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Donetta’s World

I live in a small town with the population of about 400.  I’m in southwest Virginia right at the edge of TN. and N.C. and the Appalachians.  I try not to put a lot of public things on Facebook because I see a lot of them same people in day to day life.  Life in a small town can be great and it can be terrible.  If I forget what I’m doing though, someone will tell me what I’ve done and am doing.  I have always said, by the time I get done using the restroom, a neighbor will be calling to remind me to flush and wash my hands, and they’ll know if I’m out of soap too.

With this being said, I don’t mind sharing my mental health diagnosis and I don’t mind sharing my addiction problems.  I have two beautiful daughters, ages 11 and 8, and I try to be as honest with them as I can for their age.  If what I’ve experienced in my 37 years of living can help one person then I’ve done something worthwhile.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project | Donetta’s World.

The Unrepeatables

While I don’t think of my blog as a mental health blog, in some ways I owe it to my own struggles in this department.  I started blogging to try and pull myself out of a bad funk.  Then I failed, and you can see the year of silence screaming out of the archives where I thought every word I ever had had dried up forever.  Then I got some help and one of the first ways I saw improvement was that a little flicker of writing inspiration began to glimmer in the corners of my mind.  It took about three months to very carefully sneak up on that whisper of creativity and capture it without it melting away. . .

. . .  I am reminded that, while these illnesses feel intensely personal and isolating, there are many many others fighting similar battles.  To connect with each other breaks through the walls that so easily box us in.  So without further ado, I’m going to take the Blog For Mental Health 2014 pledge.  I don’t know how often I’ll write on the topic (I don’t like to force things), but when I do my personal goal is to do so less apologetically, more unabashedly.

Calm Kitchen

This blog is still a baby and I’m sure one day I will write more openly about how my anxiety effects me. I find it difficult to talk about as I spent years hiding my anxiety from everyone. I was only 14 when it all started and with the stigma of mental health and my own naivety, I thought that if I spoke out about what was happening with me, I would be alienated by friends and family or worse, taken to some kind of mental hospital. Now I know that none of that would have happened, unless I posed a danger to myself or others. Plus if anyone did turn their back on me because of my condition, they wouldn’t have been real friends!

The stigma that I mentioned earlier is the reason that I decided to sign up to BFMH 2014. I feel that everyone should do what they can to reduce the stigma, 1 in 4 people will suffer from some kind of mental health problem at some point of their life so why do whose who are suffering feel like such a minority?

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | Calm Kitchen.

W.T.F. – Depression and Motherhood: This is My Truth

This subject feels a bit taboo for me.  It seems that we have come to a place in our society where it is safer to talk about living with a mental illness but when you admit to the effects of it while you are raising your children, it seems to make people uncomfortable and judgemental.  If that is you then please refrain from reading this post.  My truth about struggling with depression and being a mom is not pretty.  It’s not a feel good story and it’s a story that continues to evolve. . .

Shortly after that, at the age of 27, I got pregnant.  Although I wasn’t a lover of being pregnant, I have to say I was never happier.  The boost of hormones were fabulous and I felt great.  And then the third trimester happened.  I plummeted.  I hated myself because how could I be so awfully sad about and ungrateful for the life inside me.  I hated that I hated myself.  I felt bad for feeling bad.

After my daughter was born, I had the normal baby blues but thankfully it passed and within a few weeks I had fallen in love with my little girl.  But then something flipped that switch.  The switch that I have learned I have no control over.  I became numb, her needs became overwhelming.  I became an auto pilot mom.  I did what I needed to do but that was about it.  This wasn’t the normal, over tired, overwhelmed, new mom effect.  This was joyless motions.  It was feeling like a failure with every action.  This was irrational.  I can remember thinking what a piece of shit I was that I wasn’t happy about my beautiful life.  To me, at that time, nothing was beautiful.  God that hurts to admit.

Read the rest of the story by visiting Depression and Motherhood: This is My Truth. | W.T.F..

Trigger Warning: Suicidal Ideation

Red Vine Spirituality – Bipolar Mama: Hold on to Your Deepest Dream

Everything–at 21–was ruined, and I was a wreck. I inhabited the same body as the girl I had know before my illness, but I wasn’t smart or good or pretty or sweet anymore. I was tolerated, derived from pity. I wasn’t what anyone would have looked up to or admired. I chain smoked and ate sugar from the bowl. I slept every hour I wasn’t working. I threw enormous fits in public, ruined almost every get together my family invited me to. I couldn’t count, and customers would literally ask me, “Are you stupid?” I remember thinking, I didn’t used to be. But maybe I am now. Is this all I’m ever going to be?

I’ve been reading Kay Jamison’s Night Falls Fast. I have to mete out my readings, because they are so close to me and mirror back to me so many painful truths that it is impossible to absorb it all at once. I stopped short when I read this passage: Patients who do well socially and academically when they are young and who then are hit by devastating illnesses such as schizophrenia or manic-depression seem particularly vulnerable to the spectre of their own mental disintegration and the terror of becoming a mental patient. For them and many others there is a terrible loss of dreams, and inescapable damage to friends, family, and self . . . (pg. 84).

For myself, this was the case. I wrote one piece depicting myself as a harbor filled with sunken ships, upon them every one I had loved and every dream I had believed I would live into. Reconstruction seemed ludicrously impossible. I was a shadow, a ghost of the person I had been. But, if I were to live instead of kill myself, grow instead of rot, I had to dream a new dream.

Read the rest of the story by visiting Bipolar Mama: Hold on to Your Deepest Dream | Red Vine Spirituality.