I started this blog to help others who are going through something similar and just like what I am going through. I wanted to bring light to the dark. My business page has 2000 followers (not a lot in FB terms but thats 2000 sets of eyes and ears). Yet part of me is still so scared to tell people what is going on with me. Even my close friends seem so distant now knowing I have a mental illness and I think they are even in denial – ‘Oh no they must misdiagnosed you.’ Well come and live in my life for a day and you will see they did not.
Almost every day I walk through “the valley of the shadow of death” and I’m reminded that this is a battle that is long from being over and may never be. In the midst of having two beautiful vibrant little girls in my life and creative gifts people only wish for I still live in darkness because something in my brain is misfiring – over and over and over and over again. Controlling your brain isn’t as easy as making a decision to not yell when your child is acting out or being responsible and complete your daily to do list. It’s a war inside a brain of someone with mental illness and some days are worse than others just like with any other longterm illness. I can no longer be in public places for extended amounts of time. I can’t organize daily tasks and we now have someone that comes three times a week to help me be a wife and mom. I’ve had to make the heartbreaking decision to close a business that I have poured my heart and soul into over the past five years and accept that I may never be the woman I was going in to this. This is mental illness. Not what TV and movies always show you.
Mental illness as defined by the Mayo clinic:
Mental illness refers to a wide range of mental health conditions — disorders that affect your mood, thinking and behavior. Examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders and addictive behaviors. Many people have mental health concerns from time to time. But a mental health concern becomes a mental illness when ongoing signs and symptoms cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.
I know I’m not alone in this according to charts, info graphics, speakers, websites….however I like I am and others with bipolar do too as well.
According to the National Institute of Mental Illness 1 out of 5 people have some type of mental disorder with the largest being depression. 1 out of 25 have a severe mental illness (like me). Mental illness is something so easily hidden from the outside world (because we hide behind our walls) and it has a stigma that makes it hard for those of us to heal. For me developing social anxiety along with BiPolar has made it even more difficult.
I want other women going through what I’m going through or whatever this is that makes me feel so insane to know they are not alone. I’m not sure yet the direction or how but hopefully this is a start. I know this happened to me for a reason. I can live with it and let it cover me in shame or accept it, share it and use my intelligence and strength (that I know is still in there somewhere) to change many things in this world.