As some of you know, Mental Health is my passion; probably because I have experience in it. I write because it’s a form of therapy for me, but mostly I write to hopefully remind one person they’re just fine the way they are and they aren’t alone in their struggles. If we each shared our story, the stigma would lose its grip and we’d be closer than ever to taking its power away. Share your story with your Mental Health journey down below!!! (Continue reading 🌹)
I’ll be sharing this story on three different sites coming up in September-October. I figured I should ‘walk what I talk’ and be honest and vulnerable tonight. So I’m going to fill you in on my recent, most updated journey with Mental Health. And remember, you can share your stories of hardships too!
My life has always been a constant rollercoaster of chaos so I learned around 5 years old how to use coping skills that will help me remain calm so I can survive the chaos. With my parents divorced, two opposite parenting styles, a family history of drugs and Mental Health & a plethora of similar hardships; I have learned to live in a constant state of fight-or-flight….*hench the panic attacks on a regular basis**
I found out last year that around 14 years old was when my Mental Health Disorders developed. I was shocked the professionals pinpointed that so accurately because that is the exact age I had a drastic change in my behavior and thoughts. That’s when I started self-destructing my life to numb pain. I developed a tendency to isolate myself, it just felt more comfortable to me. I was drinking nearly every weekend. I couldn’t concentrate on anything; not school, friendships or even conservations. I battled daily feelings of extreme stress, sadness, loneliness and anxiety. The symptoms of extreme stress began to deteriorate my physical health too. So finally after enough self-destructive decisions and progressively scary thoughts throughout my mind– For the first time, I talked with a doctor about my Mental Health experience and was diagnosed with PTSD, Generalized Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder at 20 years old.
I thought that getting answers and pursuing treatment would end my wild adventures with Mental Health, but I was sadly mistaken. Because I was misdiagnosed, the symptoms worsened and the medication I was given was not the right kind for my brain chemistry therefore, a dark, depressive episode was slowly building up inside.
In the meantime, I became a mom, a wife, and held down a good job all at the age of 26; something I wished I could feel so proud of all the time! But I couldn’t even get out of bed on certain days, I didn’t care how I looked, sometimes it took all I had to even make it to a shower, I either ate whenever I wanted or didn’t eat for days. I felt like I was stuck inside a body that I didn’t belong in and I was terrified of my own brain. I had a no lack of control over my impulses, m brain functions at a rate of at least 100+mph and I always went to bed wondering what type of mood I’d wake up in.
Feeling completely out of control inside my own mind led me to the deepest depression I have ever had. I was scared and exhausted all at the same time. This wasn’t how I was going to live the rest of my life so I set out to look for more precise answers from a Mental Health Professional facility. It’s hard asking for help, right? But I am so glad I did because I finally have seen the light at the end of the tunnel after 14 years.
I still have episodes and hard days, but reaching out for help is what allowed me to live a happier and more productive life. I was properly diagnosed with Bipolar 2 (nearly 4 months ago) and due to the treatment I started, I have started to develop resilience to the adversities that come my way. I have hobbies again, laugh with people and I’m discovering who I am, for the first time in what seems like forever! I was able to grow the most when I realized that Happiness doesn’t start with a job or money, but it starts with me, it starts with you. A powerful, positive mindset is a key to success for Mental Disorders and just for life, in general.
Bipolar, Anxiety, Depression and PTSD are a huge part of me, but they don’t define me.
The persistence to find answers and get help is what saved my life. I am in control of my symptoms now and not the other way around. I’m a believer that all hard experiences can be turned into learning lessons. This one particularly helped me stop comparing myself to others and develop a strong self esteem. I know now that that the right path isn’t the same for everyone. A Mental Illness doesn’t make me (or you) any less than the person next to us.
I want to help people understand that there are incredibly hard challenges that we are all bound to experience (especially when we have mental health disorders); but you, and me, and we have that resilience to persevere through any struggle. I’ve learned from experience that the world of Mental Health is multifaceted, making it hard to see the beauty and strength within us. But, ask for support. Reach out & connect. Remember, You are not alone. I hope people in a similar situation can see that Mental Illness isn’t always a bad thing, once it is under control, it can add personality and unique interpersonal traits that only you have. Persistence and Resistance help unlock the true you, the beautiful you— the unique you that just happens to deal with Mental Health.
Don’t forget to share your story, too~ Remember, one voice at a time stops stigma.
If you are in need of any support whether you are a family member looking to support someone or you may need it yourself: Check out the national website that has plenty of resources I think you’ll find helpful!
Sending you the most positive vibes!