Blog for Mental Health

Blog for Mental Health asks each person who has had an experience with mental illness, either with themselves or through a loved one, to write a blog post about it. The objective is to pull mental illness out of the closet and change the stigma attached to it so more people who need help, will reach out and receive help. For more information regarding this challenge, please go to their website:

blogformentalhealth.com


My experience with mental illness began shortly after my first child was born. I was left in hard (difficult and painful) labor for 2 1/2 days before they decided to take him with forcepts. In those days, Cesarian births were very rare and even rarer in a little bitty farming community of about 900 people. I began having panic attacks after this experience.


When my husband and I were going through a divorce and custody battle, I began to sink into a depression which continued getting worse. I describe the experience as “hitting the bottom and the bottom falling out.” It was a horrible experience that worsened as the grip of mental illness swallowed me into it’s gut of paranoia, severe depression and high anxiety.


For a long time, I couldn’t sleep at night. Often, I would stay up all night and pace, trying to get away from the horrible fears that had gripped me. I would write in my journal excessively and go on long walks in my neighborhood. I would have frightening hallucinations. I tried my best to look “right and normal” on the outside when on the inside my illness was eating me alive. My family members were ashamed of me and this caused me to try and look normal to them and other people.


After years of therapy and trying different medications, I was finally helped when anti-depressants were introduced to me. Apparently, I had a severe chemical imbalance and the correct medicine was able to correct this imbalance. Finally, I was able to feel and experience joy again, and to think as a normal person again. This was a huge breakthrough for me. There is hope. With the medications, knowledge, and therapy available now, there is hope and help for those who are experiencing mental illness. Mental Illness does include simple depression because simple depression can grow into severe depression if left unchecked. Please, don’t be ashamed to ask for help or ashamed to help your loved one find help.

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog of Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics, not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

I would like to give a “shout out” to my friend Cat, author of, “My Travels with Depression,” for introducing me to this site. (Please click on the gravatar below to read his excellent “Blogging for Mental Health” post).


My Travels with Depression

 



 



 

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Step Right Up….

Each Saturday I am introducing a few WordPress bloggers that I enjoy following, viewing and/or reading their posts. Some of these bloggers are not new to WordPress, while others are new or are fairly new to this WordPress blogosphere. If you are not already familiar with these blogs, please check them out:

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Colleen, the Chatter Master, is the author of the “Chatterblog.” Her blog is about, well, a little of everything — whatever is on her mind or in her heart. Please check out this recent post: The Things that Matter Always Do

https://bikecolleenbrown.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/the-things-that-matter-always-do-2/

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Cat, is the author of the blog, “My Travels with Depression.” Cat struggles with depression, PTSD and related Agoraphobia and BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder) and brings us into his inner thoughts regarding his weekly group therapy sessions. His generous honesty helps others understand these, often, debilitating illnesses. Check out Cat’s recent post: “Therapy – The Christmas Break.”

http://mytravelswithdepression.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/therapy-the-christmas-break/

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Amanda (Mandi) is the author of the blog, “Mandibelle16”. She describes her blog as “thoughts, expressions, and articles.” She is an aspiring writer and photographer. Check out her post, “Christmas Cheer.”

http://mandibelle16.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/christmas-cheer/

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Caroline, is the author of the blog, “Beautiful Life with Cancer.” Caroline shares her daily life with her family among other things that come to her heart and mind. Please check out her heartwarming poem, “Staring at my Family.”

http://beautifullifewithcancer.com/2014/12/21/staring-at-my-family/

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Elizabeth authors the blog, “Tea and Paper.” She shares her world with words and gorgeous photographs. Please check out her post, “Here’s What’s on Top of my Christmas Tree What’s on Yours?”

http://teaandpaper.com/2014/12/22/heres-whats-on-top-of-my-christmas-tree-whats-on-yours/

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Dreamer Girl whose “dreams are bright as city lights”, authors the blog, “Dreamer Girl.” She aspires to be a writer of poetry and short stories. Check out her poem, “The Invisible Sea.”

https://dreamsbrightascitylights.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/the-invisible-sea/

