How do you recover from your mental health issues ASAP? Just try everything with all your might.
Oftentimes, college students and sometimes even high school students ask me how “I am doing so well despite my depression?” In their eyes, I’m doing great! This was those days where I wore my mental illnesses on my face and body - it was impossible to miss. I guess there were some things I excelled at throughout all of my mental illnesses like continuing to get jobs in super competitive industries and making really top-notch connections. These students do have a point in asking how I’m doing well despite depression. So I’m here to answer this!
I am a single mother to a wonderful teenage boy. Life has not always been easy for us and things do not always go as planned. Especially when those plans are ruined by a panic attack.
It was just another day, after school, alone. The Kidd, before he had adopted the name. His life up to this point had been consumed by school due dates and constant appeasement to his strict family. Loving, but strict (at least half of it was). The false loving embrace of drugs had claimed his father when he was just a baby, and his mother had immediately fallen for a man with two kids of his own. The path leading up to the present had been rough and rocky, filled with blood, snot, tears and the like, but that didn’t matter because it hadn’t changed the Kidd. He had always been the weird, sad, fucked up black sheep in contrast to his step brothers ( one older, one the same age). His emotions had hardened to stone, and in contrast to his younger self, he never cried. Never really showed much emotion at all, it had all been sucked out of him by the negative void that was his house.
What if the purpose of life was to learn about loss?
This question has been causing me some concern. I have been trying to make sense of the reality of loss within normal life. It is not as if it is an unusual experience.
Focus, the ever fleeting, intangible, mental superpower that I wish could easily be manipulated.
As a mentally ill person, it is ironic for me to discuss focus when depression is defined as a mental disorder that takes away one’s ability to focus. But as I am making tremendous progress in recovering from the mental illness, I am noticing that focus is as hard a skill to master for me as it is for anyone else. I mean, procrastination is a very universal issue, is it not? I’m not the only one to have focus issues - mentally healthy people struggle with it too.
For as long as I can remember, I have suffered from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder – however, it was not until this past January that I was diagnosed and came to realize that my behaviors were linked to this disorder. OCD is one of the more highly stigmatized disorders in our society, and it is because of the beliefs I had surrounding OCD that I didn’t think that my behaviors qualified for a diagnosis. That was, until my psychiatrist explained me to what OCD really is.
To be my wife's "knight in shining armor" is an honor I'd rather not live without. I'm aware of and sensitive to her trauma, even while I balance the challenges of and address my own.
In a world of imperfections, perfect pairs are sometimes hard to come by. Compound that with the challenges I have faced living with Bipolar 1 disorder and anxiety; the terms happy, let alone perfect, can sometimes seem like a myth. I am only 38 years old, and for over 20 of those years, I’ve spent my time seeing countless psychiatrists, taking a myriad of medications, and continuing down a road that I hope will one day lead me to a place of acceptance; of my faults, of my disorder, of myself!
I am suicide.
The truth about wanting to take your life is after the first time it’s experienced it isn’t a one and done state of mind. The cycle begins and then continues for most likely a lifetime without help and support. The first time we go into the darkness we call family or friend. We may call these people a second time but what no one talks about is that this cycle is recurring over and over again. This is where the danger lies. After the third, fourth, fifth time the call to family and friends is received with eye rolls and hushed words of “they are just looking for attention” and after the sixth or seventh time, we slide into the darkness but stops calling anyone. We believe that we are being a burden to those we reach out to and the calls stop. Here we wrestle our demons alone, we fight to press through the darkness and hope that some angel from above will intervene, but no one comes. At that moment we may succeed to break free of the frozen space of misery, thinking that the world will be better without us and are doing our family and friends a favor, it’s the lie we tell ourselves.
It was a little over a year ago now, I started feeling stressed with work, I felt like I was getting the job done but doing it enough or to my best standard. I wasn’t sleeping much at home, I was sitting up late most sits just overthinking things, scrolling through my social media and just letting time pass by, whenever I did get time to eventually fall to sleep, I’d be woken up about an hour or two later by my alarm.... another day I would be dreading I’d think to myself. However, I’d put a smile on, get up, shower, get my work uniform on, and sort my son out for school - who at this time was going through a referral for ADHD, I did my best, got him to school and went to work, hiding how I feel. I stopped speaking to people, only if it meant I had to for my job, and decided I would keep myself to myself. No one knew anything, they just thought I was a normal happy 24 year old.
When asked what I am grateful for this year... all I can feel is pain. I remember the first time after getting diagnosed with clinical depression that I felt pain. I was crying in my room. Earlier that day I went to my nephew's birthday party at the soccer dome. Kids running everywhere...get me out of here. I left after an hour. I went home and layed in my bed and for the first time in a few months, I cried.
Panic attacks. Never had one, Never understood one. Never knew anyone who had one to understand one. Now I do. Me.
I've worked in a hospital for the past thirty years. I work in the operating room. Some days it's a quiet normal do your thing day. Some days I'm up to my elbows in someone else's blood. I've had people die on my table and I've watched my surgeon call time on a patient. None of this, on any level, made me ready for what was coming in my own life. I've worn a mask on my face for thirty years. A duckbill, a sticky, a green tape. All masks I've worn one day or another. I never thought I'd be ripping one off my face to catch my breath.