Laura

Let me start by saying thank you for this website. I have been trying to bring awareness to the stigma attached to mental illness and suicide but it falls on deaf ears. It’ s an uphill battle but I will not back down. We may not be able to wipe out stigma in our lifetime, but by talking about it and sharing our stories, we are on the road to change for future generations. Somethings gotta give, right?

Your website gave me the inspiration to share my story. I thank you for that, as it was a very liberating experience. I feel a weight has been lifted off of my chest. Thank you so much!

Here goes……

When I was diagnosed with stg 3 bc, I was an overnight success. People adored me like a rockstar, treated me like a ninja warrior, I received cards, flowers, gifts etc like I was the queen of the world. It was a bit over-whelming to be honest, I’m not good with praise of any kind let alone being praised for having a death sentence hanging over my head lol. It was over stimulating and I felt kind of uncomfortable with all of the attention. HOWEVER, because of the support I was given – I skated through surgery, treatment and endless complications with ease. I had love and support of friends family – ah hell – even Tom Dick and Harry!!!!!! With that kind of support army on your side – you can almost beat cancer, right? Well so far so good – I’m going on 6+ yrs without any sign of it returning. Here comes the good part. Because of the endless complications -numerous surgeries followed. I was either in the hospital or in bed most of the next few years. I became depressed. It seemed like it was never ending. The pain meds were helping with the pain and the depression – until they stopped helping! Now to be totally honest, I did not get depression from cancer surgery complications. I already had depression, anxiety and panic attacks on and off my whole life. You know how it goes – triggers can pull you back in – and this period of endless surgeries, pain meds, hospitals and beds was certainly a trigger!!! Now comes the good part. Once people caught on that I was “losing it” as some called it – that army of support that I had surrounding me helping me beat cancer – was now abandoning me because I had that dreaded stigmatized “mental” illness! Who would’ve thunk it right? I can honestly say that I needed them LESS when I had doctors, chemo, radiation and the like helping me beat the cancer. I needed them MORE when there was nobody to help me – and that was when my depression came back. I think this is how we ALL feel having sickness in our brains that cause depression, anxiety, panic, etc – we get the support when we need it the least and when we need it the most we feel alone in the fight. That’s where the danger of suicidal thoughts come in. Stigma is dangerous. When is the world going to realize this? How can you be a hero one day because you were diagnosed with cancer, and the next a loser because you were diagnosed with mental illness????????? This is one of the most difficult fights in my life having depression anxiety and panic, and all that comes with it – – and my army left me a prisoner of this war alone. WOW, Ive thought about this too much since I experienced it, but until I wrote it down I didn’t realize how very much I was affected by it. It’s no wonder I was suicidal, huh? Doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure it out, right? We all have these kind of issues. We are all in this together. We need each other to support one another. Everyone struggling with mental illness is my hero. It’s one of thee hardest battles one can go through in life. Not being able to control how you feel from day to day sucks. I would not wish it on my worst enemy let alone the happy shiny people who are bouncing around doing happy dances every day LOL LOL. I am in awe of those who can truly be happy without effort. I wish I knew how that felt. But I do know this – IT’S NOT ME – it’s my brain being sick – that causes these feelings. We are not at fault. We are not causing ourselves to feel this way. We have no control over it. We are also ninja warriors of the universe – just like cancer patients or anyone fighting any disease. We have to fight to hold our heads up high.

HUGS LOVE AND SUPPORT !

6 responses to “Laura”

  1. katie needham says:

    Hi Laura,
    Beautiful inside and out! You wrote your story so clear, just like you were sitting across with a cup of coffee between us! Wish you lived by me. It does get lonely. I used to have alot of friends and be “fun.” No I have “drama” and get accused of bringing this on myself, choosing it. I’ve never fought so hard in all my life. I have been called strong and with sweet encouragement from you and the simple truth (easy to understand) knowledge on this website, I feel we have a fighting chance! Thank you!

  2. Laura G says:

    Katie – I am again reading my story and your wonderful response to it. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I too wish we could talk. Know I am thinking of you and you are not alone. Thank you so much for putting a big smile on my face.

    Love,
    Laura

  3. Sheila says:

    I know Laura (worked under her when I was 19, I’m 49 now ) in Massachusetts but she moved to Illinois. She was always a very bubbly person so it would be hard for me to understand her struggle with depression, anxiety, panic attacks and suicide attempt(s) but I do because I’ve been there too. I, too, had a very outgoing personality, that’s often a disguise to hide how bad you’re hurting. Now I’m like a bloody hermit. And I 100% agree with Laura that mental illness (including suicide) is stigmatized. Until there is a real conversation about it, nothing will change
    My entire family has written me off, calling me a drama queen. I’ve reached out to them countless times only to be ignored, or they make up lame excuses why they “can’t visit “. They could have prevented all my suicide attempts but did they HELL NO, in fact they make me wish more and more each day I had been successful.
    I wish Laura and I had stayed in touch as we may have been good support systems for one another. Especially because we can definitely relate. I don’t want to minimize what Laura said in a anyway, shape or form however like I previously stated
    “Until there is a real conversation about it, nothing will change”
    I applaud Glenn Close for Bring Change 2 Mind & everyone, like my friend Laura, for sharing their story.

  4. Scott M says:

    Holy cow what provoking story’s. I identify so much with some of the comments so here goes. My earliest memories were of being in school and CONVINCED everyone was better off without me. I was a burden. In first grade I got into one of my many troubles in school and was praying to die. No shit. That young and deep in the abyss. Years passed and the usual…drugs, drinking and simply not caring whether I lived or died. I still don’t. Never understood the infatuation with life but I know it’s a chemical thing and not my fault. Tried 2 times to off myself and the 3rd was damn close. I’m a typical “tears of a clown” type dude and basically an emotional cripple.I pretend that I have no feelings but in fact I’m ultra sensitive. No one is getting in and I know it. So that’s me lol. The only reason I’m still here is the heartbreak I would cause my family. So thanks for posting Laura. You’ve always been kind, caring and loving and that’s a rare combination. Lots of love and luck folks.

  5. Laura G says:

    Wow, Scott,

    I never knew how deep your depression was and add to the fact that it started in FIRST grade – well that just breaks my heart in two.

    You know you have me (while we are both here- ha) and I know I have you. Let’s take advantage of that.

    Thank you so much for reading my story and the support you gave me. But MOST OF ALL, thank you for being so brave to share YOUR story.

    It does amaze me how well you and I hid it over the years. YOU – being the one everyone would count on to do or say something to bring us all to our knees laughing / and me just being the party planner party girl who wanted everyone to like me.

    I am still in a place where I wish I never woke up the first time. It only got worse from there – ha – I know you know about that.

    Tears of a Clown – yep that fits you perfectly (actually me too) and it breaks my heart about you Scotty. All the fun laughter and excitement you brought to all of us. Inside you were dying. I wish we reached out to each other back then but STIGMA holds everyone – even friends – back from sharing.

    I love you. Thank you for being my friend. Friends 4 Life

    Laura

  6. Laura G says:

    Sheila,

    You’re one of the bravest people I know. Sharing your story in a book to help anyone you can. That is amazing and God bless you for that. You really are going through hell. I am amazed by you.

    I love you adopted lil Sis from Boston. I’m blessed that you’re back in my life. We will continue to support each other till the end! HUGS LOVE & SUPPORT ALWAYS,

    Laura

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