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A fairly new blog in our WordPress Blogging world is the blog, “In Pursuit of Rainbow.” Check out her post, “The Chaos Theory”:

http://ourjourneyoflifetogether.wordpress.com/2014/12/23/the-chaos-theory/

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Kaygy is an aspiring (and humble) writer and poet. She is the author of the blog, “Randoms by a Random.” Check out her lovely poem, “Here’s to Friendship.”

http://randomsbyarandom.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/heres-to-friendship/

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If you enjoy photography blogs, take a peek at, “Gray Days and Coffee.” Her post features beautiful photos. Check out her photography post: “Raindrops on Pinecones and Fences and Bushes…”

https://graydaysandcoffee.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/raindops-on-pinecones-and-fences-and-bushes/

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Do you like trees? So does Carrie, (the tree hugger), author of the blog, “The Shady Tree.” Check out her post of her favorite trees for 2014:

http://theshadytree.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/favorite-trees-of-2014/

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And last, but not least, is Ady, author of the blog, roundWorldnMe. Check out her post, “Dreams of an Amateur.”

http://roundworldnme.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/dreams-of-an-amatuer/

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Normally, I will introduce five blogs that I enjoy reading, viewing, and following each Saturday. I doubled up this week because of the holidays.

“Some” of the blogs I introduced are new or fairly new bloggers and I hope you will help to support and encourage them as their blogs evolve in this blogosphere family of WordPress. I certainly am grateful for each of you that read, comment and follow my blog.

Happy New Year: 2015! I wish each and everyone of you the most wonderful year ahead.


You Can Make It Anywhere

If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere,” goes the famous song about New York City. Is there a place — a city, a school, a company — about which you think (or thought) the same? Tell us why, and if you ever tried to prove that claim. ~ Daily Post


There was a time in my life when I became swallowed by severe depression. Each day I remember thinking, if I can get through this hour, maybe I can get through the next hour, and maybe, I can get through this day.

There were days when I felt I had taken one step forward and two steps back. There were days I didn't think I could make it through the hour much less the entire day.

The suffering experienced by severe depression is immeasurable. The pain is just as real and painful as physical pain, maybe even worse.

In my opinion, this is the reason there is so much suicide in our world today. From my own experience, I believe it is because of this pain. The very act is the desperation to escape it.

Did I think of suicide? Sadly, yes. I too wanted to escape the pain that had seized me in it's consuming and hideous grasp. Pain that wouldn't allow me peace. Pain that seemingly wanted only to destroy me.

With perseverance, I finally made it through it. I had finally climbed that difficult mountain. I climbed it one minute at a time, one hour at a time, and one day at a time.

Anyone who can climb this mountain and make it to the top, can make it anywhere.

Today, I may not be perfect, but I am 90% better than I was.

If you have severe depression, or even, depression, please, don't give up. Don't ever give up.

 

Writing 101-Day 15 Your Voice Will Find You

With psychosis, you don’t hear voices, but you do see your imagination as reality. Maybe that would be okay if you lived in a nice, wonderful fantasy world. However, mental illness rarely ever lives in a nice, wonderful fantasy world.

Mental illness is the terrifying and claustrophobic grip of an unscrupulous hand. Most often it is the hand that has been placed there from forces of our past. These horrendous events rise like the erruption of a volcano, releasing the red hot flow of it’s core.


Mental illness is a person’s unconscience screaming from it’s self-imposed prison of despair.


When the psychiatrist first saw me, she asked, “How long has she been like this?”

The person with me replied, “Two weeks.”


“You have allowed her to be like this for two weeks and didn’t bring her in?!”


At that time I was in gripping paranoia that had me (visually) climbing the walls of the psychiatrist’s office. It was the.. it was… I could not speak it. It would be evil for me to speak it. Instead, I suffered in silence. Sleep had not found me in what seemed to be months. I was exhausted and in a major terror which had gripped me for the past two weeks.. unrelenting.

 

My panic attacks began after the birth of my first child. My labor was very long and arduous. After a day and a half of major labor, the nurses of the tiny hospital took me into the delivery room without the knowledge of my doctor and had me push for two hours. Nothing happened.

One and half day later he was born. He was born because my husband finally demanded the baby be delivered by Caesarian if it wasn’t born within two hours. The doctor took me into the delivery room and with the help of forceps, my baby was born into this world.

