesn’t… deep breath… Tonight I made dinner.
And so once again I have been admitted, submitted, and fitted into the psych ward for depression. Feeling rather ill-qualified to write about mental health so I’ll instead write of my mental illness. Let’s just say I’m sending away for my frequent flyer dicount card which includes discounts on antidepressants, free coffee mugs from Pfizer, and a secret decoder ring.
I’ve been slipping for weeks now. Diving deeper into darkness and I’ve run out of breath and I don’t want to drown. So here I am needing help to beat back my own demons because they have me surrounded and I seem to be armed with nothing but limp spaghetti and, let’s face it, that’s not a weapon that’s going to win the battle let alone the war. So here I am…getting help.
When I was in 3rd grade a family myself and my parents knew very well were in a terrible car accident. The father and two sons survived but, tragically, the mother did not.
While I understood on some level the tragedy that occurred I hadn’t the life experience to fully grasp what this would do to the family. My own Mother’s death two and a half years ago has given me new perspective on how the children were affected.
I am the same age as the eldest son and shared many classes with him at school both before and after his Mom died. I recall how a sweet, sensitive and caring child became desperately angry, misunderstood and unpredictably tempestuous.
He would often act out in class, erupting with rage spewing forth like hot lava over seemingly trivial things. His signature move was throwing, yes throwing, his desk before stomping from the room yelling, cursing and crying. He seemed to have lost his ability to cope with life in a reasonable manner and was often feared by teachers and ridiculed by other students.
Knowing what I did of his personal life to some extent I often reached out to him as a friend and defended his actions to our peers. I would occasionally explain, in a hushed and sober tone, that his Mom had died and he needed extra understanding from us all.
My Mom died when I was 35 and I often tamp down the urge to throw things and scream from the rooftops how unfair this loss is. I cannot even begin to imagine how difficult it would be to lose a parent as a child. How outrageously unfair!
I have long ago lost touch with this childhood pal but I often wonder how he’s made out in the world. My hope is he’s found a sense inner peace and personal success.
Just as we will all die someday so to will our parents, some earlier than others. I miss my Mom desperately this time of year. No sooner does her birthday pass than we are into the dreaded and somewhat empty-feeling holiday season.
I will try my hardest to get through this month by looking for simple joy and resist the urge to begin hurling Christmas trees round department stores. I hope my old friend finds the strength to do the same.
I have put myself out there. Out there into the ether of cyberspace, never to be reeled back in. I’ve laid myself, my psychee, bare for all to see and what’s true about me is nowhere near perfect or ‘normal’. Whatever normal means I’m not it.
This is me. I am more than my depression and anxiety.
So far nothing negative has come of my blogging, in fact overall it’s been a great cathartic adventure, but I have this niggling worry. What if in the future I am judged for this writing and perhaps denied a job or prejudiced against in some other manner? Unfortunately the stigma surrounding mental illness is still alive and well and I cannot predict possible outcomes stemming from the information I’ve revealed.
I suppose it’s too late to worry about what I’ve put out into the world already. I cannot unbake this cake and, to be honest, I don’t want to. Despite the possible negative possibilities I’ve decided I want to keep communicating and expressing myself via the blog medium.
The more people join the conversation and share their experiences, the closer we get to smashing the stigma surrounding mental illness. I encourage others to become soldiers in the growing army raising awareness about the importance of mental health. Let’s hold our heads high and show the world we are so much more than an illness to be judged.
Almost a year since twilight set in and settled round my shoulders, soon turning my world a shade of pitch black I couldn’t bare. Yet I am still here. Huzzah!
My Mom’s birthday is November 21st and last year my heavy depression coupled with an unbearable sense of grief drove me to near madness. I spiraled down deep into depths of hopelessness I never thought possible.
Those dark days led me to self harm, suicidal thoughts, and rock bottom levels of self loathing. I cried rivers and affected a zombie-like 1000 mile stare. I’ve never felt so lost.
Checking into the psychiatric ward was the best thing I could have done. I think it saved my life. I realized the therapy I was receiving as an out patient wasn’t enough and even though I didn’t think I deserved help I managed to force myself to seek it.
Staring down the barrel of the anniversary of my breakdown is confusing to say the least. On one hand I am feeling stronger and am proud of how far I’ve come, on the other I fear the triggers from last year will seep back in and rob me of the light once again.
The important thing is I’m still here. I’m still fighting. So bring it on fate! If I’m destined to keep slaying the dragons of mental illness I will with all the strength I can muster. And should I falter again sometime in the future, so be it, I will just keep getting up again and again until the last beast is slain.