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Tess of the d’Amned

It traumatised Tess mainly because the whole incident was covered by a veil of secrecy. Uncle married soon after; Amadea still didn’t know how her mommy died – she grew up believing it was from natural causes. Uncle did not deal well with Auntie’s death. Perhaps he was ashamed and angry. Perhaps he thought that if he did not talk about it, it would go away. His religion (he is a Christian) was also not used in a constructive way to help him grieve. He perhaps believed that she committed a sin by taking her own life. He built a new life with his new wife. Amadea was often a sad reminder. Even more so when she herself started to have difficulties, which she did by the time she was about fifteen years old. Problems with depression, alcohol and eating.

Tess believed Amadea should be told. Mainly because traits for depression and other disorders can be passed on just like all other traits. Tess believed Amadea should be aware of her risks so she could be wary of certain triggers. Sadly, Amadea was only told when she was nineteen and only because a psychologist, who she was seeing and who was aware of Auntie’s death, called up Uncle and argued with him that she needs to know. That she suspects anyway.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Blog for Mental Health Pledge. Auntie Dies. | Tess of the d’Amned.

Trigger Warning:  Suicide

breakingdownandbuildingup

1. Mental health is a redundancy. No one says physical health when talking about health. This asinine belief that the two are separate and only one is considered an acceptable talking point is infuriating. Calling in sick because your body is unwell is covered by my contract. Calling in because my mind is unwell is not. That’s crummy. . .

4. I am the same person that I was before and during the recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of my anxiety and depression, but I no longer have to combat the parasitic form of my disease.
5. That being said, my disease tries to rear its ugly head every single day.

I would like to highlight the fact that I keep saying “my disease” and not anxiety or depression. This is because my particular anxiety is different from other people’s anxiety. While anxiety and depression are medical conditions, not every person handles it the same way, gets the same treatment, or recovers the same way. I’ll be addressing this topic in another post, but I want to make sure it’s clear from the get-go. Every single person with a mental illness has to be treated as an individual.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit I’m not crazy; my mother had me tested. | breakingdownandbuildingup.

Mollie Claire Write now.

There was a breaking point where I couldn’t think straight, and I needed help. Keeping up the illusion that everything was “fine” was exhausting. Swallowing my pride, I reached out to new friends and neighbors. I spoke up during bible study and asked, begged, for prayers. I put our family on prayer lists. Old friends were pulled closer, and heavily leaned into.

I didn’t expect the response that I received, in negative and positive ways.

People I didn’t expect to care about our family reached out and sat with us in the hospital. They visited my daughter. They contacted patient advocates. They walked me through the rough process of understanding what our new “normal” was going to look like from now on. Those people were few and far between in comparison to the dozens that shut us out. A new reality enveloped us like fog, changing my perception of … well, everything.

We are nowhere near out of the woods. I would love to report to you that everything is fine, we haven’t had any hiccups along the way and we are surrounded by angels who fart $100 bills.

We’re not fine.
We’re tired and broken and healing and sleep deprived.
We’re resentful, we’re cautious, we’re hopeful, we’re determined to get through this as a family.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Why keeping up appearances is bullshit – Mollie Claire                                              Write now.

Life in a Bind – BPD and me

I wanted to write, but I didn’t feel that I could. I didn’t feel it would be fair – on you. I have always handled my emotional and mental health difficulties alone, and the damaged part of me very strongly believes that I should continue to do so, that grown-ups shouldn’t need support. The scared part of the damaged part is also afraid of being overwhelmed by emotion, either her own, or others’. She is therefore terrified of overwhelming you and driving you away with hers. The scared part is hard to own, hard to integrate, and she feels so very very young.

I couldn’t write, so instead I read. Maybe it’s the style in which the pages are written –very personal, very conversational. I felt as though there was someone there with me, talking me through what I was feeling. Trying to convince me that hope was not all lost. I was struck by this particular paragraph on the page describing the author’s own story:

“ ..if there is anything missing from the lives of the suicidal, it is connection with others. Being seen and loved as we are. To think, there are millions of people crying out for the same thing…..and it isn’t even something that requires great skill or money to attain.”

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Suicide – Blog for Mental Health 2014 | Life in a Bind – BPD and me.

Trigger Warning:  Suicidal Ideation

Normal in Training

The other reason is that if I took my own life, it would undermine everything I ever said to my clients about how pain passes. That one day when they look back they will realize how strong they were at the time. That they will learn lessons from their suffering that it takes some people a lifetime to learn. How can you believe anything your therapist said if she committed suicide? That would be the ultimate betrayal.

So I spent months willing myself to get better. I went back to therapy, started meds again, meditated and prayed, and forced myself to play tennis and spend time with friends. And I did get better. And everything I said about realizing my strength, becoming more compassionate, and acquiring wisdom were all true. I would have never chosen depression, but we usually don’t choose the experiences that teach us the most about life.

People often ask me how I can listen to client’s problems all day long. In all honesty, I can’t imagine what else I would do for a living. It feels more like psychology chose me. And when I hear a client’s story, I always have hope that together we can change the plot for the better. After all, I always root for the underdog. I am the eternal optimist. And I never back down from a challenge.

There was a time when I would never have told this story about my struggles with depression and anxiety to my students or clients. Or even friends and family. But now I want to share it with the world, because every act of courage benefits someone else. My blog is proof of that.

Read the post in its entirety! Visit Normal in Training: 2014 Blog for Mental Health Project.