The labor had not only exhausted me, it had changed something in my brain as well. Every woman that has experienced the pain of childbirth will understand what it would be like to experience it for three whole days. In those days, Caesarian delivery was frowned on and was rarely ever done, especially in a little town of 900, 2500 if you count the cows.

 

“She needs to be admitted.” declared Dr. Barry.


(After this, I really don’t remember much except for being admitted into the lock-up ward of the mental hospital).


I do remember the first night very clearly. I remember pacing and pacing, up and down the hall, in an effort to “run” from the horrible images in my head. Saying I was in distress would be putting it mildly. I was in despair and indomitable fear.


After, maybe thirty minutes, one of the nurses began pacing with me. She was letting me know I wasn’t alone. I appreciated that. I had not had that up to this point. I had been shamed and shunned by my family.


After a few minutes she turned to me and whispered, “Will you sit down with me and talk?”


An inner voice was screaming, “NO! YOU CANNOT TELL! YOU CANNOT TELL! IT WILL BECOME WORSE IF YOU TELL! DO NOT TELL!”


Confusion and panic gripped me, “I..I…can’t.”


“Yes,” she responded, “Yes you can. Please sit down with me.”


We sat at a table across from one another, her eyes showing me she cared.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.


“I can’t tell you.” I responded. “If I tell you it will come true,” looking down at the table to avoid her eyes.


“No.” she said softly. “No, it won’t come true.”


My eyes found hers to search for any sincerity. They were soft and brown and they spoke to me, saying, “you can trust me.” I wanted this to be true.


Pausing, I whispered, “It’s the end of the world.” Mentally hoping the roof of the building didn’t crash down on us all.


She kept her eyes focused on my eyes and answered, “No. It isn’t. It isn’t the end of the world.”


She planted a seed that day, a seed of hope among the many thorns of a hopeless world.


Healing, step one had begun.

 

…more to follow

 

Victim Victim Fool Fool!

In non-functional families (I am trying to avoid using the term, “dysfunctional”), there is always at least one person that is in the victim role. Unfortunately, in my family, that would be me.

I grew up being the victim sometimes gracefully but most of the time, not so gracefully.

My personality is such that I automatically trust trusted people. I was stinkin' nice. Always believing in the “golden rule.” Treat people nice and they will treat you nice.

I spent my childhood being chased down the street by my sister with a butcher knife in her hand because I “borrowed” some of her clothes without asking. We fought constantly and often used our fists. She was selfish and self-centered, and I was always in the “survival” mode around her. For some reason, my mother thought this was okay.

I learned to avoid her as much as I possibly could. I learned that my mother would always take up for my sister – to her, she was perfect and I was the “problem” child. I stayed at my grandmother's as much as I possibly could.

With my sister's abuse and the emotional abuse from our father, our home was my nightmare.

In today's world, people think of victims as fools. We are fools because we are considered mindless and weak. (Maybe that is my problem, I am mindless and weak).

When I married I looked forward to being away from the place I was constantly being victimized. Finally! I would be loved, wanted, and needed, and would never again be a victim. What I found, however, is, I did not know any other way to be, but as a victim. When I divorced him, he victimized me even more.

As victims, our self esteem is destroyed and we learn to go inward with all of our emotions; our anger, our fears, and all of our emotional pain.

Because if we don't, again, we are considered weak and are victimized mor

That word, “victim” not only defined me, it chased me, it terrorized me, it abused me, and it threw me into the darkness of severe depression and mental illness. I fought it, I screamed, I kicked, I just wanted to die, but most of all I wanted to survive WITHOUT being a victim! But how? How does one stop being in the role of victim?

Love…maybe that is the answer! I will find someone who really does love me and will treat me with love and respect. I will find a man that will “adore” me and who I will adore. There is a problem with that. Soon you become the victim of gossip and wagging tongues. You are called a “whore”, a “bad” girl, a “hussy”, someone no right-minded good man would want.

For awhile alcohol seemed to do the trick. Alcohol “seemed” to keep me from being the victim. I didn't have to feel all the emotional pain of being victimized. There is a problem with that too. Soon, you become the victim of the alcohol.

