Tina Szymczak

I originally posted this in 2011 but I updated it a little to send to The Mighty for publication. They turned it down but I still think it’s good to share

 

Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

It is not the fault of the person dealing with it.

It is hard for all involved. The individual, family, friends .  . .

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of

How many times have I said that in real life, on Facebook, on my blog?

I tell my son this all the time. I tell him that his Bi-Polar and OCD and other illness/disorders are a pesky part of him but they do not define him and they do not make him less of a person. I tell him that he is my hero – having so much on his plate yet getting up each day with a smile on his face. And when it is a bad day (or week) I tell him that’s ok too. He’s entitled. Eventually he will get up again after we help him fight off the demons that haunt him in his head.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of.

2014-03-14-121341 Coca Cola

Just like people are not ashamed of cancer. People are a lot of things at Cancer – scared, mad, frustrated, devastated, determined to name a few. But people are not ashamed of cancer.

I suffer from depression and anxiety.  It’s been mostly under control for many years now but back in April 2015 it got really bad really fast. It seemed to hit me out of no where. My brave and amazing husband made sure that I got to the hospital. I stayed for 2 months. While I was there I was almost successful in hanging myself with a sheet. Yes it was that bad. I was not myself. I was over run with irrational thoughts and overwhelming emotions. I thought the world would be better without me. I thought that my pain, that feeling of deep emptiness, would finally be gone if I was dead. I felt so very very desperate.

I was and still am battling a mental illness. I probably always will in some way.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried in some ways that people might read my words and judge me. Think I’m the crazy one. Cast aspersions about my mental health. Especially since I have “come out” on my blog and my name is now attached to my writings.

But

I share this because I need to not be ashamed. I cannot teach my son and society to accept mental illness if I am ashamed and keep this as a secret. Therefore I share.

January 17, 2016

Therefore I Share

I originally posted this in 2011 but I updated it a little to send to The Mighty for publication. They turned it down but I still think it’s good to share   Mental Illness is nothing to be ashamed of. It is not the fault of the person dealing with it. It is hard for all involved. The individual, family, friends .  . . Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of How many times have I said that in real life, on Facebook, on my blog? I tell my son this all the time. I tell him that his Bi-Polar and OCD and other illness/disorders are a pesky part of him but they do not define him and they […]
January 13, 2016

An Apology To My Son

Dear Corbin I want you to know that I am a huge fan of yours and I love you completely. I admire how each day is a brand new day for you, you rarely hold a grudge. You are almost always happy and with a little encouragement you are learning to try new things. Having said all of that there is something I need to do. I need to apologize I’m sorry for all the days I spent on the phone and typing emails to people who in the end neither believed in you nor had anything to offer. I’m sorry I spent so much time seeking out therapy and ways to “fix” you instead of using available therapies to […]
January 6, 2016

Privacy

When I began this blog back in 2006 (yikes!) I wasn’t sure how much I was comfortable sharing about myself and even more importantly about my family.  I blogged to feel better about my life, not to become famous – lol. So I didn’t tell anything that would pinpoint where I live and I just used a first initial for the family. I also tried to be careful to not write embarrassing things – instead focusing more on my reactions and feelings about events. But it has always felt stunted – that I couldn’t really be myself on my blog because I was expending so much energy trying to reign in any self identifying information or sharing too much about […]
January 5, 2016

Figuring It Out

Since I wrote articles for BLOOM and The Mighty I have been thinking a lot about accepting people’s help but even more so HOW do you let people know you need something as you struggle with a disability (mental health, developmental, health)?  I mean it’s easy for me to write that I want friends and family to help me at times but how do I let them know when that time is? What do I do for example when a co-worker asks in passing “How are you”? Do I start in on a long story about how my anxiety is really high and my depression medication has just been increased? I mean how weird would that be? Truthfully I don’t know if I […]
December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Mom

It’s almost Christmas Eve and the presents are all wrapped and under the tree. But I find myself at a loss as to what to get for you. A new purse, a book, a gift card – perhaps. Or what about this: When I look back on my childhood I often think of the difficult times like when your migraines were bad, or that time you got called for jury duty and the time the one side of your body was partially paralyzed and they thought you had Multiple Sclerosis. I think about how even good events, were often so difficult for you. There were things that could throw you into a fit – the wrong creamer for your coffee, […]
December 19, 2015

For All That Is You

Who knew where life would take us when we first met across the table at Adoption classes? We became the best of friends in a short amount of time and when I adopted my son you were there every step of the way. Two adoptions for you and another for me and quite miraculously all of our children got along which lead to group trips to places such as water parks and apple picking. This was good because often times your oldest son was the only one who would play with my oldest. Being a mom with you felt normal. A normal that I never felt with other moms and kids. Thank you for all those days where my oldest […]