Thursday, December 08, 2011

Therefore I Share

Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

It is not the fault of the person dealing with it.

It is hard for all involved. The individual, family, friends .  . .

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of

How many times have I said that in real life, on Facebook, on my blog?

I tell my son this all the time. I tell him that his Bi-Polar and OCD and other illness/disorders are a pesky part of him but they do not define him and they do not make him less of a person. I tell him that he is my hero - having so much on his plate yet getting up each day with a smile on his face. And when it is a bad day (or week) I tell him that's ok too. He's entitled. Eventually he will get up again after we help him fight off the demons that haunt him in his head.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

Just like people are not ashamed of cancer. People are a lot of things at Cancer - scared, mad, frustrated, devastated, determined to name a few. But people are not ashamed of cancer.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.  It's been mostly under control for many years now but you can read a little about previous times I was struggling here and here and also here.

A few weeks ago it got really bad really fast. It seemed to hit me out of no where. My brave and amazing husband and friends made sure that I got to the hospital. I stayed for 3 weeks. While I was there I was almost successful in hanging myself with a sheet. Yes it was that bad. I was not myself. I was over run with irrational thoughts and overwhelming emotions. I thought the world would be better without me. I thought that my pain, that feeling of deep emptiness, would finally be gone if I was dead. I felt so very very desperate.

I was and still am battling a mental illness. I probably always will in some way.

I share this because I need to not be ashamed. I cannot teach my son and society to accept mental illness if I am ashamed and keep this as a secret. Therefore I share.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Celebrating the "lasts"

Many times we celebrate the "firsts" in life (first tooth, first steps, first day of school) and we let the "lasts" slip through our hands and memories. Probably because at that moment we have no idea it will be the last time, there is no memo, no handbook that says "WARNING - LAST TIME HE WILL HOLD YOUR HAND IN PUBLIC"

My youngest, J, is very aware and although he is very affectionate at home he long ago stopped letting me hug and kiss him in front of the school.

Today he came out and was excited to tell me about the play his class is putting on. Like it was the most natural thing in the world he slipped his hand into mine. I realized almost immediately it felt almost foreign. When was the last time I had held his hand?

I almost said something in the heat of the moment. But I quieted myself and tried to enjoy the brief walk home. Wondering at what moment he would realize what he was doing and slip his hand away. We made it to the bottom of the driveway with his hand lovingly in mine.

I willed myself to enjoy every moment, just in case. You never know when it might be a "last"