I have learned, there is no shortage of victimizers. And, there are no shortage of victims. I have learned that victims are always human. Although many victimizers are humans, some victimizers are not always in “human” form. We can become victims of love, alcohol, drugs, money, greed, work, and you fill in the blank.

What there is a shortage of in this crazy and mixed up world is… kindness, love, and understanding. Until this world is filled with more people with these qualities, there will always be plenty of victims and victimizers.

This is our final day for the Zero to Hero Challenge. I have learned a lot from this challenge and am looking forward to future challenges to further my blogging skills. Thank you to all my readers and friends that have stuck with me through this challenge. I wish you all much success in all your future endeavors, as well as, in your blogging future.

 

The Secret

The news was devastating. My heart broke into a billion pieces and the blood began draining out of me, drip by agonizing drip.

Lies all lies! Horrible cruel lies!

My entire world came crashing down.

The monster raged into my world with his contemptuous claws, gripping my mind with such vengeance, it became impossible for me to escape. I was trapped; trapped in a terrifying abyss of unspeakable fear and egregious pain. This monster took my heart and ripped it out of my chest with such vengeance, the pain was unbearable. My mind became a chaotic mess of terrifying fear and excruciating pain. The vengeance unleashed on me was unbearable. There is only two words to explain this formidable monster. Hell, pure hell and abomination. Heinous and terrifying thoughts raced through my mind constantly, robbing me from any peace and from all precious sleep.

It had come true. My worst fear had come true.

DO NOT TRUST ANYONE. NEVER TRUST ANYONE AGAIN. NEVER LOVE ANYONE AGAIN.

My mental illness raged inside of my mind, “I have a secret, a horrible terrifying secret that I can tell no one. Absolutely no one. Constantly pacing, “I have a secret. I cannot tell anyone. I have a secret. Desolation unspeakable horrifying desolation.”

The terror is indescribable. I could not escape it. And, there was no sleep nor no peace with this diabolical monster, only pacing…feverishly pacing just to contain this horrifying secret.

Pacing, continued pacing, up and down the hall while my mind was slowly being destroyed, bit by terrifying bit.

The nurse didn't say a single word, she just began pacing with me. Just the two of us, pacing up the hallway and pacing down the hallway. Back and forth. After quite some time of pacing and and without stopping, she quietly asked, “Will you sit down and talk with me?”

(NO! I CANNOT! I HAVE TO KEEP PACING! I MUST KEEP THIS SECRET!) “No.” I answered, “I cannot.”

Again, she gently asked,”Please… come sit with me.”

I sat down at the table with her, terrified and confused. She sat across from me, took one of my hands and calmly asked, “What's wrong?”

My fear was so overwhelming all I could do was whisper, “I cannot tell you.”

“Why can't you tell me?” she asked.

(How can I possibly tell her about this monster, this this..heinous monster, that is forcing me to keep this horrible secret? If I tell, this excruciating pain I am feeling and everything going on inside my head, will become real and be unleashed on others).

“I can't tell you. If I tell you it will come true.” (It was already true for me)

“No. No, it won't. It won't come true. I promise, it won't come true,” she assured me.

Something inside me told me, it was time. It was time to trust. It was time to expose this heinous monster.

Maybe it was her kindness, or her soft reassuring voice, or maybe it was because I knew she wanted to help me. I knew she knew the pain and terror I was in and wanted to help me out of it.

I fought back the tears. I fought back all the fear. I fought the monster. I took a deep breath and as I exhaled, I whispered, “It's the end of the world.”

“No it isn't,” she assured me. “It isn't the end of the world.”

I looked into her eyes, searching…are you sure? Can I believe you?

Yes.

At that very moment, I could feel…

my healing had begun.


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Day 27 of Zero to Hero Challenge. Our challenge for today was to revisit a post and rewrite it, or to visit one of our challenges from the past 27 days and improve on that.

I chose to rewrite this post because it is such a profound experience of my past, and basicially one of the reasons I am blogging.

My mental illness was caused from severe depression in combination with a chemical imbalance.

Mental illness exists and it happens to ordinary people. People need to have a better understanding of mental illness. Those who are suffering need to know they aren't alone and that healing is possible. They need to know it isn't hopeless. Families need to know their loved ones aren't hopeless.

We all need to know; there really is a light still shining inside all that darkness.