My entire life I have with depression and anxiety. From hurts beyond my control, to my personal being. Over these years I have been on several antidepressants, seen numerous doctors and gone through my share of Kleenex boxes. Somehow through the Grace of God, I have always come out. It wasn’t until 18 months ago I could feel my life spiraling out of control. I was not the wife I once was, the mother my kids knew and loved, the friend or sister I should have been. I was in a deep dark hole with no light to get out.
Once again in my journey on this earth, I realized I needed help and quick. For if not to receive the medical attention I desperately needed, well, I may not have been around to introduce myself to you. It was a deep hole. But yet when I returned to my medical care team, I was once again told I was in severe depression and placed on yet another antidepressant, the 11th and counting. I wasn’t getting better, I was slipping further and further into my hole. Explained to that I was crazy, I needed additional help for fear of the worst. I was at my worst. The lowest of lows. Detached from my spouse, distant from my children, nonexistent to extended family and friends.
The search for a new doctor started and after many appointments with the wrong ones, I was able to connect with the right one in April of 2017. He LISTENED, he CARED, genuinely cared. After all the history summed up in about 3 appointments I was diagnosed with Bipolar Depression II. Devastating and a relief all in one. But came the fear of being “labeled.” People in general make snide comments DAILY about Mental Illness and never stop to think of the additional hurt they add on to one that is truly suffering from a Mental Illness. Things went from bad to worse before they ever started to look up. Days of tears, not wanting to get out of bed, making excuses for why I couldn’t do something when I knew I could. My thoughts were all over, I wanted to fly home, I wanted to drive off the bridge, I wanted to sleep in a pool of water. Nothing seemed happy, nothing, not even my beautiful children and loving spouse was seeming to make my life turn around.
Between the trial and error of new medications, therapy appointments, and throwing myself back into writing, I slowly began to see the light. My spouse stood by me. He didn’t always understand but he was there. I began to journal daily. Thoughts of the day, the week, kids, spouse, life. I opened up on those pages. The raw truth of my most inner thoughts. The release of pain began to flow out of me like running water.
I started taking photos again (with my camera phone.) I began to write poetry again and I even channeled my grandmother’s knack for painting. I started to find joy in little things. I found my peace mostly when we went to the farm and I was surrounded by nature. The light was starting to show. I began to network on Twitter to fellow individuals who also suffered from Mental Illness. I followed sites that worked with bringing awareness to the forefront. I found my calling outside my 8-5 job that was calmly bringing inner peace. I found faith!
In the midst of persona repair, I found a site, http://www.buddy-project.org/. This young late was working hard to bring awareness to the forefront and I felt a calling to help any way I could. As my paintings began to take more and more shape, I began selling them. From the monies received, I started to donate back 25% to her site. But that didn’t seem like a lot so in January of this year, I upped my donations to 50% sales. The rest leaves enough to cover supplies and a little for me to set aside for good days when I feel I really need to celebrate the progress I have made. In three short months I have been able to donate over $150 to the Buddy Project. May not seem like much but to me, I am making a difference, taking a stand against the negativity of Mental Illness. Along this journey, I have meet so many amazing people as far as Washington state, Vegas, Athens, GA, San Bernardino, CA to the county of Malta. Each providing love and support to a stranger in Missouri who is just trying to survive in her world. I am no standing alone in the rain.
I have found “Happiness” again in my life, a purpose, a retrieve. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to share my story with you. All works of art listed in this post are copyrighted and may not be reproduced without my strict permission. I have worked hard to get to where I am, please know all artists cherish their work and take great pride in what they produce. With much love, keep being YOU, keep being TRUE, keep smiling and keep being Fierce!