We haven’t done this in awhile, so I thought maybe we should revisit our little talks about mental health. I have a tendency to get wrapped up in my own little world to the point that I forget that part of what I need to do is spread the word about how “normal” those of us with mental illness really are. Mostly I forget because I’m too busy being normal I guess.
But I want y’all to know that you are not alone. Let me say this again…
Y’ALL AIN’T ALONE.
Even though I don’t often talk about my diagnoses these days that does not mean that I don’t still have issues. I do. HELL YES I do. My diseases have reached what I consider to be the equivalent of remission for someone fighting cancer. They’re still there, they still color my world, but I’m not having to seek crisis intervention on a regular basis. And that feels nice.
My name is Erin and I have Bipolar Disorder II and Borderline Personality Disorder. I’ve attempted suicide four times. I’ve been hospitalized more times than I care to recall. I’ve lost friends. I’ve lost the ability to do some of the recreational activities I used to love. I’ve had allergic reactions to meds so severe I was almost hospitalized. I’ve stared down the beast that is depression and I’ve stayed up for 6 days solid, dancing with the beast that is mania.
I have been there, done that, and got the free t-shirt to prove it.
I’ve also started and completed both a Master’s degree and a graduate certificate since being diagnosed. I’ve maintained my full-time job and advanced in my career. I’ve learned to be financially responsible. And I’ve learned that I will feel better if I can help make someone else feel better.
These days I do a whole lot of taking care of me so that I can take care of those I love. I take my meds like a good kid. I eat mostly healthy food and I stay mostly away from alcohol. I try to get good sleep every night. I see my psych doc when I’m supposed to and I make an appointment with my therapist when I feel I need to. And I try to focus on the good stuff. I spend more time with the good things I can still do and less time missing the things I used to do.
We’ll get through this together, we really will. I promise.