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.
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.
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.