I am 38 years old and have been married to my best friend for 14 years. We made the decision not to have children because mental illness runs in both of our families and I still continue to struggle. I enjoy running and love running races because I get to be with others but by myself at the same time (I know, it’s weird). I also enjoy hiking and painting.
I grew up in a household where my mother regretted her choice to have children. She struggled to cope and I received the brunt of her anger. My childhood was not all bad, but I lived with constant emotional abuse topped with physical abuse when my mother lost her temper. I have been called many things by my mother who even suggested I save everyone the misery and kill myself. While the physical wounds have healed, the emotional and psychological wounds have not. I struggle with constant negative and intrusive thoughts.
The first time I had suicidal thoughts, I was 8 years old. I was already filled with self hate by that age from being constantly told that I was a burden. Through my childhood and teenage years, I fought constantly with suicidal thoughts. I attempted suicide 3 times during those years. After my second attempt, my mother relented and sent me to a counselor who fought for me (I can never thank her enough). After threats of having the authorities involved, she finally agreed for me to see a psychiatrist.
At 17, I was diagnosed with dysthymia. I thought that depression and mental illness was a “young person disease.” I thought I would outgrow it as I got older. But mental illness does not discriminate. What I’ve learned is that my condition, unlike a major depression episode will require life long management. Major depression episodes can happen with dysthymia and is known as double depression. I have relapsed with double depression several times throughout my 20s and 30s. My last relapse was last year and I’m learning that if I don’t take care of my mental health, I would eventually end up a suicide statistic.
With the help of medication and therapy, I am slowly learning to live with dysthymia. I’ve learned that I am the only one who can and must advocate for myself. This means, seeking help, being honest about how I’m feeling and recognizing signs that I need to take a break to look after my mental health. It still isn’t easy for me and I continue to struggle with self care and suicidal thoughts. Society doesn’t understand mental illness and taking time off work to care for your mental health is still frowned upon, especially in my line of work. I try to be open about my mental illness, but I am wary because of the stigma I have experienced. My condition is not as debilitating as many other mental illness and yet I have experienced the stigma many times myself. My dream is that one day mental health will be just as important as physical health.
So this is my story. If you are struggling please reach out. You are worth it!
Here is a link to B’s Blog titled Convolute me.
Thank you for sharing your story.
You are an amazing person and a strong survivor.
You deserve much praise and honor.
Your story is your glory.
We celebrate you.
If you want to share your story on my blog and join us on our campaign “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story,” please check out the post titled, Please Help Me With My New Campaign – “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story” to learn the mission behind our campaign.
For suggestions and ideas about how to write your story and for directions on how to share your story on my blog, please visit the post titled A Revised Guide – How to Write and Share Your Story For “There’s Glory in Sharing Your Story.“
Thank you in advance for participating and helping our cause of increasing awareness and educating about mental health and mental illness, reducing suicide and ending the stigma of mental illness.
We are on a mission to save lives.
We are on a mission
to improve the quality of people’s lives
who live with mental illness.
Thank you for being you.
Much love and hugs, Sue
“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
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