There is hope. and when you think everyone would be better off without you around or wouldn’t miss you if you weren’t alive anymore, think again, someone wants you someone needs you and someone out there lives for you. to me those people were my parents. People would tell me not to be selfish and commit suicide but as i thought about it i wasn’t being selfish i was doing what i thought i needed to do for me and me only for once in my life. i put me first for once. luckily i got the help i needed. ever day is a struggle by i will get through it and so will you.
These are tricky illnesses and, yet, I fully believe that the more that we embrace a delivery of care that is rooted in dignity and respect, and promote the values of non-shaming and anti-stigmatizing experiences, the more adults will be more likely to reach their own personal acceptance sooner rather than later.
This is the way I muddled through the beginning of my diagnosis. Asking for help and being willing to receive that help, humbly and with gratitude. I became vigilant about my own health, my triggers, my treatments and my medications. I learned to be my own advocate even when I felt like I was sinking in quicksand or clawing at my own flesh, desperate to get out of my body. You do these things because you are stronger than you think you are. You allow yourself to rest, retreat and then put your britches back on and saddle-up again.
My role now is still to be there for my daughter, just as I am for her sisters. But ‘being there’ has changed over the years. No longer does it mean helicoptering or hovering. No longer does it mean vigilant, 24/7 monitoring of medication compliance or safety checks. No longer does it mean advocating for treatments and school accommodations. Today, ‘being there’ means giving space while giving love.
The longer that Howie remained at Greystone, the more he began to be called by different nicknames. The most popular (and, remember, his peers were all 15 to 17 years old) was “Crazy Howie”. Over time, amongst the large group of peers we both knew, I became known, by extension, as “Crazy Howie’s Little Brother”. I didn’t like the nicknames for Howie or for me. I like it even less, at this time, as I recognize it for all of it’s insensitivity and rudeness. It reminds me of the greater level of both a pervasive unknowing and a continued heightened level of ignorance which still exists today.
Nine-tenths of what I can’t see is stuff I’m keeping to myself—things I won’t discuss in therapy, fears I won’t express, self-stigma I won’t face up to. If I don’t speak about it, it’s not real. Which is not true. That’s just fear and naïvety. What do I have to gain by sabotaging my mental health? Nothing.
On March 1st, our lives irrevocably changed. My work is to ensure that this change will not be in vain.
I support Bring Change 2 Mind, and hope that you will join me. Please share this opportunity with your community, and help to support an extraordinary cause – ending stigma! Treat yourself or someone special as we help raise money and awareness at the same time (10% of proceeds of items purchased from this link now through September 30th will go to Bring Change 2 Mind). Please spread the word.