My life, like everyone else’s, had its ups and downs. My brother and I would take turns spending weekends with both grandmothers’; go to church, to the library, do some baking and play games. We had the best time with them. While at home, everyone would be quiet, doing their own thing. Usually during birthdays or holidays is where you’d find us happy, joking and enjoying our time together.
It wasn’t until years later, I discovered why we spent so much time away from our parents. My father had been diagnosed with manic depression during his teenage years and we didn’t know this until I was in high school. My father had a back injury at work when I was one years old and became addicted to the prescription medication for 15 years. As the years went by his anger and abuse had gotten worse, suicide attempts began; therefore, we were sent away on weekends and mom told us it was to protect us.
When I was old enough to date, it seemed like my father and I fought more and more, as I wanted to live my life and I was rebelling. The breaking point was when I was 28 years old and dating a guy 14 years older. We did the opposite to what my father wanted and continued seeing each other. Eventually we asked him for his permission to get married; he said no. We refused to stop seeing each other, my parents and I continuously fought over it until my father kicked me out of the house. With three garbage bags full of clothes, which is all I was allowed to take, I left, with no where to go. I spent the night at the daycare centre I worked at. My boyfriend and I did get married a year later.
I hadn’t spoken to my family in eight months; I received a call from my mother saying dad was sick in the hospital; cirrhosis of the liver, with two weeks to live. After all the hurt, painful words, abuse my father put on all of us, he was still my father and yes, I did love him dearly. I visited my father later that day and my father and I made amends. A week later I visited him for the last time, I walked in the room just as he passed away; I felt the last twitch while holding his hand. I’d like to think he was waiting for me to come see him one last time.
Years had passed, my daughter was born, and the true colours were coming out in our marriage. For 12 years, I lived with someone who was narcissistic, jealous, demanding and controlling; my mother always told me I had married my father. We eventually separated and a few years later, I met my current partner; who also lives with mental illness, anxiety, OCD and depression. I haven’t been diagnosed but I know I live with PTSD.
I always had this thought in my head,” When is this ever going to end?” It did, 40 years later!
Here we are, in 2017, and with everything I have experienced in my life, I became a mental health advocate. Based on my lived experiences, I have been able to help people all around the world who has lived with domestic abuse, addictions and mental illnesses. I volunteer with numerous mental health organizations and write articles for mental health blogs.
My life is full of contentment, love, family and friends and now am closer than ever to my mother and brother. I’m also in a relationship where we have everything in common, we support each other, have fun and we’re living life!
When I was younger, I never thought I would have a happy life. I always thought what I experienced as a child was normal. Now I know different.
Hi, today I want to talk about medication, mania, voices and finding the right doctor.. I have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder about a year ago.. I have been hearing voices for two years.. well I’ve been hearing them on and off.. depends on my mood.. Continue reading
Written by Fliss Baker
Twitter is a wonderful thing! I’m four thousand miles away and I’m meeting the like-minded. For info I’m a writer, author, volunteer and guest speaker in mental health and I love it.
Oh, and I have a diagnosis of bipolar.
I receive ongoing professional treatment in an attempt to manage my depressive and manic cycles. I am also in recovery for an eating disorder.
It’s important I introduce myself before my illness because as much as it rules my life at times, I will not let it define me.
I honestly do not know where to start. I am devastated. I was having a hard time deciding what my next post would be about, and then he was gone… As I wrestle and fight to come to terms with this emotional tornado, I stand my ground as the high winds smack the cold tears running down my face. I scream into the unforgiving truth and it just continues to spin more violently out of control. Inside I am dying, but my adrenaline forces me to fight. My muscles burn hot like 1,000 volcanoes and my clenched fists swing illogically at the twisted cold truth. I hit nothing. The tornado runs me over and back again. I jump up when I can, and continue to scream and swing. If it had a mouth it would laugh at me as it pushed me further down into the dirt. The tornado has grown tired of me, and moves on to destroy bigger and better people… just because it can. I lay with my face in the muck, and as I lift my head, I see the vultures and parasites coming right at me. If this was Hollywood, they would already be drawing a chalk outline around my body. It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I heard the news and the ignorant vultures are coming for his legacy and my sanity. Usually, they are innocuous goons in their highly coveted prime time slots, but now they smell the fear and sadness like a shark smells blood in the water and they become apex predators in their own minds. Even though they can’t maintain the momentum for very long, it is an opportunistic feeding on the weak that their ignorance and general hatred fuels because the time is right.
By Andy “Electroboy” Behrman
For years, I suffered with a mental disability. I still do — no one has found a cure for manic depression (bipolar disorder) yet. During those crisis years, though, nobody knew anything was really wrong with me. I was experiencing a wild rollercoaster ride of frightening highs and lows that put my life in jeopardy, but my disability was completely invisible.
By AIMEE LEE BALL
To the casual observer, Danielle Hark was living an enviable life, with a devoted husband, a new baby and work she enjoyed as a freelance photo editor. But she was so immobilized by depression that she could barely get out of bed. Her emotional state could not be explained in postpartum terms — she had suffered from debilitating depression for most of her life, and ultimately received a diagnosis of bipolar disorder when her daughter was a year old.
“I thought about killing myself for the first time in seventh grade,” said Ms. Hark, now 33. “I went from therapist to therapist and medication to medication, not comfortable with anyone or any drugs.”
By: Keith O’Neil
Everything was perfect. I had recently retired from the NFL with a Super Bowl ring. I was working in a great industry as a medical device representative. Jill and I had recently settled into our dream home located in a beautiful suburb outside of my hometown of Buffalo, NY. We were back around family and friends on a regular basis for the first time in many years – we were enjoying life! Thoughts of having a family of our own were on the horizon. Life was good, even great.
By Elena Peters
In many ways, my marriage is no different than anyone else’s marriage. This is the second marriage for both my husband and I. We both have children from previous marriages. We both have ex-spouses that are still involved in our lives on a daily basis. We have extended families with varied backgrounds, sprinkled all around the world. We have jobs and mortgages and commitments that pull us in all sorts of directions.
Just like any other marriage, there are things that bug me!
My husband leaves the toilet seat up, doesn’t put the cap back on the toothpaste and leaves dishes around the house like he’s expecting the maid to pick up after him. We don’t have one. I guess he thinks that’s me. We have disagreements about finances and children. See, just like the rest, except for one difference: my husband has Bipolar Disorder Type 1.
By Christopher Luke, UK
This prayer was written by Christopher Luke in recognition of World Mental Health Day, October 10, 2014.
Eternal Heavenly Father and Creator & Sustainer of all life
We give you thanks that, on 10th October, individuals and organisations across the globe sought to increase knowledge and understanding of mental illness and personal well-being, in order to commemorate World Mental Health Day. Today, we pray that our own knowledge and understanding will be further enhanced, and that our eyes and ears may be opened to the needs of others, particularly those who suffer from mental illness in any way.
Since publicly disclosing her own struggle with bipolar disorder, Demi Lovato has become an outspoken advocate on mental health and the surrounding stigmas. Her most recent outreach is through a partnership with the Mental Health Listening & Engagement Tour, during which she’ll speak on key issues to raise awareness for those living with mental illnesses.
In the introductory video, Demi speaks candidly on her own battle with bipolar disorder. “Bipolar depression really got my life off track,” “but today I am proud to say I am living proof that someone can live, love, and be well with bipolar disorder when they get the education, support and treatment they need.”